Day One on the PKRA stop in Barra Grande, Brazil brought the strong prevalent trade winds for which Barra Grande is well known. From sun up, the wind was on, and it was just a matter time until it switched side-shore enough for consistent freestyle conditions. The trials got underway at twelve o’clock and the high level of riding in the strong conditions left both competitors and judges impressed.
The Brazilian riders really put on a show, all of them doing their best to try and qualify for the main event. 317’s and Backside 315’s were the flavor of the day with many riders performing these technically difficult tricks in the strong, choppy competition conditions. Set Texiera probably showed the most technical heat with an S-bend 7, Backside 317 and Frontside 317. No doubt he will be one to watch in the main event.
The highlight of day one was undoubtably a huge Slim Chance flicked by Carlos Madson. Madson appeared above the kite for a moment and everyone on the beach cringed as he tried to make it stick. The stellar performance of 9-year-old, Mikaili Thompson, who made it through the women’s trials and into the main event can not be overlooked either however, as she is one of the youngest competitors ever to make the main draw. Both these Brazilian rippers will be determined to tear it up in the main event in the days to come.
Day Two signaled the start of the Freestyle main event and the continuation of the strong Brazilian trade winds. The men took to the water at noon on seven to nine meter kites with many opting to size down as the day carried on. The level of riding was as intense, unleashing big 317’s or BS315’s through all heats. The Brazilians put on a graceful performance in the harsh conditions but it was to be only the youngster Carlos Mario who would make it through to the next round.
The Women took to the water on five meter kites, with the harsh conditions appearing to be a challenge for most. Local Brazilian rider Dioneia Vieira had the best heat, posting up a nice Back Mobe and Front to Blind in the tricky conditions. It’s no surprise to see that training at her local Brazilian spot, Cumbuco, has been paying off.
Aaron Hadlow had what appeard to be the start to a stellar heat until retiring suddenly after his third trick. After the heat, Aaron said he had hurt his ribs training the days previous to the event, and he was in too much pain to continue his heat.
The pressure for the overall mens World title is still on with both Christophe Tack and Liam Whaley heading into the quarter finals. Whaley rode a great heat in the harsh conditions finishing arguably the cleanest and most powered heat of the day with a big Backside 315, sealing the deal over the talented Brazilian rider, Set Teixeira. Tack, on the other hand, rode what appeared to be a quite reserved heat, whether that was a strategy or a recent car accident holding him back, remains to be seen. Either way, both Tack and Whaley are through to the next round and tomorrow will be a new day of exciting competition.
For complete event details and standing, plus daily photos visit the PKRA website at www.prokitetour.com.