Posts Tagged ‘Freestyle Finals’

Mikaili Sol and Adeuri Corniel claimed the Mauritius freestyle event win. Watch the highlight video of the women’s and men’s finals.


1 Adeuri Corniel (DR) 36.2 points
2 Valentin Rodriguez (COL) 36.19
3 Liam Whaley (ESP) 32.56
4 Nicolas Delmas (FRA) 24.46


1 Mikaili Sol (BRA) 33.99
2 Rita Arnaus (ESP) 27.01
3 Bruna Kajiya (BRA) 25.03
4 Claudia Leon (ESP) 18.23

The finals of the El Gouna Grand Slam 2016 were super exciting with the top kiteboarding action to watch. This episode of Karolina’s video blog presents a few highlights of the Freestyle Finals, which Polish rider won against Brazilian Bruna Kajiya.

It also pictures some of the action of the Men’s Final, with Carlos Mario taking the victory against Youri Zoon.

Watch and enjoy this new episode shot during the World Kite League Finals in El Gouna.

Riders: Karolina Winkowska, Annabel van Westerop, Paula Novotna, Bruna Kajiya, Youri Zoon, Carlos Mario.


An early call was made for the rider’s meeting at 9:30am, as the forecast was looking optimistic for the day ahead, and there was a challenge to be able to complete both the freestyle and the big air competitions in only a few hours. As the riders set up their gear, the wind started teasing by continually dropping off and then picking up again.

By 12pm, the winds appeared to be consistent enough to run the first heat with Paul Serin (FR/Naish) vs Carlos Mario (BR/Slingshot). The guys were on 14 metre kites, and the wind was blowing an estimated 16 knots. Carlos Mario started strong with a powerful Back Mobe. Serin managed to get a strong start also by throwing down a nice KGB and Back Mobe. Mario did an impressive Heart Attack 5 in the last second which gave him the win and passed him through to the semi finals. As the heat drew to a close, Mario went to high 5 his friend Serin, a demonstration of the good vibes and positive attitude that these guys maintain both on and off the water.


Heat number 28 got underway with the conditions improving considerably. Aaron Hadlow (GB/North) opened well with a fierce Front Blind Mobe and Back Mobe 5. David Tonijuan did not fail to impress either, putting together the same moves as Aaron, but with more height and power. Unfortunately, Aaron struggled to land his backside 315, crashed his kite and tangled his lines. Tonijuan seized the opportunity and was on fire during his heat, enabling him to defeat the British rider and pass through to the Semi-Finals.

Men’s heat 29 was an action packed 8 minutes with 1x World Champion Alex Pastor (ES/Airush) up against Current World Champion Christophe Tack (BE/Liquid Force). Pastor entered the water showing great confidence with his riding, landing a Front Blind Mobe and Back Mobe 5 and an impressive Double Heart Attack in the first few minutes. Tack was not willing to be defeated, and retalliated with a nice Fronside 7 and Backside 315, to eventually take the win and head straight for the finals.

Joining him in the final was the 17 year old Carlos Mario (BR/Slingshot), who landed an incredible S-Mobe 7 being the highest scoring trick of the competition, and defeated Spanish rider David Tonijuan (ES/Cabrinha), who did amongst other tricks an impressive Backside 315 but it wasn’t quite enough to beat the Brazilian Mario.

For the girls, Annabel Van Westerop (AUA/Cabrinha) went head to head against Gisela Pulido (ES/Best) Riding her 9m kite, Annabel opened up landing a very clean S-Bend to Blind. Gisela changed her kite and opted for 11m, landing a powered Back to Blind, S-Mobe and a Blind Judge. Both riders showed incredible aptitude and determination, but eventually it was Pulido who advanced.

To see who else would gain a place in the final, it was time for Brazilian Bruna Kajiya (BR/Airush) to face Paula Novotna (CZ/North). Both riders have been competing well at recent events, but it was the more experienced Kajiya who pulled of an impressive Back to Blind and 313, and passed through to face Gisela Pulido in the final.


For the Women’s final, an impressive heat was run between 9x World Champion Gisela Pulido and 1x World Champion Bruna Kajiya. The heated battle commenced with an outstanding Heart Attack and Slim 5 from Gisela, which was matched with an S-bend to Blind and S-Mobe from Bruna. Eventually it was the Brazilian rider’s perseverence and consistancy that gave her the win. Bruna was thrilled with her first event win of the year. Gisela took 2nd place, with Annabel Van Westerop in 3rd and Paula Novotna in 4th. All the girls put on an amazing show today, and gave their best performance in front of the Sotavento crowds.

Bruna Kajiya – “I’m so happy, it’s incredible! Im happy that I did a really good heat and Gisela also. This is important because it made it more exciting for both of us. I just went for it, I risked a lot. I went for big tricks, and in the end it was worth it, and im extremely happy. ”

There were several attempts to run the Men’s Final and mini final, but the wind was just not playing ball, so by 5pm the event was over, placing Christophe Tack and Carlos Mario in joint 1st place, and Alex Pastor with David Tonijuan in joint 3rd place.
It was unfortunately not possible to finish the Big Air elimination due to the light wind conditions.

Christophe Tack – “I was lucky to have some great wind for 12 metres, and had a good heat against Alex. I was stoked to be able to find some kicker tricks, I pulled a heelside frontside 720 and toeside backside 540. In the final I started well against Bebe with a backside 317 and managed a KGB 5 and heelside frontside 720, but unfortunately the wind dropped and the heat got cancelled. Bebe was ripping so I’m stoked to share first place with him!”

It’s been an outstanding week of action here on Fuerteventura, with wind conditions being more varied than previous years. As always, the beaches have filled with spectators and supporters who came to cheer on the World’s elite kiteboarders. Thanks to all who came, riders, spectators and organizers, for a wonderful effort and succesful event. Next up is the VKWC in St Peter Ording, which will be commencing on 21st of August… see you all there!



Highlight video of the Freestyle Finals between Karolina Winkowska and Gisela Pulido.

Wrap up video of the Freestyle final rounds in Tarifa, during the VKWC 2015.

A thrilling day at the Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) third stop in Tarifa saw impressive battles that enthralled the crowds. With gusts up to 40 knots, the best riders rode hard to make their way to the finals.

In the female competition, reigning world champion Karolina Winkowska (PL) claimed the victory for the third time this season. As for males, Carlos Mario (BR) dominated the day and took his second event win ever after Argentina 2013.

Mario made his way to the final…
The day started with an unstoppable Carlos Mario facing current world champion Christophe Tack (BE). The wind seriously picked up during the heat, preventing riders even to unhook. But Mario still managed to pull off great tricks such as a Back Side 317, a 317, a double Hinterberger Mobe 5 as well as a double Heart Attack. He put on a display of incredible level and advanced against Tack to the semifinals where he met five-time world champion Aaron Hadlow (GB).
The 17 years-old Brazilian kept the momentum going and performed again against the British rider, nailing several double handle passes with a blistering facility. Aaron Hadlow still landed clean moves such as a Back Side 315 but struggled to land his S-Mobe 7 and crashed several times.


…So did Jacobs
Kiwi Marc Jacobs (NZ) had a difficult first heat confronting Youri Zoon (NL), his best buddy on the Tour. This battle saw an impressive close heat where both riders took their time to adapt to the strong wind. Jacobs found himself really overpowered but answered back to each great move two-time world champion Zoon landed. It finally came to the Kiwi competitor by 1.5 point, allowing him to meet Liam Whaley (ES) in the semifinals. Current number one Whaley did not start the heat very well as he had a problem with his kite and had to change it. He still tried to put pressure on Marc Jacobs who stayed focused and powerful in every trick he landed. The scores were extremely close again but Jacobs advanced in the final.

The battle for victory
The winners final opposed Carlos Mario with Marc Jacobs in front of a large audience avid for action. Both started with the same perfect Front Blind Mobes, setting the tone and announcing that it was going to be a stiff competition. Mario crashed and had to go out on a 9 meter kite instead of a 7m. He came back to the water and immediately landed an incredible double Heart Attack, putting the spectators on fire. Powerhouse Marc Jacobs rode very well but could not match the trick list of “Bêbe” (Carlos Mario) composed with almost perfect Back Side 317, 317 and a Heart Attack 5. The Brazilian stayed consistent during the whole event, delivering smartly constructed heats with incredible ease.

Carlos Mario: “The level was really high but thanks to God I managed to pull off the tricks I wanted. I went on my 7m but the wind started to die and I quickly switched to my 9m which was perfect. The conditions were very strong and gusty here. In Brazil I was training with my 14m and 12m and when I got here and had to use my 7 and 6m it was very difficult but luckily I could do all the tricks I wanted. I am so happy but I don’t have words to describe what I feel right now”.

Marc Jacobs: “I’m super stocked to be second, I mean I wasn’t expecting it to be honest but strong winds always kind of help me. The conditions were pretty hard, my smallest kite was a 8m and most guys were on 7m or 6m and I’m stocked I made it work. I’m super happy for Bêbe because he is riding super insane and he deserved a win, he has just been a little unlucky on the first two events so it’s good to see he got it on this one. Balneario is sick, you can’t get any better spot here in Tarifa, the level was twice as better here than it would have been on the other spot”.


Liam Whaley: “In the semifinal against Marc Jacobs my kite blew up in the air because my one pump system wasn’t connected properly so my kite completely deflated. My friend came really fast with a 5.5m but the lines were not adjusted properly and I did a perfect BS317 but my kite didn’t react properly and couldn’t ride completely out of the trick so it was considered as a crash. Then I think I did alright in the mini final so I’m happy I got the third place. My knee is a bit unstable but I didn’t have any pain in it. I’m going to get an MRI now to check what’s up and hopefully I can compete in the next event but if not I’ll use it as a discard, we’ll see”.

The mini final
Liam Whaley was up against Aaron Hadlow in the race for the third spot on the podium. Hadlow crashed his kite just before the heat and Liam helped him relaunching it. A great gesture of fair play that delighted the audience. Both competitors rode very well, landing a Tootsie Roll and the biggest Crow Mobe 5 of the event for Hadlow, and a double Heart Attack and a Back Side 317 for Whaley. Aaron Hadlow delivered his most powered heat of the competition but Liam Whaley made the difference and ranked third for the first time of the season.


Winkowska made her way to the final…
It took time to Polish world champion to enter her heat in the semifinals against Paula Novotna (CZ). As for the Czech rider, she broke her leash and lost her kite. Both struggled with the strong winds and had a close heat but Winkowska managed to nail a powerful S-Bend to Blind that gave her the win.

…So did Pulido
Gisela Pulido (ES) was opposed with Bruna Kajiya (BR) in the semifinals. Both riders did a great job in the tough conditions, executing Blind Judges, 313, Front to Blinds and S-Bend to Blinds. Bruna Kajiya fell behind by crashing too many tricks at the end of the seven minutes. As for nine-time Spanish world champion, she landed five high scoring tricks and advanced to the winners final.

The clash of the titans
Crowds were cheering for local champion Gisela Pulido as soon as she took to the water. Unfortunately, she suffered a host of crashes that prevented her from competing properly, even if she still landed a great S-Mobe and a S-Bend to Blind. In the meantime, Karolina kept on adding points to her score putting on a display of consistency and great variety of tricks. Her well-executed and powerful Back to Blind, Front to Blind and Slim 5 allowed her to claim her third victory of the season.

The mini final
Bruna Kajiya and Paula Novotna first heat had to be re-run after both riders tangled their kites and one of Kajiya lines broke. The Brazilian rider then went for a “go-for-broke” approach while Paula crashed too many times to rival.

Karolina Winkowska: “I feel awesome, I had a really good final heat. I had so many Polish people screaming Karolina, Karolina go for it!!! I had fans and being here surrounded by the crowd cheering was so nice. This is the hardest place for me because it’s Gisela’s hometown, it’s like the place she trains the most, but in the end it’s only about tricks. I did a very big Front to Blind I was really happy about, it felt the best. I think it was actually my best heat“.


Gisela Pulido: “In the semifinal against Bruna I was happy about my gear, I was riding my 6m on short lines but in the final the wind kind of dropped and I didn’t have another 6m with longer lines which would have made a big difference. I didn’t have enough power and I was struggling so I’m not very happy. I like it here because people can watch from the beach and I was happy to have some much people supporting me. It posted about the event on Facebook and some guys came to me saying “Hey I came just because I wanted to see you” and that makes me feel very happy because people are motivated about the sport”.

Bruna Kajiya: “I was stressed because we had to re-run the heat after we tangled our kites and my best bar broke. I was having a really good heat, I did four tricks I felt good about, one of them being a S-Mobe that I was like BOOM really good, and then I got tangled in the buoy. But in the end I won and I’m happy about that, it’s been a day full of emotions. We always aim for something bigger but I mean it’s competition and they all ride so well so I’m happy about my third place“.



Final day of Freestyle competition during the VKWC 2015 in Venezuela.
Take a look.

Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) second stop saw a thrilling day of kiteboarding with freestyle male and female finals. Under a blazing sun and with constant wind blowing 18 knots reigning world champion Karolina Winkowska (PL) as well as current number one Liam Whaley (ES) claimed their respective second victories on the trot.

The firsts to take to the water today were long time contenders Youri Zoon (NL) and Alex Pastor (ES). Both riders know each other very well and knew they had to give it all to advance into the next round. Pastor started his heat with commitment but soon showed some difficulties with several wipeouts – certainly because of stress. Youri Zoon slowly built up his heat finishing with several extremely powered double handle passes such as a Slim 7, Backside 317, and a KGB 5 sending him to the semi-final.

Male mini final
Aaron Hadlow (GB) vs. David Tonijuan Colomer (ES)

After losing against Youri Zoon despite landing his first ever Back Side 317, David Tonijuan Colomer tried his best to beat five-time world champion Aaron Hadlow (GB), doing his utmost to keep momentum and show what he is made of. But the experienced Aaron Hadlow delivered several consistent tricks stopping the Spanish newcomer and securing his spot on the podium.

Male winners final
Liam Whaley (ES) vs. Youri Zoon (NL)

In the men’s final we saw Liam Whaley (ES) opposed with Youri Zoon (NL) in a healthy competition. It was announced as the clash of the titans and it actually was. Both current frontrunners delivered a host of amazing double handle passes pushing the boundaries. Liam came out strong with a “go-for-broke” approach pulling off a massive Front Blind Mobe as soon as the buzzer sounded, followed by his signature grabbed Back Mobe 5. Pressure was at its height as Youri suffered several crashes before he actually started landing his first moves. He soon narrowed the gap between them by performing a seldom seen 319 scoring as high as 9,45/10. Current number one finally managed to snatch the win over Youri in an extremely close heat (40.23 vs. 40.08) achieving his second victory of the season.

Liam Whaley: “I’m so happy with this result. I’ve been riding in quarterfinals and semi-finals having really good heats. With Youri we both had a pretty insane one. Apparently it was really close so I’m just stocked to win two events in a row. It’s definitely the best year of my life and I hope I can keep on winning.

Youri Zoon: “I got second at this event which is not too bad. I always want to win but the guys are all riding super well and I didn’t come super prepared to be honest. But during the event I was building up and started to land my tricks again. In the last heat I didn’t ride super good, I waited a couple of times two long in order not to cause an interference. If I look back to the heat I could have gone but I just didn’t want to risk it. Our scores are so close! But it’s alright, I’m happy with it.”


Female mini final
Gisela Pulido (ES) vs. Annelous Lammerts (NL)

A stiff competition saw Gisela Pulido putting pressure on Annelous Lammerts by landing solid moves right after the horn. Nine-time world champion showed no mercy as she had to grab points after losing in an epic semi-final against her biggest opponent Karolina Winkowska on Wednesday. But Annelous did not get flustered and answered back with some consistent tricks as well. That said, the Spanish champion won with a commanding lead over Annelous sealing the deal by pulling off more powered tricks.

Female winners final
Karolina Winkowska (PL) vs. Bruna Kajiya (BR)

2009 world champion Bruna Kajiya was on form during this second leg of VKWC and mastered most of her heats until the final against the fierce competitor Karolina Winkowska. Both riders kicked off the heat pretty well but soon Karolina set the tone delivering several strong moves, showcasing her strength and commitment. Bruna fought hard performing powerful manoeuvres but lacked consistency and could not match Karolina’s well-constructed heat. Winkowska is clearly hunting for the world title and dominated the competition.

Karolina Winkowska: “It’s awesome! It always feels awesome to win. It is what I work for and what I compete for. It’s the best thing ever. Bruna is one of my biggest opponents so I knew I had to go big and try really hard tricks because she’s a really tough competitor. I didn’t see what she was doing because I’m always so concentrated on my stuff but I was hoping for the best. I was so happy when they announced the results!

Bruna Kajiya: “The spot here is really perfect and I had an interesting heat with Karolina. I think we were both overpowered and I was trying to go as big as possible with nothing else on my mind. I crashed quite a lot but I’m happy for giving it a try and I’m really happy with some of the tricks I landed. So yeah, stocked!

Tomorrow – last day of the event – will host the big air competition. Competitors meeting will be at 10:30 a.m. (GMT -4:30) with a first possible start at 11 a.m.



Pictures credit: Rodrigo Ungaro and Juan Santiago Monteverde

Highlights from the Freestyle Finals and Big Air event on the last day of competition in Dakhla, Morocco.