Welcome to Barra do Cunhau, Brazil for the third day of competition and the end of the single eliminations. There were some very close heats due to the presence of the Brazilian champions in the quarter finals. The victories however went to Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot) in the men’s and Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil) in the women’s division. Bruna was happy to take the win in her home country.
After one day of qualifiers and followed by a day in which the first two rounds of the single elimination were completed, today we were ready to see the best eight riders of this competition battling it out in the quarter finals.
We won’t keep you waiting, instead we’ll bring you straight to one of the biggest highlights of the day, the heat opposing Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot), 2011 PKRA World champion and Carlos Madson (BRA, RRD) 2010 Brazilian champion. Both riders went for a lot of tricks with power and clean landing. This was definitely one of the closest heats of the day as the Brazilian rider had already eliminated some of the best riders of the PKRA yesterday.
At the end of the heat there was a moment to remember when Youri heard the speaker announce the 30 last seconds of the heat and went for a Blind Judge 5 double handle pass. Youri missed the bar on the second pass and crashed so hard that he hurt his ribs. Youri was left injured after he did the exact same thing last year in New Caledonia during the finals.
Just after that Madson went for the same trick with the kite higher to gain more height, he completed the first pass, stabilized himself in the air, and amazingly managed to do the second pass and landed the trick whilst the kite came down.
Youri wins with a 3-2 decision and Madson is expected to be a great contender for the podium in the double elimination.
Back to the start, the quarter-finals saw the come back of Sebastien Garat (FRA, RRD) who is having a bad year, ranking 13th overall. Today he had a very solid heat against the Italian rider Alberto Rondina (ITA, Cabrinha) who is currently ranked third overall. Sebastien commented that he felt very confident with his riding and had one of his best heats while Alberto admitted that he crashed a lot and couldn’t get it together.
Sebastien advanced into the next round but got stopped by power machine and Vice World Champion Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush). Pastor is recognized by the judges as one of the riders who keeps his kite lower than everyone else on tour, this allows him to create one of the nicest styles and maintain perfect flow through his maneuvers. Alex advanced into the finals.
The heat between Tom Hebert (FRA, North) and Marc Jacobs (NZL, Switch) who are ranked successively fourth and fifth on the overall ranking promised to be exciting. This was the second closest heat of the day; We met with Tom who was a bit frustrated after his heat since he felt like he gave everything he had to win, especially landing a massive back loop kite loop 5. Judge Ian Sleuyter later explained that Marc had a better overall execution with more power, speed and kite position than Tom through the entire heat.
In the girls division Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil) and Joanna Litwin (POL, Nobile) logically made their way into the finals as they are the two best riders in this event. Both girls landed powerful wake style maneuvers such as Blind Judge’s, 313’s and mobes. Bruna Kajiya was very happy after her heat as she landed a couple of tricks which are very hard to pull off during a competition such as a powered back to pass and a low mobe. She secured her heat with usual 313’s and Blind Judge’s while Litwin crashed her attempts to land a slim chance and even a double S-bend to blind!
In the losers final Clementine Bonzom (FRA, JL) met Sofia Lennartsson (SWE, Ozone) who landed a railey to blind and took the third place of this single elimination in Brazil.
Official Results PKRA 2011 Brazil Freestyle Women:
1. Bruna Kajiya (BRA, Flexifoil)
2. Joanna Litwin (POL, Nobile)
3. Sofia Lennartsson (SWE, Ozone)
4. Clementine Bonzom (FRA, JN)
The men’s finals started with the loser’s final opposing Sebastien Garat (FRA, RRD) and Marc Jacobs (NZL, Swicth). A 5-0 decision went in favor of Jacobs who went for power moves and clean execution while Sebastien wouldn’t land all his tricks as cleanly.
Finally the long standing contenders Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush) and Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot) met for the fifth time in a final this year!
Zoon started with a massive crash on a NIS, which was worse than it should have been due to his accident in the previous heat. Meanwhile Alex kept pouring trick after trick which secured him the heat. In no time, Youri came back on his board and in one tack he scored a huge combo with three tricks to get back into the heat.
Judge Rui Meira explained how the combo is used by the riders: They usually start with the easiest moves to get them out of the way and then get into the more technical maneuvers. Since the handle pass leash gets wrapped around their bodies they usually do one regular move, one switch (to get the leash back to the normal position) and a regular move again. This way they don’t loose time detangling their leash and in two tacks they can score a lot of tricks. Youri is one of the riders using this strategy and it seems to pay off since he hasn’t lost a heat to date this year!
Judge Rui Meira was the only one who gave the win to Alex Pastor as he considered that the most important factor is to land the most difficult tricks. He commented that he saw Alex put more effort into landing a few tricks with very good execution while Youri did a lot of tricks but his five best ones weren’t as good as Alex’s. There is a rule being discussed at the moment for 2012 to change the format of competition and only take the five best tricks in consideration. If accepted this would push the riders into bigger tricks rather than securing all the basic maneuvers first, before approaching the technical aspect and difficulty.
The speed going into the trick is what made the difference for the other judges who recognized that this was a very close heat. Youri landed all his tricks with a lot of power and cleaner landing than Alex. The front blind mobe from Youri was one of his biggest tricks, landing full speed and clean.
Youri wins the single elimination with a 4-1 decision, he commented: “My rib didn’t hurt that much and I was really happy about my heat. I had a few crashes at first but then I went for some nice power tricks and I think that’s what made the difference. It’s always tough to compete against Alex so I am stoked that I won again.”
Official Results of the Men’s single eliminations:
1. Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot)
2. Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush)
3. Marc Jacobs (NZL, Switch)
4. Sebastien Garat (FRA, RRD)
This is event is organized by Dream Factory with the PKRA. The Kitesurf Wind Riders is sponsored by Volkswagen, co sponsored by the Kitesurf and Surf Association of Rio Grande de Norte (AKSRN), Viva Barra Association, the Ministry of Tourism, the State of Rio Grande do Norte, the secretary of Tourism of Rio Grande do Norte and Emprotur.