In what could only be described as electrifying, wild, and windy, the sixth and final day of the Kitesurf World Cup Argentina was one for the record books this weekend. To the surprise of many, the light and variable winds that were forecast, gave way to up and down conditions ranging from 5-25 knots, making it a challenging competition.
With 22 heats left to finish the single elimination, riders and crew were unsure of whether the wind would last long enough to complete the rounds. For the riders, this day held the last opportunity for them to improve their overall tour ranking as well as battle for the podium of this prestigious tour stop, where the 2013 World Champions were to be crowned.
The competition got underway beneath cloudy skies and building, yet gusty, wind. Ladies were the first to hit the water with the early rounds bringing no surprises with Van Westerop, Jungo, and Pulido advancing.
Taking the stage next for the next round were the men, who provided exciting action as the winds suddenly increased dramatically, blowing streaks of sand across the water and sending riders scrambling to secure their kites. Most notable were the upsets that happened in some of the strongest winds of the event. 15 year old Brazilian tour rookie, Carlos Mario, stopped tour veteran Reno Romeu with his varied technical fluidity that he would go on to demonstrate throughout the entire day.
Neto and Whaley also battled for a chance to move on, and although Whaley landed a nice Back Mobe 5 and Front Blind Mobe among others, it just wasn’t enough against Neto’s Crow Mobe 5, SMobe 5, and high scoring Slim 7. Borisov managed to oust Alberto Rondina in a close heat with solid riding from both riders.
As the fleet of men advanced to the quarter-finals, winds backed off and began to steady with riders using kites in the 11-13m range. With very close heats and impressive riding from all of the riders, it was the more decorated tour veterans taking the wins as Tack, Hadlow, and Pastor advanced. The exception again was Carlos Mario, who beat out Marc Jacobs in an impressive battle.
The talented rookie Mario continued his climb up the ladder, meeting Tack in the semi-finals. A trick for trick battle early on in the heat ensued and Tack landed a nice S-Mobe 7 as Mario answered back with a BJ7. Big tricks unfolded throughout the heat from both riders, and in an extremely close heat, Mario moved on to the winner’s final against current tour leader, Alex Pastor.
In the women’s division, it was Novotna who took third over Jungo in the losers finals, while Annabel Van Westerop met Gisela Pulido in the finals. With Van Westerop’s consistency and ever-expanding arsenal of tricks, she was able to keep the pressure on the entire heat but finally fell as Pulido’s power and execution led to a first place finish.
The battle for the men’s podium spot came to a crescendo during a heat that would leave the riders and spectators on the beach wondering who would take top honors of this inaugural event. Mario’s arsenal of well-executed technical tricks such as a Hinterberger 5 and 319 pushed him just in front of Pastor, advancing him over the 2-time vice world champion – and soon to be crowned 2013 world champion by 1.78 points. Onlookers remained captivated during the final, as the world champion and a young Brazilian sensation duked it out, eventually with Mario taking the podium. In the losers final, it was Tack who secured a third place position over five-time world champion Aaron Hadlow.
Never in 13 years of the PKRA, has a competitor won the top podium placement in their first-ever PKRA event. It is riders like Mario and the World Champions of years past, present, and future, that inspire us to look forward to new challenges and adventures to come. We congratulate the winners of the Kitesurf World Cup Argentina and the newly crowned 2013 World Champions – Alex Pastor, Gisela Pulido, Brian Lake, and Christine Boenniger.
2013 Kitesurf World Cup Argentina Winners
1st – Carlos Mario
2nd – Alex Pastor
3rd – Christophe Tack
1st – Gisela Pulido
2nd -Annabel Van Westerop
3rd – Paula Novotna
1st – Brian Lake
2nd – Victor Adamo
3rd – Manuel Abeleyra
1st – Merve Ceylan
2nd – Paula Novotna
3rd – Jana Pipkin
2013 World Champions
Freestyle Men – Alex Pastor
Freestyle Women – Gisela Pulido
Slalom Men – Brian Lake
Slalom Women – Christine Boenniger
Visit the PKRA Website for a complete list of final standings.