Ariel Corniel from the Domincan Republic and Gisil Ozen from Turkey have won the Kite Masters freestyle competition at the PKRA Burn Kitesurf World Cup in Istanbul this week. Corniel put on a great show combining big air tricks and new school moves. In course racing, Bryan Lake got his first win in Slalom and Boenniger continues to win. The conditions were slightly lighter than the first day, with men and women both riding 12 to 14 meter kites. Waves are still a factor. With the freestyle event wrapped-up, the focus has now shifted to slalom.
The freestyle event ended with some tough competition. It started with the completion of the last 12 heats of the round robin to determine the top six men, and four riders that would advance into the semifinal. Serin and Sholte had to complete to break a tie which seeded them accordingly. Serin was the winner and faced Smith in the semifinals. The heat was close, but Paul Serin landed some great board-offs and a few technical moves to defeat Smith. The other semifinal showcased Corniel and Scholte. Scholte started well but could not keep up with Ariel who landed trick after trick to obtain an easy win.
The battle for 5th and 6th place was between Kerneur from France and Taner Aykurt of Turkey. Taner was solid from the start with a nice 360 board off, back mobe and 313. Kerneur responded, but did not have the intensity of Taner and had to settle for 6th. Aykurt was the top Turkish finisher. Smith and Scholte took to the water next. Scholte got a lot more tricks completed, but Smith was riding extremely stylishly with a perfect 315, S-mobe and one footer to secure the final podium spot.
The final between Corniel and Serin very close. Serin landed a good BJ, 313, Slim, S-1 and a few board offs. Corniel landed a perfect front blind and had a little more power in his back mobe and other handle passes. His board offs were good enough to secure him the win, a title, plus a large cash prize. The girl’s final was setup with three heats. Gisil Ozen defeated Berna Ozturk and Merve Ceylan with some clean back rolls, S-bends and blind judge.
After the freestyle event, the slalom races took a few minutes to get underway with large swells pulling the boat and the marks off position. Once the racing got underway, it was extremely exciting – all riders battling for a position into the next round. The ladder was setup with three heats in the first round, two semifinals and a four man final to give all riders ample room for navigating the course. In the first round, all favorites advanced. The competition really heated up in the semifinals. In the first semifinal, Lake easily won. Castel got second on the last leg, while Cakir and Grubber tangled. In the second semifinal, Kerneur was over early and disqualified from the race while Smith and Vanucci went on to win. In the women’s final, all racers missed a mark then realized they had not completed the course and needed to round the last 2 marks of the course again to finish the race. Christine Boenniger won, followed by Ozturk and Ceylan.
The men’s final was intense. With waves hitting the first mark, strategy was a key factor. Lake and Smith exchanged first places a few times but in the end it was Bryan Lake who got the win. Smith finished second. Grubber and Simone Vannucci battled for third until the second to last leg when Grubber took third place.
The freestylers are done for the week, but course racers will have to keep fighting to see who will win the Burn Kitesurf World Cup Slalom in Istanbul. Find current standings and more PKRA action online at www.prokitetour.com.