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Martin Lark

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Martin Lark last won the day on November 23

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  1. Knot Future: Goodbye, Hello.

    Watch Craig Cunnigham, Noé Font and Xander Raith kiteboarding on Hood River.
  2. GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Torquay - Day Three

    GKA KSWT - Women's single finals / men's early battles in Torquay Round Seven: Torquay, Australia GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Friday 14th December 1). Early doors at Point Danger / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide It was an early start today at Point Danger with the riders on the spot and rigging up at 05:30 ready to pitch back into the women’s division single eliminations. The first heats were rolling by 07:00 and Carla Herrera kicked things off beating Anna Williams as she began her push for a shot at the top of the podium (remember, this is a winner takes-all-event between Carla and Jalou Langeree - who finishes on top wins the Championship!) 2). Carla carves / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Next up, tour number four Johanna Catharina Edin from Sweden narrowly edged past Duotone teammate Lyde Heckroodt from South Africa in a tight heat. Both riders had to work hard to find point scoring sections but they made it work with well executed cut backs, milking the waves for all they were worth. It was hard to tell which one of them was going to take it but JC had the upper hand and made it through to the next round. 3). GKA KSWT - Women's single finals / men's early battles in Torquay 5). GKA KSWT - Women's single finals / men's early battles in Torquay As Jalou Langeree hit the water for her first heat against Jen Milton the conditions began to shift and there were some solid sets building further outside the reef. It was mushy, with the peak constantly moving, but Jalou knows all about conditions like these as she regularly kites in similar at her North Sea home spot of Noordwijk in the Netherlands. 5). Jalou makes her entrance / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide She sought out the better waves on offer, managing three to four turns per wave more than once with some stretched out cutbacks and gauging assaults on the wave face, always expertly timed before the wave detonated. She went through to the semis where she would take on, and beat, Johanna securing her route to the final against none other than the only threat to her 2018 World Title bid – Carla Herrera Oria. 6). Jalou pulls a diamond of a top turn out of the rough! / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide When the horn sounded for the start of the final, Jalou struck first with well linked turns and her wave selection was fully on point. The conditions were fluctuating, with the bigger sets not holding up long enough for more than a hit or two at a time, but Jalou was in perfect position every time right before the waves detonated on the reef. Jalou was giving Carla a lot of work to do if she was to stand any chance of catching her but the Spaniard wasn’t backing down and Carla picked off a number of the cleaner waves on the inside, showing how much she’s improved her wave riding game this season to match her rapidly developing strapless freestyle level. 7). Carla steps up / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Both riders were giving it everything with the tour title on the line but the results haven't yet been announced so we'll have to see who came out of that one on top tomorrow! In the mini-final, Johanna met Jen Milton and they went head to head for third place. The heat started, was postponed due to faltering winds, and then started again and the tension was palpable - particularly for JC who's followed the tour all season and has been super consistent to retain fourth place overall. 8). JC squeezes the swell for all its worth / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide However, when the heat finally got underway JC was firing from the off linking up four turns on her first wave. She kept up the pace and was steadily stacking up the points while Jen found herself way down in the righthand corner of the contest area for much of the heat with fewer waves to work with. Results for that heat coming up tomorrow! THE MEN: 9). The men hit the water / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide The wind was now more onshore but holding steady with most riders opting for 11 to 12 metre kites as the swell continued to build. Some heavy sets were cropping up out the back with a few double overhead lumps rolling in on the far left of the competition area. Aussie wildcards Jared Snow and Beau Pilgrim made a beeline towards them during their heats to take the wins and progress through to round two. 10). GKA KSWT - Women's single finals / men's early battles in Torquay 11). GKA KSWT - Women's single finals / men's early battles in Torquay In round one's opening heat Jan Marcos Riveras beat fellow Tarifa resident (from Germany) Laurens Meyer Kittels with a flowing but powered backhand display before Keahi de Aboitiz took on Roderick Pijls in the best heat of the day. Roderick is a solid contender in the waves and he's spend much of this year in Indo training but Keahi showed his true class from the start. He stuck a tweaked toeside aerial straight into a toeside air reverse before - on his last wave as the buzzer sounded - he managed to link up a tailslide into a roundhouse and then a super-clean air reverse to finish up. He earned himself an 8.1 for that wave and he was through to round three. 12). Keahi de Aboitiz air reverses his way to 8.1 points / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Next up, Reece Myerscough went up against Brazilian Pedro Matos and the Canadian showed how much he's progressed in the surf this year with an arcing backside turn into a fluid toeside aerial back onto the wave's face. Pedro took the heat though with a beautifully laid back wave 360 and a stylish toeside indy grab. Next in the water, Matchu Lopes took on local rider, Jarrod Snow. 13). Pedro Matos sends it off the lip / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Both Matchu and Jarrod were struggling in the now faltering winds, but Jarrod was making it hard for Matchu by sticking on the inside and linking up cutback after cutback to the left of Danger Point. Matchu had to get creative looking for points and they weren't easy to find as the wind began to drop. 14). Matchu Lopes in the last heat of day three / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide As conditions deteriorated further the heat was cancelled and the decision was then made to call a halt to men’s round two. So now it’s all about tomorrow with a 05:00 AM start coming up so that the riders will be ready to hit it hard at first light. The plan is to finish off the men’s single eliminations and then, if the conditions allow, it’ll be onto the double eliminations as we push towards crowning our KSWT Torquay winners and the 2018 KSWT World Champions! Lock in to our Instagram / Facebook / Twitter Photos: Ydwer van der Heide Report: Matt Pearce Videos: Mintautas Grigas
  3. GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Torquay - Day Two

    GKA KSWT Australia Day 2 - The women battle the elements first! Round Seven: Torquay, Australia GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Thursday 13th December 1). The KSWT Torquay women’s division / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide KSWT Race Director Juan Antonio Aragon was out scouring the coastline early this morning (Thursday) checking out the potential of some nearby beaches after today’s forecasts had suggested better conditions might be found elsewhere at one of the many kite spots that dot the area around Torquay. He struck gold at Thirteenth Beach, a popular spot among the local kiters where 20 knot side shore winds and a five foot swell were rolling in, so the decision was made to move the comp there right after the riders' morning briefing. 2). Taking cover at Thirteenth Beach / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Competitors and crew jumped into the wagons and headed off. The women were up first for round one of the single eliminations. It was a gut check for the riders huddled behind the judges' tower hiding from the driving rain coming in from the Southern Ocean, but the AP flag went up and the first heats of the KSWT Torquay were on! 3). Frances hits the water in heat one / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Australian rider Frances Kelly didn’t quite find her feet against fellow Aussie Anna Williams in the first heat and Anna took the win. Heat two delivered a surprising result for the tour's third ranked rider, Charlotte Carpentier from France, who was beaten by another Aussie, Jen Milton, who was riding in footstraps. 4). Jen Milton on the charge / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide It's very rare to see anyone riding straps at a KSWT event and it hasn't happened at all in the last two years, so it was interesting to see them making an appearance today. Even though straps have not been a popular choice among tour riders in the past, there’s nothing in the rulebook that bans their use and competitors are entitled to use them if they want to. Judges do take their use into account and if a rider is clearly relying on them just to ride a wave then that will be reflected in potentially lower scores. 5). Charlotte – cheerfulness in the face of adversity / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide That said, their tactical use paid off for Jen and she was able to hold down a lot more power than Charlotte in the shifting winds and strong side shore rip, managing some powerful hacks on the wave during their heat. It was a key example of how choosing your equipment carefully for the day’s conditions can give you an edge in competition. After heat two, the rain intensified and the wind dropped causing a break in proceedings until the clouds cleared and the wind began to fill in again. Tarifa event winner Carla Herrera Oria is currently lying in second in the Championship and was straight back out on the water to warm up, steadily tracking upwind on her 12 metre. 6). Carla rigging up before heat 3 / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide However, with a pushing tide and dead onshore winds to contend with the competitors and race crew knew it was going to be a struggle for any of the riders to compete without being pushed back to the beach after every wave. A brief spell of stronger wind pushed through long enough to start heat three, but when it backed off again the decision was made to call a halt to proceedings for today. 7). End of play on day two / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide The focus now shifts to tomorrow with a steady looking southeasterly on the forecast and a 2.5 – 3.5 metre swell coming up. The riders will be on the beach at Point Danger at 05:30 am with a first possible start at 06:00 in a bid to make the most of the conditions! Lock in to our Instagram / Facebook / Twitter Photos: Ydwer van der Heide Report: Matt Pearce Videos: Mintautas Grigas
  4. GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Torquay - Day One

    GKA KSWT Australia is set-up for wave action in this week's World Tour climax Round Seven: Torquay, Australia GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Wednesday 12th December 1). Stoking out the groms! / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide This morning saw 27 riders register for the event here at Point Danger with its impressive views of some of the seemingly countless breaks that run along Victoria's legendary Surf Coast. Point Danger will set the stage for the final battle of the Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 between a competitive field that includes numerous tour heavyweights and a host of homegrown talent. 2). Signing on the line / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Besides the regular tour riders, this stop will see a sizeable Australian contingent taking part with ten Aussie riders in the mix, including four girls who make up a significant part of the nine-strong women’s division at this event. Many of the Australian riders earned their spot here at the KSWT Torquay via wildcard entry after placing highly at the Australian National Champs which wrapped up here earlier this week. Overall, the women count for a third of the competitive field here which is a first at a Kite-Surf World Tour event and it's great to such a strong turnout in that division. The Conditions 3). Consistent (if small) swell rolled in but more wind required / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Looking ahead, this week’s forecast is changeable but there’s plenty of potential on the horizon. The wind came through late in the afternoon today and built up to steady 10-11 metre kite strength, but high tide had covered the reef causing the waves to back off and they weren't up to competition standard as the first riders hit the water to warm up. 4). Foil feels in the morning before the riders warmed up - look out for the foil video action coming... / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide As the aim is for this to be a wave-focused event, the decision was made not to run heats rather than revert to strapless freestyle on the first day of competition. So, with no day one action to analyse, it’s a good time to look at possible routes to the podium for the riders assembled here in Torquay. Mens’ Division 5). Airton studies the form / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Airton Cozzolino has the 2018 World Title fully sewn up. He’s absolutely dominated this year’s tour, losing only one event in Portugal to Matchu Lopes, but the lower podium positions are still up for grabs. Matchu currently holds second but he could yet be unseated by Keahi de Aboitiz if Keahi wins the event here in Torquay. In fact, if Keahi met Matchu in a final and beat him they would finish the tour tied on points BUT Keahi would still take second overall due to having placed higher at the last event in Brazil. It'd be a true nail biter if that one went down! 6). Matchu’s out to make it happen here in Torquay / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide If Mitu Monteiro wins the event ahead of Keahi then he could push up to third overall but it would be very hard for him to go any higher and Matchu would only need to make the final to retain second place. Outside the four podium spots, Camille Delannoy is in fifth place right now after a storming event in Brazil where he beat Airton Cozzolino in the single eliminations before coming second to him in the doubles. Camille can make it to fourth overall if he places higher than Mitu at this event, while Jan Marcos Riveras also has a chance of breaking into the top five if he places higher than Camille. 7). Camille lets loose after his stunning performance last month in Brazil / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Women’s division It’s a winner-takes-all scenario this week for Carla Herrera Oria and Jalou Langeree. Jalou currently leads so the title's hers to lose, but if Carla beats her in the final she’ll take the 2018 overall win. 8). Jalou Langeree rocking up at morning registration alongside Roderick Pijls and Charlotte Carpentier / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Charlotte Carpentier is looking solid in third but could push up to second if Carla finishes in sixth place or below and Johanna Catharina Edin has an outside shot at moving up from fourth to third as well. She’d need to win the event outright with Carla finishing in seventh place or lower for that to happen but anything’s possible in competition! 9). Charlotte Carpentier, Carla Herrera Oria and Johanna Catharina Edin taking in the table / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide There’s also the possibility of local wildcards causing an upset and that could well happen with the current Australian women’s top four all in the mix here at the KSWT Torquay. They've all competed at Point Danger in the last few days so perhaps they'll be able to bring that experience to bear on the international stage! 10). Australian women’s number four Frances Kelly from Forster, Tuncurry, at the first riders briefing / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Could Carew crush the KSWT Torquay? Speaking of threats from riders outside the top fives, Australian ripper James Carew will be one to watch in the men’s division fresh off the back of his win at the Aussie Nationals over the weekend. This is one of his home breaks, and it’s safe to say he knows how to make it work having beaten Keahi in the finals right here a couple of days ago. James has had an incredible season on the 2018 KSWT, including winning the Big Air event at Sotavento, and has been known to cause problems for many a top flight tour rider at previous events, so he has every chance at making the final here as well. 11). Carew ready to drop the hammer on home turf / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide So no competition in the bag today but Thursday’s forecast shows solid wind on the horizon with a building swell. Let’s see what the morning brings! This video from day one will bring you fully up to speed with the comp! Lock in to our Instagram / Facebook / Twitter Photos: Ydwer van der Heide Report: Matt Pearce Videos: Mintautas Grigas