A huge day here in Sylt for day one of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt main event. At the end of 11 hours of non-stop competition, both the men and women have made it through the single eliminations, which were judged on 100% strapless freestyle, and the men have now progressed into the doubles with only eight riders left in the event.

Airton Cozzolino
Mitu Monteiro
Simon Joosten
James Carew
Kiko Roig Torres
Camille Delannoy
Paulino Pereira
Jan Marcos Riveras

Here’s how it went down today…

Airton and Mitu meet again

Cape Verdean legends Airton and Mitu met in a final for the second time this season in what was an absolutely stellar heat. It was fast-paced from the start with both riders slamming in high scores straight away and at the halfway point, tour leader Mitu was out in front. A double front roll to revert put him even further ahead but Airton responded with a huge front roll to revert and an even bigger backroll tick tack and with three minutes to go, took the lead.

Not just pros. Also bros!

Mitu then retook first position with just 90 seconds on the clock with a surgically clean front roll shuvit and, with 30 seconds to go, he looked almost unbeatable with an enormous 42.13 point overall score.

Mitu looks masterful

However, this was where Airton played his trick card and he busted out a 313 for a whopping 9.5 points (out of ten) to win the heat by just 1.48 points. They’d both notched up the highest combo scores of the entire event and Airton had stuck the top scoring single trick too!

Airton brings out the big guns.

Joosten jumps Carew

Barbadian rider Simon Joosten is not a new face on this tour having competed in Tarifa in the past, but whatever training he’s been doing over the winter seems to have paid off! He was absolutely on fire today, charging through the early rounds with some of the highest combo scores of the day and he was the first rider to rack up a 30 + point score – essential for any rider to even get close to the finals.

Simon Joosten proved himself a force to be reckoned with today.

He went up against James Carew in the mini-final and the tempo of his riding was unreal. Carew was riding well, opening with some clean tricks like a toeside front roll, but Joosten won the heat with 37.46 – the third highest combo score of the event behind Airton and Mitu – and he had some solid tricks in there including a backroll board-off tick tack, which has proved to be a popular trick so far at this event.

Carew wasn’t going down without a fight though.

Kiko Roig Torres tears it up

Kiko gave Airton a proper run for his money in their round three match-up and it wasn’t until Airton fired into a handlepass that he finally pulled ahead of Kiko.

Kiko’s relentless salvo of strapless trickery continued in the doubles and he won two challenging heats against talented Canadian newcomer Graham Harney and Italian waterman savant Francesco Capuzzo to secure his place among the last eight riders still in the event.

Young Jedi Kiko Roig Torres is overcome by Airton – but only just.

Paulino – Still Portuguese. Still powerful

Paulino underlined his prowess as a formidable all-rounder today with some storming performances in the double eliminations. The most notable was his heat against Brazilian shredder Pedro Matos in round three. By this point, the judging criteria was now being split 70% strapless freestyle / 30% waves and, in the tricky onshore conditions, he nabbed the best ride of the day linking up a couple of powered hacks at the lip and finishing off with a slick wave 360.

He also landed some big grabbed rotations and came crucially close to a huge board-off kiteloop in that heat as well.

They call him the ‘Portuguese Powerhouse’ for a reason.

Camille Delannoy pushes through the pain

Camille’s come into this event with a badly broken finger but, although it’s not yet fully healed, he couldn’t face missing the action. By end of the single eliminations he was in quite a lot of pain from it but, as the pressure intensified, he pushed through that with a series of powerful performances in the doubles.

In the last heat of the day, he beat an on-form Reece Myerscough in an all-or-nothing attempt to stay in the competition and it’s hard to imagine how he managed some of the full-tilt kiteloop variations and lip hacks that helped him secure victory.

Winning six heats in a row with a broken finger ain’t easy.. but he managed!

Camile Delannoy – a tough competitor and no mistake.

Carla Herrera Oria storms the women’s division

No doubt emboldened by the absence of the women’s tour top three, Carla knows she has a real opportunity to move up in the rankings at this event. Today, she clearly separated herself from the rest of the women’s division as the absolute standout strapless freestyle rider among them.

In the final against Charlotte Carpentier, Charlotte took an early lead but Carla then unleashed a blistering barrage of tricks to build a massive points margin with some high scores including a front roll board-off (7.83 points) and a backroll to revert (8.63 points).

She finished with a massive 24.36 point lead to underline exactly why she’s the tour’s top female strapless freestyle rider right now.

Carla can



1: Airton Cozzolino (CPV)

2: Mitu Monteiro (CPV)

3: Simon Joosten (BRB)

4: James Carew (AUS)


1: Carla Herrera Oria (ESP)

2: Charlotte Carpentier (FRA)

3: Susanne Schwarztrauber (DEU)

4: Peri Roberts (AUS)

Stay tuned for the double elimination action! 

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