An incredible day of kitesurfing took place at the Pingtan Kiteboarding World Cup in China yesterday. Alex Pastor from Spain won the 2013 PKRA freestyle world title, Christophe Tack and Gisela Pulido won the Pingtan event, and Reno Romeu set a Guinness world record. The conditions were extreme with 20 knots of wind and a solid 3 to 4 meter hurricane swell. The competition started with the double elimination where Aaron Hadlow won 6 consecutive heats, defeating the new world champion, but eventually losing to Christophe Tack in the final. Gisela Pulido defended her second-place finish and then went on to defeat Karolina Winkowska twice to win the event and take a commanding lead in the overall PKRA points rankings for 2013.
“After three years of trying to win the title and working so hard, it is great to win and it will be something that I will remember the rest of my life. To win when the level is this high with so many top riders like Youri, Aaron, Marc, Liam, Christophe and more, is incredible. I can now start preparing for next year”-Alex Pastor
The freestyle conditions were absolutely perfect with a solid breeze and kickers. Everyone was able to ride to their full potential. Ariel Corniel and Reno Romeu took advantage of the double elimination to advance a few places. The clear winner was Aaron Hadlow who came back from his fifth place finish all the way to second defeating Pastor, Whaley, Jacobs, Rondina, Romeu and Borisov along the way, until he eventually went on to lose to Christophe Tack . Tack was on fire, landing the big flat seven and blind judge five, again. Aaron Hadlow hit a spectacular slim seven against Liam Whaley who also landed a flat seven and blind judge fives. This was, by far, the highest scoring heat of the day.
“I’m very happy to win this event, the conditions were like Cape Town where I trained all winter and I was able to show all the tricks that I can do”- Christophe Tack
The conditions allowed riders to show many different tricks due to the fact that there were so many kickers in the competition area. We have never seen so many perfect flat 7’s, crow mobes, G-spots, blind petes, toe side 313’s and more. “I’m super happy to be on the podium, the conditions were really working to my style of riding. I’m happy to have won six consecutive heats but unfortunately I was exhausted against Tack in the final” -Aaron Hadlow
The two standouts in the women’s divisions were Annabel Van Westerop and Gisela Pulido yesterday. Annabel came back from last place after missing the single elimination. Gisela and Karolina kept their rivalry going by performing two incredible heats that were both very close. Pulido did just enough to beat Karolina twice and secure the win, plus take a 200 point lead in the overall rankings. “It is very intense to compete against Karolina and to defeat her twice. We both have a similar level and we have such close heats. I am so happy to have won today”- Gisela Pulido
Once the freestyle finished, it was up to Garat, Jaspan, Rodwald, Corniel and Romeu to try to set a Guinness World Record for the highest number of spins in a jump. Reno Romeu from Brazil set the record with seven spins — all officials present and cameras rolling.
An absolute amazing day of kitesurfing took place yesterday, and it will likely be remembered as the highlight of the 2013 season. Congratulations again to Alex Pastor, Christophe Tack, Gisela Pulido and Reno Romeu for all their success, and to every competitors for putting forth a great show and fierce competition. Full event standings and more photos can be found on the PKRA website at: www.prokitetour.com.