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Tarifa Strapless Kitesurfing Pro 2016 – The Finals

Left tentatively hanging at the end of day three at the Tarifa Strapless Kitesurfing Pro on Friday, it felt like a long wait until the Levante wind eventually decided to kick in for the start of the semi finals on day four. A complete switch in wind direction from the Poniente of previous days, the morning started out very hot indeed, but that certainly also brought the crowds to Valdevaqueros, eagerly anticipating the mouthwatering performance potential from the four riders who would be vying for the first event win on the 2016 GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle Tour. Eventually a wind line started to approach the shore and within minutes the wind reading on the dial in the judge’s tower hit 20 knots. At 4pm it was game on! SEMI FINAL #01: Matchu Lopez Vs Jan Marcos Riveras Slightly cross-offshore and punching through, the Levante left some lighter wind patches close to shore, however the kickers were holding up much more invitingly and this change in conditions meant we’d get to see how the riders could adapt to the different direction, and their ability to do tricks both ways. Getting straight into the ten minute heat, the action ran hot. …


Tarifa Strapless Kitesurfing Pro 2016 – Day Three

At the halfway stage of the competition open period for the Tarifa Strapless Kitesurfing Pro 2016 we were hopeful of another thermal increase to boost the light Poniente. At 3.30pm that’s exactly what we got. A solid 20 knots was noticeably cooler than the first two days as the wind raced in harder off the Atlantic. First up was the second round of heats, involving those riders who finished second and third in the first round. As the last chance for these riders to stay in the competition, there was a noticeable urgency in the tricks. One of the local favourites, Wet rider July Rebollo, was up first against the powerful D’Jo Silva who was now looking much more comfortable in the stronger winds. July advanced nevertheless, grateful for his hometown support, bowing graciously to the crowds on the beach as he walked back to the launch zone. Sandro Pisu from Italy then despatched Camille Delanny, a French rider who lives in Jericoacoara in Brazil, used to stronger winds. Italian Stefano Gentile was given a free pass to the third round as Luis Brito pulled out with injury. Rafael Morales advanced too, knocking out fellow local wildcard Jhon Palacios. In …


Tarifa Strapless Kitesurfing Pro 2016 – Day Two

To say that anticipation for this event was high would be an understatement. Not only is this the first stop on a brand new GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle Tour, but it’s been a whole year since any of these riders have gone up against each other in competition. For some, of course, this is their first taste of strapless freestyle competition. The light Poniente wind seemed intent on making us wait a little longer still. The first heat of round one was stopped for dropping winds twice before the thermal increased to a steadier 15 knots by 2.30pm and in a switch of order to give the heat one riders a break, heat two become the first full heat to run. Contest director Juan Antonio Aragon still has three contest days in his pocket so, in no rush, he extended the heat times from seven to ten minutes to give riders as much chance to get comfortable in front of the crowds and demonstrate their skills as possible. Evan Netsch from the USA was the first rider to impress, looking effortlessly smooth and accomplished as he laced front rolls on both tacks, shuvits and his best trick, an unhooked …


Tarifa Strapless Kitesurfing Pro 2016 – Day One

The much anticipated Tarifa Strapless Kitesurfing Pro 2016 started at noon on Wednesday 29th June with the first rider’s briefing for 16 riders who were hoping to qualify for the main event that kicks off today. Just 12 riders would make it through the round of trials to join the 8 other pre-qualified riders from last year’s event, and the 4 local wildcards who will be announced later today. Secretary General of the GKA, Joergen Vogt, welcomed the riders to what was the first stop on the new GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle Tour, explaining the vision for the tour which is run by the Global Kitesports Association. The GKA was formed by several of kiteboarding’s biggest and most well known brands. The Association’s membership now includes most kitesurfing brands who have all come together in the hope of, not only being able to push this incredibly dynamic and evolving discipline in kiteboarding, but also to generally help bring higher levels of professionalism and elite competition stability than we’ve seen in recent seasons across all areas of kitesurfing. The GKA Wave & Strapless Tour will see a mix of freestyle and wave events over the next few months, eventually resulting …

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