Day One of the PKRA tour stop in Egypt started on a typical Soma Bay note: drowsy riders up for a 6 am start, bright sun, and beautiful clear waters with a steady 20 knot breeze buzzing through kites and flags. The trial elimination format was run before lunch to give new and old faces a chance to compete in the main event.
Most of the big names made it through mens trials alongside tour rookie Linus Erdmann from Germany, doing his best again to make it into another main event. Trials also welcomed Forrest Bakker from Spain back into the fold with a new face on his kite and a steady selection of tricks propelling him into the main draw. Sadly,young Tom Bridge (UK) narrowly missed a place in the main event this time around.
The womens ladder was a full one with even the trials being tightly contested. The tension was thick as the girls went to battle, and most of the women were riding at a similar technical level. It was Amle, Oja, Vieira, Lange and Brochocka, however, who were lucky enough to make it through this time.
After a short lunch, the single elimination got underway around 3pm with male riders using 11m kites in the beginning and changing to 7m kites near the end of the day. On the women’s side of the draw Malin Amle had it together demonstrating how a taller rider can get big pop, throwing a couple of clean S-Bends to blind — to the surprise of some of her competitors. Lammerts Oja and Jungo also progressed through into round 2.
The men’s competition was fought hard but by the end of the day, there were a few clear standouts. Sergei Borisov from Russia had a lot of support from the crowd, passing both his heats for the day and advancing into round three. While luck escaped Sergei in previous events, the smile on his face seemed to indicate he was pleased with today’s results.
Top honors go to Liam Whaley from Tarifa who put down some amazing heats, throwing big Front Blind Mobes and Double Heart Attacks in tricky conditions. Liam injured his ribs at the start of the year and hasn’t been riding his best the past few competitions. With that now behind him, we look forward to seeing how the young Spaniard performs in the following days.
Special mention must also go to Eudazio Da Silva, riding solid and committed all day. Hailing from the kiteboarding mecca of Brazil where the repetitive conditions give him the ideal platform to fine tune a consistent competitive approach to heats, Da Silva also adapts easily to different conditions. Today Da Silva advanced to Round 3, eyes clearly set firmly on securing a spot on the podium in the days to come.
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