3   +   9   =  

The Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) Youth Cup 2015 kicked off in Costa Brava, Spain. Mexican Anthar Racca (U17), Brazilian Mikaili Rocha, Frenchman Oscar Pirreneau (U13) and British Tom Bridge (U15) have all won the single elimination in their respective categories and await tomorrow’s finals!

Competition started at 2:20 p.m. with tougher conditions than the days before. Riders still managed to deliver great action in front of a large audience at the beautiful venue of Sant Pere Pescador. 

The day started with the under 13 boys category. The final saw Frenchman Oscar Pirreneau up against Karim Mahmoud from Egypt. Despite severe gusts, they delivered an excellent heat completing the 12 attempts and suffering only a few crashes. Pirreneau built up his score cleverly while Mahmoud took more risks by trying harder moves and crashing too much to match his opponent’s score. Oscar Pirreneau placed first of U13 category:

“It went well even if the conditions were more complicated today. I didn’t do exactly what I wanted because of the gusty wind, but on the other hand, the water was more flat. I landed one or two tricks I am happy with and I am stocked to rank first so far. We’ll see who I’ll be up against in the double eliminations final!”, he said. 

The mini final opposed Kiko Peiro from Spain with Hiro Karamon of Japan. Both young athletes did their best and managed to nail similar tricks such as S-Bends and Raileys. It came up to Peiro thanks to a bit more power and commitment.

The competition moved on to the girls finals. The winners final saw the fierce Brazilian competitor, Mikaili Rocha, facing Hanna Twarog from Poland in an amazing heat. Rocha was overpowered but did not get flustered at all and played smartly while crowds were cheering for her. She pulled off great tricks that made the difference proving again that she has everything of a champion. Hanna Twarog could not match the technique and the variety of her contender who claimed the victory with a commanding lead:

“My heat wasn’t that good but I was able to pull off some of my tricks from the five categories”, Rocha said. “I did not really get stressed when I lost time changing my kite. I just needed to make my tricks. I am very happy to finish first.”

c60c50f4-97ce-40bf-952c-b8bb01b16eb5
Then Anaïs Desjardin of France met local rider Nina Font in the mini final. Both girls struggled to chose the right kite and Font lost time trying to change it during her heat. She could not land enough tricks while Desjardin managed to add points to her score, claiming the victory and placing 3rd.

After the girls, it was time for under 15 boys to kick off their finals. The winners final was the same as last year, with defending champion Tom Bridge of the UK up against the Philippines’ Christian Tio. They replayed quite the same scene delivering a cut-throat competition, answering each other with powerful tricks. Both performed Front Blind Mobes and Back Mobe 5s as well as other tricks, but Bridge variety allowed him to defend his title.

“I am really happy to win the single eliminations. It means that in the double they will have to beat me twice so I think it’s going to be hard for them. It was a good heat, I landed most of my tricks but I didn’t land the last one and I was quite upset with that”, Bridge said.

69c07ad6-d734-427f-a886-b38e8edfeb93

Maxime Chabloz from Switzerland was opposed with local rider Alec Mur in mini final. Both riders came out strong, delighting spectators. Chabloz, who was not on form yesterday, definitely took his revenge putting on a display of powerful tricks, performing a well-constructed heat and placing 3rd.

Then it was time for the under 17 category to be centre stage and to battle for the top spot. Louka Pitot of Mauritius and Mexico’s Anthar Racca put on an extremely close heat, showcasing high-scoring tricks in what could have been a senior final. Both kiteboarders went through a stiff competition landing back-to-back powered Front Blind Mobes, Back Mobes and Heart Attacks. The audience was on fire and Racca finally sealed the deal by nailing perfectly executed Double Heart Attack and Backside 315 (a.k.a. Blind Judge 5). 

Anthar Racca: “It feels very good to win. It was a very good heat because we were doing the same tricks. I just won by less than a point against Louka, it was very close. I was on form even if my knee was hurting. I got that pain while training just before the heat today. I hit it with my elbow (laugh)! I am looking forward to seeing who I’m going to face tomorrow in the double eliminations final.” 

The US’ Chase Hasch and Lazar Gournay of France kicked off the mini final both performing a great heat. Hasch managed to take the win over the French rider who crashed too many tricks because of the tricky conditions.

d770a60c-f7e0-410e-a0b3-f7ed2a23565d

The single elimination was soon followed by the double. The man on form was powerhouse Adeuri Corniel from the Dominican Republic who won three heats in a row, dispatching Russia’s Rusian Sirazhetdinov, his countrymate Paulino Lorenzo, and Frenchman Romain Giuliano. The Dominican who had a bad day on the single was strongly determined to climb up the ladder and had no mercy with others. His opponents all rode very well but could not match his incredible level. He landed high-scoring tricks such as Backside 317s (a.k.a. Blind Judge 7) and 317s and nearly nailed a Hinterberger Mobe 7 as well as a Heart Attack 5 that could have easily scored in the 9-pointers. He is determined to continue his mission to the podium and will face current number 4 Lazare Gournay on his first heat tomorrow.

Video highlights: