The second day of the PKRA Kitesurf World Cup Mendoza offered stronger winds and a variety of racing and freestyle action. With the winds filling early, the remaining men’s freestyle trials got underway and finished up after 11 heats with riders using 9m-14m kites. As the thermal winds built throughout the day, the slalom racers got their first chance to compete amongst the full mixed-fleet of both race and twin-tip boards.
The freestyle trials heats showed the best riders advancing as the battle for the remaining 7 spots in the main event continued. In heat # 8 Da Sousa advanced with a Front Blind Mobe and Back Mobe 5 and was noted by the judges as one of the best performances of the day, along with Borisov whose fluid style and big S-Mobe 5 led to a clear win. Both Da Silva and Borisov’s wins put them straight into the main event.
For the next 6 heats, 18 riders battled it out for the 5 remaining spots in the main event. With plenty of South American talent still in the ladder and primed to secure one of the coveted places, the pressure was on for the riders to push their skills to the limit.
Solid action ensued and in the end it was Reis, Leleu, Fidalgo, Biscopi, Duverges, and Larcher advancing out of the second round leaving only 3 heats to decide which 5 of those 6 would move. After solid performances by Leleu, Reis, Larcher and Duverges, it was Biscopi who earned the last spot finishing first in the losers final.
As the afternoon progressed, the first round of men’s slalom heats got underway in 12-17 knots. Many Argentinian racers were on hand and most of them competed for the first time in this rapidly growing discipline. Soon into the heats, it became clear that the race boards had an advantage over the twin tips on the 6 buoy downwind course as they had a faster overall speed with the longer reaches between marks.
With 9 to 10 riders in each heat, and the top 4 finishers advancing, 6 heats were run to get to an 8-man final. With the exception of one abandoned heat, due to the retreating wind, most of the heats went off without any notable tangles or crashes. Brian Lake who is currently in first place was clearly the fastest racer on the course. Also, notable was Reno Romeu who on his twin tip was faster than some of the other racers on race boards.
The first women’s race got underway following the men’s final but had to be abandoned due to dying winds and the event was called for the day.
For tomorrow, the wind is expected to increase with the forecast calling for a few more knots than today. For full standings and live up to date developments direct from Argentina, visit the PKRA website at www.prokitetour.com.