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PKRA France Wraps Up

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Christophe Tack and Karolina Winkowska took the top spots in the double elimination with a near perfect heat by Tack, and Winkowska upsetting Pulido in a super-final last week.

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Under sunny skies and warm spring like conditions, the final day of the PKRA Mondial Du Vent kicked off at 1pm in front of a spectator-packed beach in Leucate, France. The winds averaged 16 knots and riders were using 7-11m kites as the wind slowly built to 20 knots later in the day. Given the lighter winds, the conditions were ideal for riders, and they were able to land more consistently leading to big action and suspense-filled heats throughout the day.

Alex Neto rode strong advancing over Youri Zoon and Reno Romeu. Neto unleashed a variety of powerful tricks including the Crow Mobe 5 and Blind Judge 5, proving that he is strong contender for the podium.  However, Neto’s climb was put to a stop in his heat against Marc Jacobs.  Although the riders scores were very close, Jacob’s high scoring Hinterberger Mobe and Front Blind Mobe put him into the next heat against former World Champion Aaron Hadlow.  Despite high scoring heats from both riders, it was Jacobs advancing by .26 of a point.

In what was undoubtedly the best performance of the entire event, Christophe Tack executed a flawless heat against Jacobs to win the final in front of thousands of spectators. Starting off strong, Tack never wavered for a second and landed an amazing arsenal of powered technical maneuvers for a total of 11 tricks landed without a single crash. Not one trick scored below a 6.11. In the final heat, Tack landed a Crow Mobe 5, Front Blind Mobe, and an impressive 317 that was the highest scoring trick of the event averaging 8.63 points.

The women’s level was exceptionally high as well. Manuela Jungo earned her first spot on the podium by upsetting Annabel Van Westerop in a close heat. While both women had high scores, it was Jungo advancing by .78 of a point with an impressive Mobe and S1. Jungo later would fight for 2nd and 3rd place against Karolina Winkowska, with Winkowska taking the win.

Pitted against the winner of the single elimination Gisela Pulido, Winkowska narrowly took the win by .70 points. In accordance with the double elimination format, the winner of the single elimination must be beat twice to be knocked off the top spot. In what is known as a super-final, Winkowska went up against Pulido again.  In a battle that left both women exhausted and the crowds on the beach cheering, Winkowska took the win by 3.34 points ousting Pulido from first place.

With the Mondial de Vent wrapped up for 2014, the PKRA tour moved on to slalom racing in Austria. Freestyle competition will resume later this month on the Red Sea in Egypt. Details here.

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