The first day of competition at the PKRA Pingtan Kiteboarding World Cup 2013 started early this morning with a beautiful opening ceremony, fireworks and many officials coming out to greet riders and organizers. The conditions were perfect, with a steady 20 knot breeze. Waves provided great kickers for the competitors. Competition quickly got under way with Winkoska and Pulido making it into the final for the women. Tack was the first male rider to qualify, defeating Hadlow and Jacobs in the quarters and semis. He will meet Pastor or Whaley in the finals.
With almost all the top riders here, competition was intense from the start with Smith and Garat in the first heat. Smith rode well but could not get enough tricks in to defeat Garat. Hadlow was up next, in great form, utilizing the kickers and bringing flawless execution to his tricks like the front blind mobe. Mario was riding with a lot of power, but Hadlow was too technical and advanced. Tack then came out on fire, landing a nice flat 5 off the waves plus toe mobes, defeating Schizthofer. Hutter was in the next heat and started perfectly with the best grabbed 313 and S-1 grab that we have seen this year, but he could not follow it up with enough big moves to stop Jaspan. Next, Jacobs who is currently second in the world rankings, came out with an amazing amount of power in his s-mobe, double hinterberger and double s-3 and defeated Corniel. The North team riders Romeu and Spiessberger were up next. Stefan won the exchange in a close heat. Whaley was kiting very well and advanced over Blanc. Rondina and Borisov was a heat of contrasting styles with Rondina executing very technical tricks while Borisov pushed pure power. Rondina won the exchange with some great toe side tricks. The last heat of the second round was between Pastor and Garat, Pastor dominated, going big with flawless execution, trick after trick.
Every heat in the quarter final was close. The first heat was between Hadlow and Tack and this was, hands-down, the heat of the day. Both riders were pushing the boundries of kitesurfing, and this could have easily been a final at any PKRA event. Aaron landed a perfect front blind mobe, s-mobe, blind pete and a few more excellent tricks. Tack had a front side 7 off a kicker, a blind judge 5, and a nice crow mobe 5. Tack eventually won the heat and advanced to the semis where he met Jacobs who dominated Jaspan with his power. Whaley advanced over Spiessberger by going bigger on every move. In the last heat of the quarter finals, Pastor remained unbeatable with massive double s-1, s-mobe and front blind mobe.
The women’s heats were dominated by the top riders: Pulido, Winkoska, Novotna and Schader — all of whom advanced to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Gisela and Karolina showed why they are one and two in the world with both landing back mobes, s-mobes, 313 and more moves with power and great execution. The final will take place tomorrow and should be very exciting.
The first men’s semifinal and last heat of the day between Tack and Jacobs was another great heat with Tack still on fire, landing another front side 7 and blind judge five. Marc Jabobs who is usually very explosive was held back by slightly lighter winds. He was not able to overpower Tack. Tack secured his spot in the final and guaranteed himself a place on the podium, along with a big check at the Pingtan World Cup.
Competition will resume tomorrow. The men’s second semifinal will be run. Single elimination will wrap up before noon, making space for the slalom racers or big air specialists. The event could not have started any strong, and Christophe Tack’s unbelievable performance set a tone for this event that should be very exciting. For the latest news and results, visit the PKRA website at www.prokitetour.com.