On Day 1, GKA organizers decided to run a Pure Wave format, with best two waves counting to final scores, after judges decided conditions were not suited to a mixed format.
Fourteen year old Charlie Martin (RE) dominated his heats, the youngster from Reunion showed impressive skill, with powerful hacks in the small waves and advanced to round 5. Judges were looking for riders who could adapt to the conditions of the day, and those that could link their turns in the mushy waves were scoring high.The smaller waves must have been frustrating to riders like James Carew (AU), but it didn’t put the Aussie off his stride, he put on a solid performance scoring a respectable 11.53, setting himself as one of the riders to keep an eye on at this event.
The high vibes and passion of the home crowd, kept the mood light, despite the lack of conditions and riders from each heat were coming of the water full of stoke. The Cape Verdeans know how to show their support and do so with pride! One local rider who should be feeling great this proud is Djo Silva (CV), not only has Djo played a huge part in the organisation of this event, he also won his first two heats and went through to heat five.
Francesco Cappuzzo (IT) who finished fourth on the tour last year, got off to a great start with an 11 point complete score, he will be another rider to watch in 2020. Towards the end of the day Airton Cozzolino (CV) landed a ridiculous air, completely on the nose of his board right at the end of his heat, giving the reigning world champion a complete score of 11.80.
The GKA are extremely happy to have two riders back on the tour this year. Luis Brito (CV) injured his shoulder severely in Tarifa two years ago, everyone is very happy to have him back on the tour. Matchu Lopes (CV) also returned to the water, and was on top form after a year off competing. The Cape Verdean was at ease, linking his turns smoothly and laying back into the waves with the loose tail style he is known for. His powerful performance won him the highest score of the day in the men’s division, a great start to the event and what is sure to be a promising come back for Matchu. From the men’s division three full rounds and 10 heats were completed on Day 1. In the women’s division Peri Roberts (AU) put on an impressive performance, with powerful hacks and smooth links, she scored 12.83. We’re excited to watch her next heat tomorrow. Irati Fonseca Kohler (CV) showed how local knowledge of the spot and waves, can really help when conditions are tricky, and knowing which wave to pick is paramount to scoring big. The Cape Verdean won her heat with a complete score of 6.76 in difficult conditions.
World Tour veteran Charlotte Carpentier (FR) was another rider managing to show strength in weak conditions, coming away with a complete score of 7.97 in her heat. In the final heat of the day Carla Herrera (SP) took a complete score of 10.90 over Stella Groschupf and her tidy 9.67. However, it was Ines Correia (PT) who took the days overall, highest, complete score, with a whopping 15.77 scored in the first heat of the day. With impressive riding from all the women in less than impressive conditions we’re waiting to see what they have instore for us tomorrow and later in the week when conditions are forecast to improve (slightly). In the women’s division, one full round of eight heats was completed.
Today brought some shock news when tour favourite Mitu Monteiro (CV) pulled out of the competition due to a knee injury. The GKA crew caught up with Mitu to find out why exactly he pulled out of competing at his home spot.
“I’m so sad to not be competing here in Cape Verde. I was training at Ponta Preta and just had my leg in the wrong position, the white water hit my board and my leg twisted. I’ve got a small injury to the ligament so I’m taking some time out to recover and be ready for Morocco!”