Trials for the first day of action in FuerteventuraAug-02-2011
Welcome to Fuerteventura for the first day of action on the PKRA Kiteboarding World Tour.
We started with trials today since the competition only has 24 spaces for men and 32 men and 9 women registered. The top 8 men automatically qualified, all the rest had to go into qualifiers where only 16 men could advance into the main event which starts tomorrow.
The riders had the opportunity to loose twice to get through to tomorrow, with the rider coming first out of each heat advancing to the next stage.
We started off with Swedish rider Mike Blomvall (SWE, Nobile) who is here to support his female team mate Joanna Litwin (POL, Nobile) currently ranked 4th , she showed an incredible potential during the last few events.
As the conditions seemed to be lighter than expected Mike (without considering the reputation of the spot) started going in the water with a 9 meter kite. The wind picked up very quickly reaching 25 to 35 knots in the gusts and he came back to rig his 7 meter to easily win his heat against newcomers Blanc (ESP, Ozone) and Hurtado (ESP, Slingshot).
As the day went by conditions became strong as usual and most riders were overpowered. Polish rider Karolina Winkowska watching from the beach said that she thought something was wrong as she knows the rider’s level and most of them were now crashing their tricks, “impressive crashes”, she added…
Blomvall (SWE, Nobile), Tack (BEL, Liquid Force), Hutter (FRA, F-ONE), Schitzhofer (AUT, Best), Corniel (DOM, Ozone), Morales (ESP, Slingshot), Paris (FRA, North) and Daubos (FRA, Naish) entered the main event winning their first heat in the qualifiers.
Alex Soto (DOM, F-ONE) had a few equipment problems with a broken kite on his first heat and his harness at the last minute of his second heat, but he made it to the main event.
Race Director Olaf Van Tol gave us his side of the day as he was very impressed with how well it went: “It was as good as it gets, with a nice North West wind, 20 to 28 knots which is side shore. This makes the spot less choppy and the wind less gusty, nice conditions for Sotavento. I saw an amazing level of competition in front of this crowd, they could watch the action closely as the high tide leaves a small part of the beach for the crowd to enjoy the action at the end of the day”
After a day of judging, Antoine Jaubert recalled a few impressive tricks of the day, including a very powerful Blind Judge from Florian Daubos (FRA, Naish) who beat German champion and one of the best riders on tour Mario Rodwald (GER, North). Mario then made it through his next heat against Schuette (GER, Core).
The three youngest riders in the competition made it through to the main event, Whaley (ESP, Airush), only 14 years old, Blanc (ESP, Ozone), 15 years old and Garashchenko 16, (RUS, Cabrinha) who happily made it through beating French rider Victor Hays (FRA, Cabrinha) on the last heat of the day.
We ended on the draw of the single eliminations, the first possible start tomorrow is set for 11.30am. The same wind conditions are predicted and we’re looking forward to a good day of action here in Sotavento.
The Fuerteventura Grand Slam is sponsored by the Canary Islands, the Island of Fuerteventura, Playas de Jandia, René Egli center, The Hotel Melia Gorriones, Cabrinha, NeilPryde, Surf Magazine and Fuerte Action.