The sound of wind whistling through the palm-lined shores of the hotel was like an alarm clock for riders and crew starting the final day of competition on the Red Sea at Soma Bay. The wind was even stronger than forecasted. The 9 am briefing informed riders the wind had been measured at 25-43 knots and the comp area was adjusted to accommodate the slightly offshore direction.
The men were first to test the new event area with Michael Schitzhofer and Jerrie Van De Kop doing their best to make something from the challenging conditions. Eventually things improved and the wind turned more side-shore, making it less gusty, averaging a solid 25-30 knots the whole day. The men were riding 7m kites while the women were mostly on 5-6 m kites.
The women’s double elimination was one of the most hotly contested to date, with all girls giving it their all to improve upon first round seeding. Manuela Jungo, Malin Amle and Annabel Van Westerop all had very credible heats but sadly were unable to make it back into the final four. It was Annelous Lammerts who once again surprised everyone with a great heat against Bruna Kajiya knocking her from the 3rd place and giving her a chance at the second place spot. She rode strong against Gisela Pulido leading for most of the heat until Pulido managed to put together a few tricks in the dying minutes, enough to keep her place.
The women’s final was once again a Pulido vs Winkowska affair and much like Day 3’s final, Winkowska narrowly led most of it due to slightly better kite positioning and power through tricks. Winkowska also managed to land a nice backmobe towards the end of the heat, which no doubt sealed her final win. Winkowska has now won a total of 3 events this year, proving she’s truly motivated to once again reach for the world title.
The men’s double elimination was exciting to watch as well with strong, gusty winds giving riders a chance to throw big tricks and even bigger crashes. Everyone was riding well for the conditions but today was no-doubt Liam Whaley’s day.
Whaley had a methodical approach to heats doing only what he needed to win but in a way that provided him with some of the highest scoring heats of the day. The young Spaniard came all the way from a dead last position, through 9 heats to face the winner of yesterdays single elimination, Christophe Tack. Whaley’s front blind mobes amongst other tricks were some of the nicest seen in competition so far, and we’re sure this kid has a bright future ahead of him.
Nonetheless, it was once again to be Christophe Tack’s event. Tack didn’t ride as good as days previous, but he did enough to take the win and narrowly defeat Whaley by a .4 margin. Tack has now won 3 events this year, possibly indicating he’s well on his way to winning the world title this year.
For a complete list of results and more photos, visit the PKRA website at www.prokitetour.com.