Posts Tagged ‘kitesurf competition’

Watch a short highlight video of the first day of competition at Ponta Preta!

Filmed by Mintautas Grigas

Check here the report from the first day of competition in Cape Verde.

MONDAY MADNESS: PONTA PRETA PACKS A PUNCH ON DAY ONE!

Words: Matt Pearce / Photos: Ydwer van der Heide

52 competitors, 39 men and 13 women, registered for the GKA Kite-Surf Cabo Verde yesterday in front of the legendary wave at Ponta Preta. They couldn’t have asked for a better opening day to the season.

Ponta Preta had been firing almost non-stop throughout February and the run of epic conditions has carried over into this week with clean sets building up to double overhead and beyond.

Presented with sizeable sets at yesterday morning’s registration, the riders were amped and day one would see them progress deep into round three in the men’s single eliminations.

Head to the event’s live page here for all updates and heat ladders!

From the hometown heroes like Mitu, Airton and Matchu to local up-and-comers like Titik Lopes and Riccado Bettencourt, their ability to launch vertical assaults on the lip and navigate the changing faces of Ponta Preta set them apart. The fact that they could do that in largely offshore winds is even crazier, but that’s what happens when you grow up with a wave like this literally in your backyard.

Here’s who set the Kite-Surf World Cup Cabo Verde alight on day one!

AIRTON
Defending tour champion Airton put his marker down early with a stunning display in his opening heat. He managed three cover-ups, including one of the best barrels of the day on his first wave, and he was one of the few riders injecting aerial flair into his riding with airs off the lip and a 180 ollie on the wave face on the way out of the barrel. He took one of the highest scores of the day for that one with a 9.27!

MITU
Mitu spearheaded kitesurfing at Ponta Preta back in the early 2000s and watching him ride here is a masterclass in wave riding. On day one he combined seamless flow and precision with fluid power and in his second heat he was tearing up huge faces top-to-bottom like it was nothing. The fact that he was doing so on an eight metre when the wind dropped to just 12 knots at one point is testament to why they call him ‘the maestro’. He took the second highest score of 9.5 for his final wave of the day and he’s looking good for the crucial rounds coming up in this competition.

PAULINO PEREIRA
Paulino’s not a local, but he might as well be according to his friend Matchu. He regularly flies in to Sal on a good forecast and has a wealth of experience that saw him rack up a perfect 10 here last year. He followed up on that yesterday with the highest single wave score of the day – a 9.7! If he can match his hard-charging flair with the consistency required to do well in a final then he’s going to be a serious threat as the comp progresses.

MATCHU LOPES
Matchu was arguably the best backhand rider out there on day one and to manage backside hacks with so much verticality in almost dead offshore wind is, frankly, mind-bending. Combine that with expertly stalled cover-ups and an intrinsic understanding of the wave and he’s looking like a real contender here in Cabo Verde

TITIK LOPES
Another local rider making an impact was Titik Lopes. He’d made it his mission to give the visiting riders something to think about with powerful, committed turns right in the pocket on some of the day’s biggest sets.

He looked like he might go all the way, but was eventually halted by Reece Myerscough who has massively upped his wave riding over the winter. It went right down to the wire though, and had Reece not caught his best wave of the heat in the dying seconds then Titik would have taken the win!

By 18:30, as sunset neared, the wind was starting to falter and so the decision was made to halt proceedings with just three heats left to run in round three. After seven hours of non-stop competition, the crowd had had their money’s worth!

Today the action resumes as the remaining riders in men’s round three battle for a place in the single elimination semis. From there, the women will take the stage for round one and, with stellar conditions on the forecast, it should be special!

Source: gkakiteworldtour.com

The World Kiteboarding Championships (WKC) and the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) are now one new unified World Tour. From 2019 onwards, the GKA will represent the professional freestyle kiteboarding and professional wave-kitesurfing.

Read here the GKA press release:

NEW UNITY IN INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL KITESPORTS – FUTURE OF FREESTYLE COMPETITIONS SECURED UNDER GKA LEADERSHIP

The world of professional freestyle kiteboarding competition has seen many changes in the past years, lending to uncertainty within the community as well as an unfavorable perception from the outside.

From 2019 onwards, professional freestyle kiteboarding will be officially represented by the Global Kitesports Association (GKA), with the aim of helping this immensely popular discipline regain the trust of community and public alike.

After years of separation between professional freestyle kiteboarding and professional wave-kitesurfing, both disciplines are now united in one organisation: the GKA.

The GKA is the only organisation authorised by World Sailing to officially hold competitions in all expression disciplines in international kitesports.

The new, united format of world championships is called the GKA KITE WORLD TOUR, with distinct event names according to the discipline executed at an event: GKA FREESTYLE WORLD CUP and GKA KITE-SURF WORLD CUP (wave & strapless freestyle). The former tour (WKC in 2018) and event names will no longer be used.

Under the leadership of the Global Kitesports Association, the future of competitive kitesports is finally secured and freestyle kiteboarding and wave-kitesurfing are represented within the GKA equally and with full respect to their respective unique character.

Youri Zoon, Chairman of the Kite Riders United (KRU):

After several years of uncertainty, last year the WKC managed to create a solid platform in terms of freestyle competition standards, with a very effective competition format and with an incredible live stream and media distribution that included live television broadcasting, a first for this sport. In order to unify the future of kiteboarding, the WKC have decided to join forces with the GKA, so that all competition disciplines can now come under one umbrella. We hope this will give more power to the sport, and help create a successful and sustainable tour with the same platform of freestyle that we already know.

“The new tour will also open the door to different formats, such as big air. In my opinion, kiteboarding is not only about one single discipline, but about all disciplines coming together to create a strong image and platform for our much-loved sport.

“After many tough years for freestyle kiteboarding, I am very much looking forward to the coming years, with the help of the GKA and the riders to put our sport up where it deserves to be. Although I will be riding my last competition this year, I still want to ensure the positive development of freestyle. A new era, a new tour and a new generation of kiteboarders. Good luck to all!

Dr. Jörgen Vogt, Secretary General of the Global Kitesports Association (GKA):

This mutually agreed governance structure brings clarity to the kitesports community at large and is the base for a prosperous development of our sport and for the advantage of professional riders in all disciplines. One World Tour with two disciplines (wave and freestyle) under one umbrella now fulfills the assumption for raising the public awareness of this sport and making kitesports even bigger. Professional riders of all performance disciplines will be able to build up their professional sports career on the ground of a reliable, sustainable and financially strong World Tour.

The full 2019 calendar and formats for FREESTYLE and KITE-SURF World Cup events on the GKA KITE WORLD TOUR coming soon.

Source: global-kitesports.org

Airton Cozzolino and Jalou Langueree take the 2018 Kite-Surf World Tour titles.

Sunday 16th December
Report: Matt Pearce
Photos: Ydwer van der Heide
Videos: Mintautas Grigas

After a few days of faltering winds, a fair bit of waiting and consistent but mostly onshore surf, Point Danger delivered cross-off winds and peeling waves for an epic final round in the men’s single eliminations.


Done and dusted / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

On the last day with any reliable wind on the forecast we watched Keahi de Aboitiz beat Sebastian Ribeiro in a world class final to take the KSWT Torquay title (and on his birthday no less).


Ribeiro takes second / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

The women’s single elimination had wrapped up the day before and their results were announced alongside the men’s with Jalou crowned the winner after a testing single elimination round that saw the women competing in some of the toughest conditions of the event at nearby Thirteenth Beach.


Tropical feels at Thirteenth Beach / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Today the riders were back on the point at 08:00 AM for a possible start to the double eliminations but, although there were clear blue skies and some beautifully clean lines rolling over the reef, the wind wasn’t up to strength and there would be no more heats run on the final day of the event.

With no doubles being completed, the results from the single eliminations now count as the official results for this event which makes Keahi and Jalou the first ever KSWT Torquay winners!

WOMEN’S DIVISION

Jalou’s win here also secures her first ever GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Title after a hard fought season in which she’s battled Moona Whyte and Carla Herrera Oria for the top spot since the first event back in February in Cape Verde.


Focus pays off for Carla / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Carla finishes the year in second, a strong result for her given her relative inexperience in the waves before she joined the tour in 2017. With Jalou currently planning a break from competition in 2019 you can bet Carla’s eyeing her chances at a tour title next season!


Charlotte rigging up before her opening single eliminations heat / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Charlotte Carpentier had a challenging time of it at this event crashing out early in the single eliminations after losing to Australian rider Jennie Milton. This has been an impressive debut year for her on the tour though and a series of steadily progressing strapless freestyle performances throughout the season had given her a good base of points before this event began so she retains her third place position overall.


JC – stoked on cookies and stoked on third place in 2018 / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Johanna Catharina Edin will no doubt be overjoyed with her performance this week. She scored third place and although it doesn’t move her any higher in the overall rankings she still finishes the season in fourth and that’s a solid final position at the end of her first year on tour. She’d aimed for a top five finish and she stuck it. Let’s see if she can build on that in 2019!


Moona on the way to first place in Viana do Castelo / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Moona Whyte sadly missed this event and last month’s KSWT Brazil after injuring her back at home in Hawaii but second place earlier this year in Cape Verde and two first place finishes in Portugal and Viana do Castelo had seen her already amass enough points to round out the season in fifth place.

MEN’S DIVISION

In the men’s division there’s no change at the top and Airton, who started this event with an unsurpassable lead, still finishes the season in first place with his second KSWT World Title in the bag!


Job done! / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

It’s been a huge year on tour for him during which he’s proven himself close to unbeatable in the strapless freestyle stakes while also showing that he’s able to win convincingly in the waves after his victory at the opening tour stop at Ponta Preta in Cape Verde.


Airton on the attack / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

He started this season hoping for a clean sweep at the title and it hasn’t quite worked out that way but with five wins from seven events he’s not had a bad run at it!

This isn’t the first time Keahi has pulled the rug out from under Airton at a final event though and his victory here means he now takes second place overall ahead of Matchu. In 2016 he beat Airton in the final event in Dakhla and last year he won the final event in Mauritius to deny Airton a clean finish on the way to his first ever KSWT title.


Matchu meets Mitu in the mini-final / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

So Matchu now finishes 2018 in third overall while Mitu Monteiro retains fourth. After yesterday’s final, Mitu admitted that he’d been eyeing a top three finish for this season and a win at this event would have secured that for him but it was not to be.

You can bet he’ll be coming back even harder next year though and we all know he’s still got the ability to take event wins so let’s see what he brings to the table when the tour kicks off in Cape Verde in February 2019!


Eyes on 2019 / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Mitu’s F-One teammate Camille Delannoy came into this event fresh off the back of the KSWT Brazil where he had his best performance in the last two years taking second place against Airton. Here in Torquay he made it to the semi-finals earning himself enough points to finish the season in fifth overall.


Camille on day one at the KSWT Torquay / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Camille’s been pushing hard to make it into the top five this season so he’ll be happy with his final standing and, at just 19 years-old, he has a bright future if he can keep building on his 2018 successes.

KSWT TORQUAY RESULTS

MEN

1: Keahi de Aboitiz – AUS
2: Sebastian Ribeiro – BRA
3: Matchu Lopes – CV / ESP

WOMEN

1: Jalou Langeree – NL
2: Carla Herrera Oria – ESP
3: Johanna Catharina Edin – SE

TOP ROOKIES

Men: Beau Pilgrim – AUS
Women: Jennie Milton – AUS

2018 GKA KITE-SURF WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

MEN’S TOP FIVE

1: Airton Cozzolino – CV / ITA
2: Keahi de Aboitiz – AUS
3: Matchu Lopes – CV / ESP
4: Mitu Monteiro – CV
5: Camille Delannoy – FRA

WOMEN’S TOP FIVE

1: Jalou Langeree – NL
2: Carla Herrera Oria – ESP
3: Charlotte Carpentier – FRA
4: Johanna Catharina Edin – SE
5: Moona Whyte – USA

Source: global-kitesports.org

Keahi de Aboitiz and Jalou Langeree win the Single Eliminations.

Check the report below.

Saturday 15th December
Photos: Ydwer van der Heide
Report: Matt Pearce
Videos: Mintautas Grigas


Matchu prepares / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

It was another early start this morning as the men rigged up in the dark preparing for a 06:00 AM kick off at Point Danger. The wind was more side shore than yesterday with a slightly improved swell angle as well which made for some decent conditions and the day’s first heat – heat 10b featuring Matchu Lopes and Jarrod Snow – was on the water shortly after sunrise.


Matchu icking off day four and the single eliminations / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Matchu took the heat convincingly with a super clean no-handed wave 360 and fellow Cape Verdean wave seeking savant Mitu Monteiro then came up with a masterful backhand performance to win the following heat against Paulo Aurelio.

Next up wave riding heavyweights Sebastian Ribeiro and local legend James Carew went at it for a place in the quarter finals. James is one of the tour’s standout up-and-comers but Sebastian used to compete on the QS pro surfing tour and his ability in the waves is next level.

He was deftly looping his kite for power and keeping his centre of gravity low, catching the best sections from the start with powered lip hacks and floaty backside tail slides time after time.


Sebastian drives the tail / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Carew answered back with his muscular, powered riding style and a barrage of toeside aerials and then finished up by linking a couple of airs on a solid runner out the back as the final minutes ticked down but Sebastian had done the business and he was through to the semis.


James Carew burying the rail / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

What followed was the best heat of the event up to that point. Aussie ripper Beau Pilgrim, who spends much of his time kiting at the famous Namotu Island in Fiji, took on Airton Cozzolino in the final heat of round three and he opened with a blinding backside top turn on his first wave. Disaster then struck for Beau as his kite ejected onto the safety line and it lost him valuable time that Airton was able to capitalise on.

Airton struck hard on his front hand with the most powerful top turn of the event so far, obliterating the lip and exploding into the heat after a slow start.


Airton lines one up for the spectators / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

He followed up with a stylish air reverse as Beau continued to flounder relaunching his kite but the Australian was quite soon back in the game and on his next ride he managed five turns before the wave ground out on the inside section of the reef.

At this point, it was starting to look very close indeed but Airton’s sheer technical skill is undeniable and a stomped aerial off the lip followed by a smooth wave reverse was enough to give him the edge over Beau as the buzzer sounded. It was close though, with Airton scoring 13.17 and Beau notching up 11.89 making this one of the tightest and highest scoring heats of the event.


On to the quarter finals / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

In the quarter-finals the intensity went up a level. Keahi dispatched Jan Marcos Riveras with a barrage of air reverses and effortless tail slides and then Matchu overcame Pedro Matos to book his place in the semis.

Sebastian Ribeiro then struck a massive blow by beating Airton Cozzolino to secure a route to a semi-final heat against Mitu Monteiro with Keahi preparing to face Matchu. Airton had allowed himself to get sucked in to going for a higher wave count but he was taking the smaller sets inside the reef while Sebastian was going for fewer waves but the ones he did take were bigger and he was able to make more out of them. It was a case of quality over quantity and it paid off for Sebastian.


Tour leader Airton exits the KSWT Torquay / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Keahi won the first semis heat with a shuvit into a wave 360, the most technical move so far at the KSWT Torquay, and he was through to the super-final.

Who would take him on though? Mitu or Sebastian? Either rider would have been a worthy contestant and Keahi’s met them both in finals in the past but Sebastian’s near faultless, pure surf style was working well for him. It wasn’t easy to pick waves today with sets cropping up seemingly at random but Sebastian had tuned into the conditions and he had the pick of the sets. Advantage Ribeiro – it was onto the finals. Or so we hoped.


Mitu prepares for the semis / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

The wind threw yet another curveball at this point and dropped right off and for several hours Point Danger was shrouded in fog with the wind barely pushing past ten knots.


The waiting game continues as the cloud lifts / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Then, at 16:00, a sea breeze began to blow in from the north, the sun came out and things started to look promising. The wind was now blowing cross-off from the left and the waves were transformed from snarling onshore lumps to clean, moulded peelers. It was an entirely different playing field to what the riders had started on this morning and Keahi tentatively tacked out to the reef and was soon joined by Matchu and Sebastian and then finally Mitu. The finalists were ready and the heat sequence began.


Keahi on the attack / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

The super-final was up first and Keahi opened on a double-up on the left hand corner of the reef. Riding on his backhand, he was throwing the cleanest, most stylish backside top turns of the comp driving huge fans of spray with every hit. Sebastian was also riding on his backside and, like Keahi, was showing an excellent tactical understanding of the waves. Every time before he committed to a wave you could see him eyeing down the line to see how it might unfold but he seemed to focus more on smaller sets on the inside while Keahi stayed out the back picking off bombs.


Sebastian Ribeiro in the single eliminations / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Both Keahi and Sebastian are at the top of their game when it comes to waves, but Keahi had the measure of Sebastian today and even managed to stall his way into the first barrel of the event before the buzzer went.

Next up came the mini-final with Matchu taking on Mitu for third place. These guys have logged so many hours in the water together over the years both freeriding and in competition and they know each other’s riding inside out. This was the tighter of the two heats and Mitu brought a really creative edge to his riding, constantly alternating between backside and switch frontside and showing just how comfortable he is with both. At one point, he switched from backside to frontside in between turns on one wave and he was living up to his nickname – the Maestro!


Mitu Monteiro in the mini-final / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Matchu wasn’t backing off though. He knew that he’d potentially lost his second place ranking to Keahi by failing to make the final and maybe that lessened the pressure for him and allowed him to relax into the heat more fully. He wanted to win, but it looked like he was having fun with it and he even managed a little cover up on one of his bigger waves. But was it enough? As the sun began to set over Point Danger we had our answer.


Birthday boy takes the win / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Matchu had made up for losing his second place ranking (for now – he may yet find redemption in the doubles) by taking third in the mini-final over Mitu while Keahi had won the super-final ahead of Sebastian – and on his birthday too!

At this point the women’s results from yesterday’s single eliminations were also announced in front of the crowd at Point Danger. Jalou had done the job ahead of Carla Herrera Oria in second while Johanna Catharina Edin had taken third with Jennie Milton in fourth.

SINGLE ELIMINATION RESULTS

WOMEN

1: Jalou Langeree – NL
2: Carla Herrera Oria – ESP
3: Johanna Catharina Edin – SE
4: Jennie Milton – AUS

MEN

1: Keahi de Aboitiz – AUS
2: Sebatian Ribeiro – BRA
3: Matchu Lopes – CV / ESP
4: Mitu Monteiro – CV

So these are the results so far but the action’s not necessarily over yet. Tomorrow the riders will be back at Point Danger for 08:00 AM as they ready themselves for the double eliminations if conditions allow. As it stands, Keahi and Jalou have the lead but that could all change if their potential pursuers have their way!

Source: global-kitesports.org

The single eliminations roll on at KSWT Torquay – Day Three

Check GKA report below.

Friday 14th December
Photos: Ydwer van der Heide
Report: Matt Pearce
Videos: Mintautas Grigas

THE WOMEN’S DIVISION REACH THE FINAL AND THE MEN TEAR INTO ROUND TWO


Early doors at Point Danger / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

It was an early start today at Point Danger with the riders on the spot and rigging up at 05:30 ready to pitch back into the women’s division single eliminations.

The first heats were rolling by 07:00 and Carla Herrera kicked things off beating Anna Williams as she began her push for a shot at the top of the podium (remember, this is a winner takes-all-event between Carla and Jalou Langeree – who finishes on top wins the Championship!)


Carla carves / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Next up, tour number four Johanna Catharina Edin from Sweden narrowly edged past Duotone teammate Lyde Heckroodt from South Africa in a tight heat. Both riders had to work hard to find point scoring sections but they made it work with well executed cut backs, milking the waves for all they were worth. It was hard to tell which one of them was going to take it but JC had the upper hand and made it through to the next round.


JC on the inside at Point Danger


Lyde Heckroodt responds

As Jalou Langeree hit the water for her first heat against Jen Milton the conditions began to shift and there were some solid bombs building further outside the reef. It was mushy, with the peak constantly moving, but Jalou knows all about conditions like these as she regularly kites in similar at her North Sea home spot of Noordwijk in the Netherlands.


Jalou makes her entrance / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

She sought out the better waves on offer, regularly managing three to four turns per wave with some stretched out cutbacks and gauging assaults on the face as well.

She went through to the semis where she would take on, and beat, Johanna securing her route to the final against none other than the only threat to her 2018 World Title bid – Carla Herrera Oria.


Jalou finding diamonds in the rough / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

When when the horn sounded for the start of the final, Jalou struck first with well linked turns and her wave selection was fully on point. The conditions were fluctuating, with the bigger sets not holding up long enough for more than a hit or two at a time, but Jalou was right there every time right before the waves detonated on the reef.

She was giving Carla a lot of work to do if she was to stand any chance of catching her but Carla wasn’t backing down and she picked off a number of the cleaner waves on the inside, showing how much she’s improved her wave riding game this season to match her rapidly developing strapless freestyle level.


Carla steps up / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Both riders were giving it everything with the tour title on the line but the results haven’t yet been announced so we’ll have to see who came out of that one on top tomorrow!

In the mini-final, Johanna met Jen Milton and they went head to head for third place. The heat started, was postponed due to faltering winds, and then started again and the tension was palpable – particularly for JC who’s followed the tour all season and has been super consistent to retain fourth place overall.


Catha squeezes the swell for all its worth / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

However, when the heat finally got underway JC was firing from the off linking up four turns on her first wave. She kept up the pace and was steadily stacking up the points while Jen found herself way down in the righthand corner of the contest area for much of the heat with fewer waves to work with.

Results for that heat coming up tomorrow!


The men hit the water / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

The wind was now more onshore but holding steady with most riders opting for 11 to 12 metre kites as the swell continued to build. Some heavy sets were cropping up out the back with a few double overhead sets rolling in on the far left of the competition area and Aussie wildcards Jared Snow and Beau Pilgrim made a beeline towards them during their heats to take the wins and progress through to round two.

In round one’s opening heat Jan Marcos Riveras beat fellow Tarifa local Laurens Meyer Kittels with a flowing but powered backhand display before Keahi de Aboitiz took on Roderick Pijls in the best heat of the day. Roderick is a solid contender in the waves and he’s spend much of this year in Indo training but Keahi showed his true class from the start. He stuck a tweaked toeside aerial straight into a toeside air reverse before, on his last wave as the buzzer sounded, he managed to link up a tailslide into a roundhouse and then a super-clean air reverse to finish up. He earned himself an 8.1 for that wave and he was through to round three.


Keahi de Aboitiz air reverses his way to 8.1 points / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Next up, Reece Myerscough went up against Pedro Matos and he showed how much he’s progressed in the surf this year with an arcing backside turn into a fluid toeside aerial back onto the wave’s face. Pedro took the heat though with a beautifully laid back wave 360 and a stylish toeside indy grab before Matchu Lopes hit the water to take on local rider Jarrod Snow.


Pedro Matos sends it off the lip / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Both Matchu and Jarrod were struggling in the now faltering winds, but Jarrod was making it hard for Matchu by sticking on the inside and linking up cutback after cutback to the left of Danger Point. Matchu had to get creative looking for points and they weren’t easy to find as the wind began to drop.


Matchu Lopes in the last heat of day three / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

As conditions deteriorated further the heat was cancelled and the decision was then made to call a halt to men’s round two. So now it’s all about tomorrow with a 05:00 AM start coming up so that the riders’ll be ready to hit it hard at first light.

The plan is to finish off the men’s single eliminations and then if the conditions allow it’ll be onto the double eliminations as we push towards crowning our KSWT Torquay winners and the 2018 KSWT World Champions!

Source: global-kitesports.org

The first heats get underway at Thirteenth Beach.

Read here the report.

Wednesday 12th December
Photos: Ydwer van der Heide
Report: Matt Pearce
Videos: Mintautas Grigas

KSWT Race Director Juan Antonio Aragon was out scouring the coastline early this morning checking out the potential of some nearby beaches after today’s forecasts had suggested better conditions might be found at one of the many kite spots that dot the area around Torquay.

He struck gold at Thirteenth Beach, a popular spot among the local kiters where 20 knot side shore winds and a five foot swell were rolling in so the decision was made to move the comp there right after the morning riders briefing.


Taking cover at Thirteenth Beach / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Competitors and crew jumped into the wagons and headed down there and then the women were up first for round one of the single eliminations. It was a gut check for the riders huddled behind the judges tower hiding from the driving rain coming in from the Southern Ocean but the AP flag went up and the first heats of the KSWT Torquay were on!


Frances hits the water in heat one / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Australian rider Frances Kelly didn’t quite find her feet against fellow Aussie Anna Williams in the first heat and Anna took the win before heat two brought a surprising result for tour number three Charlotte Carpentier from France who was beaten by another Aussie, Jen Milton, who was riding in footstraps.


Jen Milton on the charge / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

It’s very rare to see anyone riding straps at a KSWT event and it hasn’t happened at all in the last two years so it was interesting to see them making an appearance today.

Even though they’ve not been a popular choice among tour riders in the past, there’s nothing in the rulebook that bans their use and competitors are entitled to use them if they want to. While straps are allowed, the judges do take their use into account and if a rider is clearly relying on them just to ride a wave then that will be reflected in potentially lower scores.


Charlotte – cheerfulness in the face of adversity / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

That said, their tactical use paid off for Jen and she was able to hold down a lot more power than Charlotte in the shifting winds and strong side shore rip managing some powerful hacks on the wave during their heat. It was a key example of how choosing your equipment carefully for the day’s conditions can give you an edge in competition.

After heat two, the rain intensified and the wind dropped causing a break in proceedings until the clouds cleared and the wind began to fill in again. Carla Herrera Oria was straight back out on the water warming up and she was getting upwind on steadily on her 12 metre.


Carla rigging up before heat three / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

However, with a pushing tide and dead onshore winds to contend with the competitors and race crew knew it was going to be a struggle for any of the riders to compete without being pushed back on the beach after every wave. A brief spell of stronger wind pushed through long enough to start heat three but when it backed off again the decision was made to call a halt to proceedings for today.


Close but no cigar on day two / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

The focus now shifts to tomorrow with a steady looking southeasterly on the forecast and a 2.5 – 3.5 metre swell coming up. The riders will be on the beach at Point Danger at 05:30 am with a first possible start at 06:00 in a bid to make the most of the conditions!

Source: global-kitesports.org

The first heats get underway at Thirteenth Beach.

Read here the report.

Wednesday 12th December
Photos: Ydwer van der Heide
Report: Matt Pearce
Videos: Mintautas Grigas

KSWT Race Director Juan Antonio Aragon was out scouring the coastline early this morning checking out the potential of some nearby beaches after today’s forecasts had suggested better conditions might be found at one of the many kite spots that dot the area around Torquay.

He struck gold at Thirteenth Beach, a popular spot among the local kiters where 20 knot side shore winds and a five foot swell were rolling in so the decision was made to move the comp there right after the morning riders briefing.


Taking cover at Thirteenth Beach / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Competitors and crew jumped into the wagons and headed down there and then the women were up first for round one of the single eliminations. It was a gut check for the riders huddled behind the judges tower hiding from the driving rain coming in from the Southern Ocean but the AP flag went up and the first heats of the KSWT Torquay were on!


Frances hits the water in heat one / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Australian rider Frances Kelly didn’t quite find her feet against fellow Aussie Anna Williams in the first heat and Anna took the win before heat two brought a surprising result for tour number three Charlotte Carpentier from France who was beaten by another Aussie, Jen Milton, who was riding in footstraps.


Jen Milton on the charge / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

It’s very rare to see anyone riding straps at a KSWT event and it hasn’t happened at all in the last two years so it was interesting to see them making an appearance today.

Even though they’ve not been a popular choice among tour riders in the past, there’s nothing in the rulebook that bans their use and competitors are entitled to use them if they want to. While straps are allowed, the judges do take their use into account and if a rider is clearly relying on them just to ride a wave then that will be reflected in potentially lower scores.


Charlotte – cheerfulness in the face of adversity / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

That said, their tactical use paid off for Jen and she was able to hold down a lot more power than Charlotte in the shifting winds and strong side shore rip managing some powerful hacks on the wave during their heat. It was a key example of how choosing your equipment carefully for the day’s conditions can give you an edge in competition.

After heat two, the rain intensified and the wind dropped causing a break in proceedings until the clouds cleared and the wind began to fill in again. Carla Herrera Oria was straight back out on the water warming up and she was getting upwind on steadily on her 12 metre.


Carla rigging up before heat three / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

However, with a pushing tide and dead onshore winds to contend with the competitors and race crew knew it was going to be a struggle for any of the riders to compete without being pushed back on the beach after every wave. A brief spell of stronger wind pushed through long enough to start heat three but when it backed off again the decision was made to call a halt to proceedings for today.


Close but no cigar on day two / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

The focus now shifts to tomorrow with a steady looking southeasterly on the forecast and a 2.5 – 3.5 metre swell coming up. The riders will be on the beach at Point Danger at 05:30 am with a first possible start at 06:00 in a bid to make the most of the conditions!

Source: global-kitesports.org

Opening Day at Point Danger

Check the report below.

Wednesday 12th December
Photos: Ydwer van der Heide
Report: Matt Pearce
Videos: Mintautas Grigas

This morning saw 27 riders register for the event here at Point Danger with its impressive views of some of the seemingly countless breaks that run along Victoria’s legendary Surf Coast.

Point Danger will set the stage for the final battle of the Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 between a competitive field that includes numerous tour heavyweights and a host of homegrown talent.


Signing on the line / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Besides the regular tour riders, this stop will see a sizeable Australian contingent taking part with ten Aussie riders in the mix including four girls who make up a significant part of the nine-strong women’s division at this event.

Many of the Australian riders earned their spot here at the KSWT Torquay via wildcard entry after placing highly at the Australian National Champs which wrapped up here earlier this week.

Overall, the women count for a third of the competitive field here which is a first at a Kite-Surf World Tour event and it’s great to such a strong turnout in that division.

The conditions


Consistent swell was apparent at times / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Looking ahead, this week’s forecast is changeable but there’s plenty of potential on the horizon. The wind came through late in the afternoon on Wednesday and built up to steady 10-11 metre kite strength, but high tide had covered the reef causing the waves to back off and they weren’t up to competition standard as the first riders hit the water to warm up.


Light wind foil feels this morning


Camille Delannoy warming up


Jan Marcos Riveras punts past the point

As the aim is for this to be a wave-focused event, so in this early stage the decision was made not to run heats rather than revert to strapless freestyle on the first day of competition.

So, with no day one action to analyse, it’s a good time to look at possible routes to the podium for the riders assembled here in Torquay.

Mens’ Division


Airton studies the form / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Airton Cozzolino has the 2018 World Title fully sewn up. He’s absolutely dominated this year’s tour, losing only one event in Portugal to Matchu Lopes, but the lower podium positions are still up for grabs.

Matchu currently holds second but he could yet be unseated by Keahi de Aboitiz if Keahi wins the event here in Torquay. In fact, if Keahi met Matchu in a final and beat him they would finish the tour tied on points BUT Keahi would still take second overall due to having placed higher at the last event in Brazil. It’d be a true nail biter if that one went down!


Matchu’s out to make it happen here in Torquay / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

If Mitu Monteiro wins the event ahead of Keahi then he could push up to third overall, but it would be very hard for him to go any higher and Matchu would only need to make the final to retain second place.

Outside the four podium spots, Camille Delannoy is in fifth place right now after a storming event in Brazil where he beat Airton Cozzolino in the single eliminations before coming second to him in the doubles.

He can make it to fourth overall if he places higher than Mitu at this event though and Jan Marcos Riveras also has a chance of breaking into the top five if he places higher than Camille.


Camille letting loose after his stunning performance last month in Brazil / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Women’s division

It’s a winner-takes-all scenario this week for Carla Herrera Oria and Jalou Langeree. Jalou currently leads so the title’s hers to lose but if Carla beats her in the final she’ll take 2018 overall win.


Jalou Langeree rocking up at morning registration alongside Roderick Pijls and Charlotte Carpentier / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Charlotte Carpentier is looking solid in third but could push up to second if Carla finishes in sixth place or below and Johanna Catharina Edin has an outside shot at moving up from fourth to third as well.

She’d need to win the event outright with Carla finishing in seventh place or lower for that to happen but anything’s possible in competition!


Charlotte Carpentier, Carla Herrera Oria and Johanna Catharina Edin taking in the table / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

There’s also the possibility of local wildcards causing an upset and that could well happen with the current Australian women’s top four all in the mix here at the KSWT Torquay.

They’ve all competed at Point Danger in the last few days so perhaps they’ll be able to bring that experience to bear on the international stage!


Australian women’s number four Frances Kelly from Forster, Tuncurry, at the first riders briefing / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Could Carew crush it at KSWT Torquay?

Speaking of threats from riders outside the top fives, Australian ripper James Carew will be one to watch in the men’s division fresh off the back of his win at the Aussie Nationals over the weekend.

This is one of his home breaks, and it’s safe to say he knows how to make it work having beaten Keahi in the finals right here a couple of days ago.

James has had an incredible season on the 2018 KSWT, including winning the Big Air event at Sotavento, and has been known to cause problems for many a top flight tour rider at previous events so he has every chance at making the final here as well.


Carew ready to drop the hammer on home turf / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

So no competition in the bag today but Thursday’s forecast shows solid wind on the horizon with a building swell. Let’s see what the morning brings!

Here’s the day one wrap-up

Source: global-kitesports.org

The top GKA Kite-Surf World Tour riders will be in Torquay, Australia, competing on the last event of 2018. Stay tuned for all the action from 12 – 16th December!