On a tricky afternoon of continued light thermal Poniente wind on day four of a six day event window at the GKA Kite World Cup Tarifa, the men’s twin-tip freestyle got underway after the completion of men’s kite-surf strapless freestyle round two… in which Airton Cozzolino completely blew the judges away!
In light winds, the champion’s natural flair takes a little more technical understanding to appreciate than his high wind big air performances. His aim was obvious: to show the world his vision for new school strapless freestyle, and what better stage to do it than on the livestream at a double discipline event, where 40 of the world’s best twin-tip freestylers were waiting on the sidelines to start their competition directly after his heat.
“Sure, he ended up doing more tricks from the same trick family than we’d usually like to see, but his riding was insane today!” Remarked head judge Mallory de la Villemarque. “You could see that he was thinking, ‘Hey guys, I can do sick handle-passes too, powered and with my kite low, and I’ve got no straps.’”
The reigning champion’s heat (against Ralph Boelen) was just about as flawless as you could hope to expect in conditions that were hovering around 14 knots. He collected almost three 9s for two backside 3s and a shifty frontside 3, plus another high 8 for a sublimely smooth front roll shuvit within his allotted six scoring tricks. To put this into perspective, the next highest heat score tally by Jan Marcos Riveras was over 8 points less.
That’s not to take anything away from anyone else, but there are certain sportsmen and women that are truly capable of inhuman performances. This wasn’t just a flash in the pan though, Airton was just doing what Airton can do when he’s fired up.
Three heats were completed in the men’s single elimination Freestyle division before the wind dropped back too much for fairly contestable conditions. You can find the heat notes on the liveticker on the Freestyle event page.