Comments
johndoe 02 August / 2011 / 09:57
Good morning everybody!
In 5min we have skippersmeeting to start with the trials.
Here you've got the heats for the trials:
(winners from round 1, 2 and 4 go to the main event)


Wind looks good, so let's check out some god action!!

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 02 August / 2011 / 16:07
Check out the ladders for the singles that will start tomorrow:

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 02 August / 2011 / 16:29
Guys in the main event after the qualifications
Blomvall, Tack, Hutter, Schitzhofer, Corniel, Morales, Paris, Daubos, Hurtado, Blanc , Wesch, Forrest Bakker, Mario Rodwald and Garashchenko.

The top 8 men are pre-seeded: Zoon, Pastor, Rondina, Romeu, Hebert, garat, Jacobs, onieva
(Yates and Portas couldn't be here because of an injury and Hilario had a filmshoot)

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 02 August / 2011 / 18:53
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.

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 03 August / 2011 / 15:34

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 03 August / 2011 / 15:35

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 03 August / 2011 / 18:07
Day 2 in Fuerteventura - Start of the Singles

Aug-03-2011
It’s the second day of competition here at the fourth stop of the kiteboarding World Tour in Sotavento and The Canary Island have not failed to live up to their reputation of producing consistently strong winds. The first few heats averaged 25 knots and it steadily built up to 35 knots providing the last riders on the water with strong conditions.

The big news of the day was the live stream operating from the judge’s tower. For the first time in PKRA history people from all over the world followed the event live, were able to comment on the chat room and also see updates of the winners through the live results system. The connection speed on the beach remains a difficulty but this was an exciting first try and we’re hoping to improve the system for better streaming quality in the future.



Today was the first part of the single eliminations, head judge Sami Gali commented: “ It was an unsurprising set of men’s heats, Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot) and Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush) were particularly impressive.”

The controversial heat of the day was between Tom Herbert (FRA, North) and Michael Schitzhofer (AUT, Best) they split the judge’s decision however Herbert made it through with three votes to two.

We had a chance to meet up with Tom after his heat, “The wind is stronger on the outside than the inside (closer to the beach) so everyone is wondering what kite to take, from 7 to 10 meter. But once you’re on the water it’s actually better to be overpowered since the judges want to see power tricks with clean landings. Also a new rule made things harder for us in these conditions as our kites are not allowed to touch the water after landing our tricks, but the kites are smaller and faster so it’s very difficult…”

The French team hanging out at the equipment tent were all impressed today by Mario Rodwald’s (GER, North) clean and powerful riding. He landed a front mobe to blind in every heat whilst competing in gusty conditions. Mario beat Louis Hutter (FRA, F-ONE) and Alvaro Onieva (ESP, Slingshot) in the second round.

Thomas Paris (FRA, North) also noticed a difference in the today’s riding, “We used to see a lot more kiteloops in strong winds, it was as if we couldn’t do anything else. Now it’s all about the power moves and how technical you can be whilst maintaining a clean landing.”



In the second round it became hard to tell who would get through as the best riders (who were automatically fast tracked into the competition) were battling it out. Everyone’s eyes were on Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot), who currently leads the tour, he was doing his signature combos: landing tricks one after another with style, power and consistency. A lot of riders on tour describe Youri as the perfect man to be the World champion. Not only does he represent the sport the way they want to see it, but he also does so with charisma and a smile.

As for the new generation of riders, Liam Whaley (ESP, Airush) has been making a big impression on the top competitors. They can see him as a strong contender in the future, but for now (aged 14) his weight and body power put him at a disadvantage when he attempts to do the same tricks as other riders.

For the same reasons the girls must use smaller kites, this makes it harder for them to keep control whilst maintaining power like the top male athletes. Today the girls were riding on 5 meter kites and the men were on 7’s. Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil) had a good day on the water, she was basically training for tomorrow where she will start the day against one of her strongest competitors; Polish rider Karolina Winkoska (POL, Slingshot). Meanwhile World Champion Gisela Pulido (ESP, Airush) secured her heat with powerful moves and then entertained the public with some old school high jumps.

You can follow this heat tomorrow on the PKRA live stream with a first possible start set for 11.30 am.

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.

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 04 August / 2011 / 20:46
Day 3 – Zoon and Pulido win the singles

Aug-04-2011
After two days of competition here in Fuerteventura for the PKRA Kiteboarding World Tour, we entered the second part of the single eliminations. This was going to be the most exciting day with only the very best riders left to compete in the strong winds of Sotavento. The men’s division started with the quarter finals in 30 knots conditions which according to Brazilian rider Reno Romeu (BRA, North) made the spot a little choppy with a kicker on the inside.



The competition started with a very controversial heat; Tom Hebert (FRA, North) versus Alberto Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha). Both riders executed a lot of tricks and most judges admitted that it was a very close heat but Alberto just took the edge with a 3-2 win due to his variety and multitude of switch tricks. Tom however was going for the power moves but didn’t manage to perform the same amount of tricks as his competitor.

The singles went on to complete the third round without any major surprises since the top 4 on the overall ranking: Zoon (NED, Slingshot), Pastor (ESP, Airush), Jacobs (NZL, Switch), and Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha) advanced easily into the semi finals with unanimous decisions in their heats from the judges.

Head Judge Sami Gali noticed that a couple of riders were going for very powerful moves, keeping their kite low and executing very technical maneuvers. He also noted that the speed going into the trick proves the rider’s commitment and therefore the risk involved.

Alberto Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha) turned out to be the main man of the day. He advances against Vice World Champion Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush) who broke his board in the first minute of his heat. However Alex still attempted to execute his major tricks, as he didn’t have a spare one on the beach. Unfortunately this led him to crash most of his moves and allowed Alberto to get into his first ever final on the PKRA. “I couldn’t dream of anything better, I am now in the final against Youri, I will go for it and try to do as many tricks as I can because I know Youri just lands them one after another”

Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot) was often described as unreachable by his fellow competitors, “…too many combos, too much power, clean landing, this guy is a machine…” reported Mario Rodwald (GER, North). Marc Jacobs (NZL, Switch) tried a different technique against Youri, not only going massive on every trick but also taking more risks and therefore crashing a lot more. This gave Youri the advantage but he admitted to being impressed by Marc’s riding and said it scared him a bit during the heat.

Meanwhile in the girls division the top 4 women were on 5 to 6 meter kites in the semi finals. Karolina Winkowska (POL, Slingshot) wasn’t on her A-game today and unfortunately she crashed the majority of her tricks against Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil), leaving her to go into the loser’s final against Joanna Litwin (POL, Nobile).

The women’s final, Bruna Kajiya versus Gisela Pulido (ESP, Airush) was a very exciting heat as both girls did the same tricks: Blind Judge, S-bend to blind and 313. The judges gave the win to Gisela for: “(…) a better overall trick execution and cleaner landings. Bruna’s kite was often looping after landing her tricks.” said judges Jaubert and Lewis-Hughes.

Gisela crashed a trick in the last minute of the heat smashing her kite on the water and deflating it, but luckily she landed enough to take the win of this single elimination.

Results Women Single Eliminations:

1. Gisela Pulido (ESP, Airush)

2. Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil)

3. Karolina Winkowska (POL, Slingshot)

4. Joanna Litwin (POL, Nobile)



The final between Youri Zoon and Alberto Rondina was a trick spectacle with Youri performing his usual combos and Alberto trying to match all of his tricks. But the judges saw a lot more power, risk and commitment in Youri’s execution.

Results Men Single Eliminations:

1. Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot)

2. Alberto Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha)

3. Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush)

4. Marc Jacobs (NZL, Switch)



After a short break the double elimination started with the first men’s round. The biggest surprise here came from the youngest rider on the tour Liam Whaley (ESP, Airush) beating Sebastien Garat (FRA, RRD). The party tent will now play home to Sebastien Garat who showed great sportsmanship by congratulating youngster Liam Whaley on going through to face the other veteran of the tour, Mike Blomvall (SWE, Nobile).



Onieva (ESP, Slingshot), Welsh (GER, Naish), Tack (BEL, Liquid Force), Paris FRA, North), Schitzhofer (AUT, Best) also made it to the second round of the doubles.

The live stream was again a great success today, follow the action and live results at: http://live.prokitetour.com/?id_comp=92

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.

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 04 August / 2011 / 20:49

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 05 August / 2011 / 10:13
Allright, we had the skippersmeeting and the comp wil start again at 12.00 local time!
Follow it live on the livestream!!

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 06 August / 2011 / 09:25
Day 4 - Extreme conditions for the double eliminations

It was an amazing day of competition in Fuerteventura today in what the riders commented to be the hardest conditions they have rode in this year with winds averaging 35 knots .

Tom Hebert added: “There’s only two seconds between each gust and the wind is more side shore which brings a lot of chop to the water. Today definitely provided the hardest conditions, stronger than our last event in Leucate, France. We all try to secure our heats with easy tricks first but when we go for the main ones with power, you start to stress out if you crash and things become a lot more hectic from there on. The single elimination is definitely the most important part of the competition. If you do well you will have less of a battle to get back up in the ranking as the double is a fight in every heat against someone who is as hungry as you are!”

Today was the chance for all the riders that lost in the singles to climb back up the rankings. The PKRA decided to run the competition until the 4th place position where Marc Jacobs is sitting in the men’s division, and Joanna Litwin in the women’s.



Judge Julian Hosp said that he never saw this many close results, as most of the heats were 3 to 2 decisions. The first two heats of the day were no different: Thomas Paris beating Michael Schitzofer and the veteran of the tour Mike Blomvall beating the youngest, Liam Whaley. Liam said he was happy to be finishing in 13th position with big names such as Onieva, Wesch and Schitzhofer who are all ready to battle it out once again in the next PKRA World Tour stop in Germany.

Christopher Tack had a very good day and is proving to be one of the new generation’s riders to look out for. Chris had to verse the two Dominican riders today, first beating Alex Soto in a 4-1 decision. Youri Zoon (current leader of the event) watched from the beach and reckoned that he saw a lot more power in Tack’s moves and therefore wasn’t surprised to see him advance into the next round to meet Ariel Corniel. Chris however was disappointed to have crashed a lot of his tricks, “I’m always nervous going into a heat, whoever the rider is, I try to focus on my tricks rather than the rider, otherwise I would be stressing out too much against those at the top.”

Judge Ian Sleuyter saw some amazing crashes, especially in the heat between Corniel and Tack, the Dominican was bouncing on the water after a front mobe and Christopher had a pretty gnarly smash on a Blind Judge 3. Ian also described Mario Rodwald as being on form today, he was the only rider landing a front mobe to blind and a double S-bend to blind. Mario had an impressive come back taking him into 6th place beating Blomvall who happily takes 7th position.



The girls were not spared on the crashing front as Fernandez crashed a huge down loop front roll and the rest of the girls struggled in the high winds.

Asia Litwin confirmed her 4th place with a Blind Judge over a railey to Blind against Wicktoria who made her debut on the PKRA tour at this event.

Ariel Corniel has been training in Sotavento for a month as he now lives on the island with his wife. He showed a comfortable riding style in these extreme conditions, landing most of the tricks in the book as well as a few mega loops. Meeting with him after his heat he said he is pushing for mega loops with tricks at the same time. For now however he reckons that this is only a work in progress for most riders.

He came out to be the man of the day, climbing from 9th to 5th place. Ariel won all his heats with powerful tricks and impressive riding but head judge Sami Gali said that he couldn’t do anything against Marc Jacobs who had one of the most powerful and radical heats of the day. This leaves us with a very interesting heat tomorrow against Alex Pastor.

It turns out a lot of riders have achieved their best results of the year at this event: Paris is in 9th and confirms his recent win at the French championships, Blomvall and Tack came in 7th, Rodwald in 6th and Corniel in 5th place.

Tomorrow will never the less be the last and most exciting day of the competition as it’s the end of the double elimination of the Freestyle in both the men and women’s divisions. The event will start at 12pm. Gisela Pulido and Youri Zoon are sitting in first place waiting for the top 4 to climb up the ranking and meet them in the finals.

More information can be found on www.prokitetour.com

You can follow the competition live during competition hours at: http://live.prokitetour.com/?id_comp=92

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.

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)

johndoe 07 August / 2011 / 19:03
Last Day and final heats of the double eliminations

Aug-06-2011
The last day of competition welcomed the competitors with the most extreme conditions a kiteboarder can expect in Fuerteventura: 35 to 45 knots in the ongoing gusts and choppy waters. But as usual on the PKRA we were again surprised by the level the riders can reach in these conditions.

Today was going to be the battle for the podium places between the top 4 men and women.

It started with the two Polish women Litiwin (POL, Nobile) and Winkowska (POL, Slingshot), both struggling but managing to land Blind Judge’s and 313’s. Karolina Winkowska showed more power and advances into the next heat against her long-term rival Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil)

In the men’s division, you could feel the stress radiating from the riders standing on the beach while watching the spot. Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot) sitting in first place commentated: “I’m a little stressed out because the world title is in my hands, if I win this event I’m almost secured to be World Champion so it’s hard to believe… I’m going to ride with as much power as possible because that way if you land your trick then you really get rewarded for it. We’ll see how that goes!”



Meanwhile Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush) beats Marc Jacobs (NZL, Switch) who definitely tried to go for way too much power. Both riders crashed a lot but Pastor secured his heat landing a few switches, which got him into the next round.

This is where the moment of the day happened. There couldn’t be anyone better to describe the heat between Alberto Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha) and Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush) than a judge who understands the technical aspect of these complex moves. Carlos Saez claimed, “I have never seen someone riding so well in these kind of conditions, this is just amazing. He just performed the best heat that I have ever seen on the PKRA with winds averaging 40 knots. He was so solid, confident and radical that he just made it look easy, as if these were his normal training conditions, unbelievable! He got good height when popping off the chops while his kite remained low all the time and he kept amazing speed through the entire trick. A beautiful moment!”

Naturally Alex went through to the finals against Zoon (NED, Slingshot), leaving Alberto happily in 3rd place for the second time this year.

In the girls division, riding with the same kite sizes as the men (5 meters), the women couldn’t quite believe how hard the conditions were. Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil) had her worst heat of the competition against Winkowska (POL, Slingshot) who in contrast had her best one, landing 313’s, Blind Judge, Slim and a railey to wrapped. She naturally went into the final against Gisela Pulido (ESP, Airush).



In the men’s finals, Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush), coming out confident from his last heat, went for powerful and radical moves. He ended up crashing a lot against Zoon (NED, Slingshot) who was riding his first heat of the day and stuck in a couple of combos to secure his heat. Alex’s reckons that his strategy doesn’t work all the time, landing less tricks than Youri who remained consistent during the entire competition, winning his fourth event in a row.

In the women’s division it’s a different story, Gisela Pulido (ESP, Airush) found the start of her heat very scary as Karolina Winkowska (POL, Slingshot) landed a 313 and a Blind Judge while she had difficulty landing her tricks in the gusts. But Karolina was unlucky and smashed her kite on the water when crashing a S-bend to blind, her kite deflated leaving Gisela alone on the water to secure enough tricks and take the win of this double elimination.

A massive crowd surrounded the podium to congratulate the top 4 riders who have been riding today. The results of this event exactly mirror the overall ranking stand point at this time of the year:

Results Women Fuerteventura Grand Slam:

1. Gisela Pulido (ESP, Airush)

2. Karolina Winkowska (POL, Slingshot)

3. Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil)

4. Joanna Litwin (POL, Nobile)



Results Men Single Eliminations:

1. Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot)

2. Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush)

3. Alberto Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha)

4. Marc Jacobs (NZL, Switch)



For the next event we remain in the Canary Islands, commencing on Monday the 8th on the beautiful island of Tenerife. This will be a Kite Masters event with a mix of old school high jumps and new wakestyle maneuvers.

St Peter Ording in Germany will be the next PKRA World Tour stop counting for the overall rankings.

See you next year in Fuerteventura for another amazing event.

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.

johndoe had a 5 stars session in Kijkduin with a whopping 16 - 21 knots on his Best Bularoo (2010)