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    • By Martin Lark
      Paula Novotna is a professional kitesurfer from The Czech Republic. In the first episode of her new movie series she's taking us to beautiful Philippines where she was preparing for the World Tour.
    • By Martin Lark
      One last blast in the Best Trick competition on Day Five in Fuerteventura
      Wednesday 24th July, 2019
      Words: Matt Pearce / Photos: Svetlana Romantsova

      1). Arthur Guillebert makes the pass in today's Best Trick comp.
      It was the last day of the event today in Sotavento at the GKA Freestyle World Cup Fuerteventura. After four days of relentless wind (it’s been blowing non-stop since the event began), some of the riders were still keen for more so it was time for the Best Trick competition.
      There would be three heats - strapless freestyle, men’s twintip and women’s twintip - and riders would have five trick attempts each. Scores were awarded for 50% height and 50% technical ability and, with the wind pushing past 30 knots and into big air territory, that meant the competitors would be able to ride to the conditions and send it!

      2). Pippa pulls the trigger
      Pippa van Iersel won the women’s heat against Alexandra Torres with some sizeable kiteloops, and it was a strong showing from the young Dutch rider whose winters in Cape Town and summers in Tarifa have helped her develop her boosting ability.

      3). Kiko Roig Torres takes the win.
      In the strapless freestyle heat, Kiko Roig Torres built on his already standalone performances in yesterday’s team Big Air event with a convincing win. Big rotations and cleanly executed landings set him apart, but some close scores from Pedro Matos and Anderson Reboucas kept him on his toes.

      4). Lewis Crathern had the upper hand when it came to height!
      The third and final heat was a seven man clash in which the male twintip riders showed a really diverse range of styles. Some opted for old school moves like board-offs and deadmans, while others went for freestyle-influenced tricks or kiteloop / megaloop variations.

      5). Arthur Guillebert will be happy with his result today after sustaining a heavy crash in the Main Event.
      Arthur Guillebert won the heat with a massive backside 317, but he was pushed all the way by Lewis Crathern who scored three tricks over 7 points while also sticking the best loop of the heat. Lewis might well have beaten Arthur on his last trick attempt, but a lull in the wind thwarted him as he lined up for a boogie loop resulting in a low score with no more chances available to him.

      6). Nelson Gomez booting it into the great beyond.
      Lewis had to settle for second while Nelson Gomez from Colombia took third with a trick far older than he is himself - a massive deadman board-off!
      It was a fitting end to an awesome event where the conditions have delivered day after day. The action on the water has been stellar, with Adeuri Corniel and Paula Novotna surging to victory ahead of the usual suspects in their divisions.
      The overall rankings have now shifted with Maxime Chabloz moving into first place ahead of Carlos Mario as Pippa van Iersel closes in on Mikaili Sol at the top of the women’s table.
      See full results and tour rankings below.
      GKA Freestyle World Cup Fuerteventura results

      7). Adeuri Corniel, Maxime Chabloz, Gianmaria Coccoluto, Carlos Mario
      1: Adeuri Corniel (DOM) 2: Maxime Chabloz (CHE) 3: Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) 4: Carlos Mario (BRA)  

      8). Paula Novotna, Pippa van Iersel, Mikaili Sol, Bruna Kajiya
      1: Paula Novotna (CZE) 2: Pippa van Iersel (NLD) 3: Mikaili Sol (BRA) 4: Bruna Kajiya (BRA)  

      9). GKA Kite World Tour - Freestyle World Fuerteventura 2019
      1: Arthur Guillebert (FRA) 2: Lewis Crathern (GBR) 3: Nelson Gomez (COL)  
      1: Pippa van Iersel (NLD) 2: Alexandra Torres (ESP)  
      1: Kiko Roig Torres (ESP) 2: Pedro Matos (BRA) 3: Anderson Reboucas (DEU)  

      10). Adeuri Corniel, Paula Novotna
      1: Maxime Chabloz (CHE) 2: Carlos Mario (BRA) 3: Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) 4: Liam Whaley (ESP) 5: Adeuri Corniel (DOM)  
      1: Mikaili Sol (BRA) 2: Pippa van Iersel (NLD) 3: Bruna Kajiya (BRA) 4: Therese Taabbel (DNK) 5: Rita Arnaus (ESP)  
      GKA Freestyle World Cup | Fuerteventura 2019 | Big Air Invitational
      Event page.
    • By Martin Lark
      Sunday 21st July 2019
      Report: Matt Pearce / All photos: Svetlana Romantsova
      Today, Paula Novotna won the GKA Freestyle World Cup Fuerteventura at the end of an epic day packed with trials and tribulations in challenging conditions! Here’s how it went down.

      1). Czech-ing in to first place!
      Round One
      Nathalie Lambrecht put down a marker early, nearly beating Bruna Kajiya and stomping a huge slim chance that scored 8.93 points.
      Bruna had to work hard to pull this one round, but some steady scores and her own high scoring slim chance secured her a victory in her opening heat. It was close though, and an impressive start from Swedish rider Lambrecht.

      2). Bruna's experience shone through in the early rounds.
      Francesca Bagnoli won heat two with a smooth, calm and calculated display while Pippa van Iersel went for all-in, powerful trick attempts. Francesca was far more measured though and a slim chance (another slim!) gave her the edge. Realistically, if Pippa had stuck some of her wilder efforts she might have won this one and her hinterberger frontside 3 will have given Francesca something to think about.

      3). Bagnoli bags the win.
      Paula Novotna won the third heat with a very complete performance. She was near faultless and only put a foot wrong once with a scrubbed landing on the way out of a back to blind.
      Rita Arnaus took second after a slow start ahead of Therese Taabbel in third. A heart attack on her final trick brought her closer to Paula, but the Czech Charger Novotna rounded out her heat with a 313 and frontside 3 hinterberger and there was no way anyone was catching her.

      4). Paula Novotna was the standout rider from round one, combining high scores with ruthless efficiency.
      Mikaili Sol won the final heat of round one, giving a glimpse of what she’s capable of, but it was by no means a polished display. She scored big with a 315, a sizeable slim chance and a heart attack but she crashed her four other trick attempts. It was her sheer technical ability that got her through, but she was going to have to clean up her act to win in the later rounds.

      5). Mikaili made it happen, but only just.
      Round Two
      Round two saw the conditions really begin to ramp up. Local rider Alexandra Torres impressed, winning the first heat to progress through to the semis alongside Maureen Castelle in second.
      In the second heat of the round, Nathalie Lambrecht sustained a heavy backside crash which temporarily knocked her out cold and she had to be helped from the water by the safety sled before being checked over in the back of an ambulance.
      Thankfully she was ok, but her event was over and Therese Taabbel won the heat ahead of Pippa van Iersel in second.

      6). Therese laying her cards on the Taabbel.
      The Semi-Finals
      This was where things got really challenging, with winds gusting up to 35 knots and steadily building chop and it was clear that some of the riders hadn’t trained much in conditions like this.
      Bruna Kajiya looked unshakeable in the first semis heat, leading from start to finish, and a tight duel between Francesca Bagnoli and Pippa van Iersel came down to the wire with Francesca just missing a slim chance which meant that Pippa would progress through to the final.

      7). Bruna seeking out the angles.
      The riders weren’t getting it any easier in the second semi-final heat, and at times it was a case of just unhooking, edging, and hoping that a gust didn’t hammer you before you went for a trick.
      Watching Mikaili Sol though, you might have thought she was riding in a different heat. She landed the highest score of the round for a backmobe (8.07) and the gusts weren’t phasing her at all (and if they were - she wasn't showing it). She took first with Paula Novotna in second and then it was on to the final!

      8). Mikaili was almost on full form in the semi-finals, but it wasn't going to last.
      The Final
      Two former World Champs in the forms of Mikaili and Bruna, Pippa the Dutch ripper and an absolutely firing Paula Novotna. This was going to be good!
      Paula opened with a blind judge and Pippa hit back with a BS 313. The riders were on smaller kites, which are of course much quicker, so they were finding it hard at points to ride out of tricks without their kites overreacting to their steering input.
      Bruna and Mikaili just couldn’t seem to nail their landings and Mikaili then took a heavy slam on her third trick and was clearly in pain, holding her ear as she spoke to her trainer Fabio on the beach.

      9). Paula powers on through the finals.
      She headed back out but wasn’t landing any tricks and, other than a tiny score for a very small raley, after six tricks she had next to no points on the board.
      Pippa van Iersel had managed to land an s-bend to blind which added to her high score from her first trick to solidify her position in second, but Paula was absolutely running away with the heat.
      She landed another 313, which would have been enough to win on its own, but she then added an ultra-powered blind judge 3 close to the shore to give herself a 12.33 point lead as the other riders came in for their last tricks.

      10). Pippa scored her best podium finish of the season today.
      She was now unbeatable, and Pippa was safe in second, so who would take third?
      Bruna landed a blind judge on her sixth trick attempt and the odds were now in her favour. Mikaili looked as though she was starting to unravel, and was on the beach discussing with her coach whether or not she should even continue with the heat.
      However, like the warrior she is, she wasn’t about to quit just yet. No safe scores would do, it had to be all or nothing, and nobody could have expected what was to come. She lined up, edged, and then only went and landed the highest score of the day – a MASSIVE heart attack for 9.1 points!

      11). When the pressure was on, Mika made it happen today.
      It was enough for third and, although it wouldn’t be enough to wrest second from Pippa, it still meant she’d made it to the podium. A heroic effort in the face of substantial odds, and what a result for Paula who was on fire from the very start today and fully deserved her victory.

      12). Paula Novotna, Pippa van Iersel, Mikaili Sol, Bruna Kajiya
      1: Paula Novotna (CZE) 2: Pippa van Iersel (NLD) 3: Mikaili Sol (BRA) 4: Bruna Kajiya (BRA)  
      On Monday, it's back to the men's division with eight semi-finalists ready to roll. Here's who'll be fighting for a place in the finals.
      SEMIS HEAT 1
      Valentin Rodriguez Nico Delmas Adeuri Corniel Maxime Chabloz  
      SEMIS HEAT 2
      Gianmaria Coccoluto Louka Pitot Liam Whaley Carlos Mario  
      GKA Freestyle World Cup | Fuerteventura 2019 | Day Two
      Event page.