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Found 71 results

  1. Sessions with Moona Ep. 9 - Cabarete

  2. MIKA AND MARIO TAKE ON ALL COMERS TO RETAIN THEIR PODIUM POSITIONS ON FINAL DAY Sunday 15th July, Cabarete, Dominican Republic Report: Matt Pearce / Photos: Carlos Gonzales, Oli Dadswell and Genesis Reyes At the end of four non-stop days of competition the Brazilians finished on Saturday atop the podium with the unstoppable Mikaili Sol taking her second event win of the season to make it ‘two from two’ before Carlos Mario topped his first GKA Air Games event podium. It’s been an incredible week here in Cabarete with perfect conditions everyday but one since the riders arrived in town and this afternoon was a fitting finale to the main event in pumping conditions on Cabarete Beach. 1). The finalists on day five THE MEN HIT THE WATER AND JESSE LETS LOOSE By the end of play on Friday the field had been narrowed down to just nine men and Robinson Hilario and Adeuri Corniel were first up. Hilario’s riding style suits the Air Games format. He’s very comfy with the old-school / big-air side of things, but Adeuri was matching him trick for trick on a bigger kite than anyone else and he stuck some huge board-off rotations which he trucked into at full speed. 2). Adeuri on the advance Adeuri recently became the twin-tip racing (TT:R) Youth World Champion and will be representing the DR this October at the Youth Olympic Games, so he knows a thing or two about going flat-out and was taking a similar approach in his heats on Saturday. He had the momentum and he kept the charge to beat Louka Pitot in his next heat before taking out Friday’s top performing local rider, Luis Alberto Cruz. It looked like he might go all the way as he prepared for his heat against Jesse Richman. When he hit the water against Jesse he looked a little flustered though, maybe the occasion was getting to him or maybe it was the non-stop barrage of double elimination heats he’d just battled through. He soon regained his composure though and was pretty quickly matching Jesse for height and beginning to look like a real contender for the podium positions - with the home crowd fully behind him on the beach. 3). Jesse Richman – on the limit as per usual After a huge triple front roll and a massive board-off front roll Adeuri was looking pretty dominant, but then Jesse hit back with a series of massive half cabs, board-offs and a kiteloop double half cab before sealing the deal with a board-off double front roll to beat the local lad and progress to the next round. 4). Half cab hero - Jesse Jesse then went up against Paul Serin who’d beaten him on day three in the single elimination mini-final. The French rider was smooth, clean and playing a tactical game, but Jesse’s calculated (and maybe sometimes not-so calculated) ‘all-in’ approach was bearing fruit and, while he took some heavy crashes, he only needed three high scoring tricks to take the win. He did it – but only by 0.5 points! #tight 5). Paul Serin sending! With a guaranteed podium position in the bag, Jesse’s relentless march up the table continued and next he beat Posito Martinez in what, from the beach, looked like one of the tightest heats of the entire event. Posito struck first with a massive boogie loop before Jesse stuck a huge board-off rotation and another double half cab. In the dying seconds, it looked like Posito might have been in with a serious chance when he stuck a lofty backside board-off handlepass to toeside, but Jesse had already done enough by this stage and he would be taking on Carlos Mario in a bid for his second event win of the season. 6). Posito sprints up the beach for an equipment change – a key tactic that all of the competitors have employed this week to make sure they’re riding the right board or kite when going for big air or focusing on wakestyle tricks Jesse began on his bigger kite and was putting it all on the line from the start, but Carlos opened with a faultless double heart attack before following up with a clean kiteloop nine, scoring himself two tens in the process. The young Brazilian WKL Champion then came in, grabbed his strapped board and stuck a massive board-off triple front roll in the last minute. Before he and Jesse even left the water, it was pretty clear who’d clinched it. 7). Carlos ‘The Machine’ Mario living up to his name! Carlos was on fire and this win underlines the point that he’s not just a new school freestyle fanatic. He went from landing cutting edge wakestyle moves to doing board-off triple frontrolls. He’s the full package! PODIUM POSITIONS REMAIN IMPENETRABLE IN WOMEN’S DIVISION 8). Rita Arnaus airs The women’s division was down to six riders by the start of Saturday and Valesa drew first blood by taking out Rita Arnaus in a closely contested heat (Rita went straight to the judges tower to check her scores – she knew it’d been close). Valesa then fell to single-eliminations third placer Pippa van Iersel, who’s consistently thrown some of the most powered passes we’ve seen in the women’s division at this event. Hannah Whiteley then stopped her climbing any higher up the ladder with some huge tweaked nosegrab frontrolls backed up with super stylish big-air moves. So, this meant it would be Hannah and Mikaili meeting once again in their third final of the year (including the single elimination from earlier this week). 9). Hannah Whiteley pulls out all the stops against Mikaili in the final Hannah kicked things off with a sizeable ‘superwoman’ board-off, some massive grabbed rotations and a super-clean blind judge. Mikaili was ready to respond, sticking a big triple front roll which she followed up with a double front roll board off to toeside and then a STOMPED slim chance to take the win. 10). Mikaili Sol soars to glory Hannah and Mikaili have distinguished themselves at the top of the women’s division so far this season but Mikaili seems to have an ability to find another gear when it comes to crucial heats like this one. She didn’t have a massive lead over Hannah today, but she was smooth, consistent and wasn’t making many mistakes. At this level that’s what it takes! The main event is now complete but there’s still action coming up on Sunday in the Expression Session! Find current 2018 tour rankings here! GKA Air Games Cabarete 2018 - Day Four STAY TUNED TO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS AS THE EVENT PROGRESSES FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE
  3. THE FINALS DRAW NEAR AS LOCAL HEROES LAUNCH AN ASSAULT UP THE ELIMINATION LADDER Saturday 14th July, Cabarete, Dominican Republic Report: Matt Pearce / Photos: Carlos Gonzales and Genesis Reyes We’re getting down to the sharp end of the competition here at the GKA Air Games Cabarete and Friday saw the competitive field whittled down to just six women and seven men as the final stages of the double eliminations beckon. MEN 1). Set Teixeira battled hard yesterday but couldn't quite rise to Robinson's performance The men were on the water first and Set Teixeira, Carlos Mario’s long-time friend from back home in Cumbuco (arguably the kiting world’s other freestyle hotbed alongside Cabarete), won his first heat comfortably to progress to the second round. Unfortunately for Set, he then encountered F-One team mate and local rider Robinson Hilario and, while Set may have the upper hand in terms of technical freestyle ability, Robinson had him when it came to raw power and height and he took the heat, knocking Set out of the running. 2). Local shredder Robinson Hilario spins to win It was in this round that the Cabarete contingent began their charge up the elimination ladder and Luis Alberto Cruz was going all-out just as his performance yesterday had suggested he would. Huge airs and board-offs, coupled with what was perhaps the biggest double-handlepass of the event so far, saw him progress comfortably through to the next round, where he would take on talented young Columbian rider Valentin Rodriguez. 3). Luis Alberto Cruz is something of a triple threat when it comes to competition – experienced, well rounded and a rider who thrives on the pressure of taking out big names at his home spot! Luis’ relentless onslaught of back-to-back crowd pleasers and huge air-passes continued and he dispatched Valentin to book his place in tomorrow’s final elimination stages. The last time there was a major international event in Cabarete, Luis won it, and beat the world’s top freestyle riders (all of them) in the process. The man’s flat-out dangerous when competing here at his home spot and we can expect big things from him tomorrow when he hits the water against Nicolas Delmas. 4). It’s never easy to have to change your gear at the last second, but Louka adapted and overcame the challenge today! Straight after that, Louka Pitot (riding borrowed gear which makes his performance all the more impressive) beat big air specialist Marius Hoppe by 0.02 points to progress on to the next round where he’ll take on Ariel Corniel or Robinson Hilario depending on the outcome of their upcoming heat tomorrow. It’s a big win for Louka, but he’ll have his work cut out against either one of these Cabarete heavyweights in front of a home crowd! At the end of day four, these are the seven guys still in the mix! 1: Carlos Mario (BRA) 2: Posito Martinez (DOM) 3: Paul Serin (FRA) 4: Jesse Richman (USA) 5: Nicolas Delmas (FRA) 6: Luis Alberto Cruz (DOM) 7: Louka Pitot (MRU) THE WOMEN Rita Arnaus kicked off proceedings in the women’s division today by beating impressive local youngster, Paula Herrmann, before Pauline Valesa defeated fellow French rider, Maureen Castelle. 5). Rita Arnaus unhooked and, so far, unbeaten after two heats Maureen and Pauline are very equally matched in the freestyle stakes, both of them having done well at WKL events in the past, but Pauline was just that bit smoother today and was landing bigger rotations a little more cleanly, which helped tip the balance in her favour against Maureen. 6). Pauline leaves the beach after her heat – cool, calm and pushing on! Pauline will face Rita next as they both try to push up into the podium positions. Rita joked on the beach that she was going to break Pauline’s legs before their heat tomorrow, but it’s pretty likely that she didn’t mean it (probably!). Here are the six women who’ll be going at it tomorrow in the closing elimination heats. 1: Mikaili Sol (BRA) 2: Hannah Whiteley (UK) 3: Pippa van Iersel (NL) 4: Osaia Reding (FRA) 5: Pauline Valesa (FRA) 6: Rita Arnaus (ESP) The double eliminations should conclude today (Saturday) on what may well be the final day of the event. Stay tuned to our socials for all the updates. Find current tour rankings here. GKA Air Games Cabarete 2018 - Day Four STAY TUNED TO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS AS THE EVENT PROGRESSES FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE
  4. CARLOS MARIO AND MIKAILI SOL SEIZE THE SINGLE ELIMINATIONS Friday 13th July, Cabarete, Dominican Republic Report: Matt Pearce / Photos: Carlos Gonzales and Ivan Mendez Another jam-packed day of competition yesterday (Thursday) at the Air Games Cabarete 2018 as the single eliminations wrapped up and the riders pitched into the doubles. 1). Mikaili Sol – triple front roll Wednesday’s closing heats left the event site wrapped in suspense with just the final single elimination rounds to complete in both the men’s and women’s division and Thursday kicked off with a huge final in the women’s division with experienced freestyle competitor Hannah Whiteley taking on the 13 year-old rising star Mikaili Sol. Parallels are already being drawn between Mikaili and Gisela Pulido at the start of her career and today the young Brazilian showed that the hype may well be justified. Hannah is a seriously tough opponent and more than belonged in the final, but Mika’s methodical approach to her heat gave her the edge and she stuck a huge triple front roll, a massive front roll board-off and a clean slim chance on her way to victory. 2). Hannah Whiteley, always fights hard, whatever the battle In the battle for third, young Dutch charger Pippa van Iersel took on Osaia Comaille Reding. Osaia was pushing Tarifa podium finisher Pippa all the way, but when she over-sent a kiteloop and came down hard, injuring her hip in the process, Osaia was out of the fight. Pippa immediately rushed to help her and Osaia was quickly plucked from the water and is thankfully expected to make a full recovery, but the heat had to be finished early as a result. Pippa had still done enough to win by that point though so she clinched her podium position fair and square, deserving to be up there alongside Hannah and Mikaili. 3). Pippa – powered and passing MEN: The competition swiftly moved on to the men’s finals after a truly standout heat in the semis that saw Jesse Richman succumb to local legend Posito Martinez. Nobody’s been going bigger than Jesse and Posito at this event, but Posito pulled ahead and earned his place in the final against Carlos Mario who’d already booked his spot after beating Frenchman Paul Serin. 4). Posito smiling on the job. The man enjoys his work! 5). Jesse rode hard today, but this time poise defeated power. This was a true clash of the titans. The home crowd was going wild for Posito and it looked at points like he might have had the edge on the amplitude, landing a particularly clean (and big) triple backroll with a handle-pass, but Carlos was way ahead on technicality with a front blind mobe, a kiteloop seven and then a huge double half cab to seal the deal! 6). Carlos Mario It was then down to Paul Serin and Jesse to duke it out for third place and Jesse was breaking out his customary massive half cabs, he stuck a kiteloop front to blind and then came crucially close on a kiteloop seven (just losing the bar as he touched down). Jesse’s a risk taker, and sometimes that strategy pays off for him, but today Paul’s cleaner and perhaps slightly more tactical approach had done the job and he pushed past current tour leader Jesse to third. 7). Paul's old school French flair Paul’s been on fire at this event, riding well and working with the judging criteria like a true competitor. He knows when to switch between his boots and straps boards and alternate between powered wakestyle moves and big-air tricks. His boogie loop attempt was one of the best we’ve seen so far here in Cabarete. He’d changed down to a ten metre to go for it and, with a couple more knots, he’d no doubt have stomped it clean! Once the single elimination results were announced it was on to the doubles and the riders who’d exited the event early in the singles were gunning hard for retribution in this, their last chance to stay in the competition. 8). Rita Arnaus made a solid start in the doubles Rita Arnaus, who’d missed the singles due to an injured foot, pushed through the pain to knock Gina Binh out in her first heat of the event and then Paula Valesa beat Suami Cavallo to continue on to her next heat which will take place on Friday when she faces her friend and fellow French woman, Maureen Castelle. 9). Brazilian charger Set Teixeira gets back in the game In the men’s division, freestyle charger Set Teixeira overcame his surprise early exit in the singles and he’ll take on Cabarete-raised ripper Robinson Hilario next. Local rider Andri Ramirez also rekindled his chances by beating Esteban Hernandez from Colombia, but it may be a case of being ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ for him now as he has to take on Luis Alberto Cruz, a past winner of this event, in his next heat! Easier said than done… WRAP-UP VIDEO BELOW: GKA Air Games Cabarete 2018 - Main Event - Day Three SINGLE ELIMINATION RESULTS MEN 1: Carlos Mario (BRA) 2: Posito Martinez (DOM) 3: Paul Serin (FRA) 4: Jesse Richman (USA) 10). 2018 Gka Air Games in Cabarete WOMEN 1: Mikaili Sol (BRA) 2: Hannah Whiteley (UK) 3: Pippa van Iersel (NL) 4: Osaia Reding (FRA) 11). 2018 Gka Air Games in Cabarete The double eliminations continue today. Stay tuned to our socials for all the updates. Find current tour rankings here STAY TUNED TO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS AS THE EVENT PROGRESSES FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE
  5. The GKA Air Games Cabarete Have Lift-off!

    THE GKA AIR GAMES CABARETE TOOK FLIGHT ON WEDNESDAY Thursday 12th July, Cabarete, Dominican Republic 
Report: Matt Pearce Yesterday was flat-out from the start and stacked with heats at the GKA Air Games Cabarete as 38 riders battled through the single-eliminations, powered by the super-consistent afternoon conditions that this spot is known for. After Tuesday’s slow start, the riders were eager to get moving and the men’s division was up first with a posse of talented local riders taking to the water for the first time on the GKA Kiteboarding World Tour; all of them out to represent on home turf! 1). Hilario, the home town hero Robinson Hilario was impressive from the beginning, blending big airs with old school flair before switching to his wakestyle board with boots and stomping powered technical passes. This was a tactic we’d regularly see throughout the day, with riders making sure they’d racked up some high scoring, unhooked tricks before heading back to shore and going out with their strapped board and sending some airs (or vise versa). In round two, the first riders began to drop as some of the tour’s top riders hit the water for the first time. Jesse Richman struck hard with a huge double half cab and Carlos Mario, who took third in Tarifa, exploded into the contest with powered double-handlepasses and a heart attack before heading back to the beach, grabbing his second board and sending some board-offs! Carlos isn’t known for this kind of riding, but this tour is all about finding the most complete twin-tip rider and today Carlos showed that he’s exactly that! Next came the opening rounds of the women’s division and, after England’s defeat in the FIFA World Cup which had happened just before her heat, Hannah Whiteley was her country’s only hope for some international glory as she hit the water. And she delivered! She’s a very capable wakestyle rider, but today she focused instead on huge kiteloops, some fully stretched-out board-offs and big rotations. She was pretty lit on a nine, but changed up to a 12 just to make sure she could squeeze maximum amplitude from her heats! 2). Hannah going full bore Hannah’s Duotone teammate, Mikaili Sol, the 14 year-old phenom who won the last event in Tarifa, then headed out and put in one of the most complete performances of the day. Cool and wise beyond her years, she explained afterwards that she’d just stuck to a game plan (no doubt influenced by her coach Fabio Ingrosso who was beachside throughout). She ticked the boxes, landed the tricks she had to land and she knew that would be enough. And it was! 3). Mikaili Sol (right), 14, is taking World Championship competition in her stride! Then the men were back in action for the semi-finals as the wind ratcheted up a notch and Carlos Mario stormed past Paul Serin with some of the biggest airs of the event to book his place in the finals – but who would join him? 4). Richman soars in the semis The last heat of the day would decide that and what a showdown it was to round off an epic day of competition. Current tour leader Jesse Richman went head-to-head with local hero Posito Martinez as the home crowd hit fever pitch and it was one of the closest heats we saw. Jesse was coming down so hard that, after missing a handlepass, his leash broke sending his kite careening down the beach, but he was straight back in action with his customary zeal. However, Posito wasn’t to be outdone and some massive board-off rotations in the closing minutes were enough to clinch the win for him and secure his route to the single elimination finals. CHECK THE DAY TWO HIGHLIGHTS! GKA Air Games Cabarete 2018 - Main Event - Day Two RIDERS THROUGH TO THE FINAL ROUNDS! WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS 1: PIPPA VAN IERSEL vs HANNAH WHITELEY 2: OSAIA REDING vs MIKAILI SOL MEN’S FINALS Super-Final: CARLOS MARIO vs POSITO MARTINEZ Mini-Final: PAUL SERIN vs JESSE RICHMAN The main event continues today. Skippers meeting is at 10:00 with a first possible start at 11:00. Stay tuned to our socials for updates as the action kicks off! Find current tour rankings here STAY TUNED TO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS AS THE EVENT PROGRESSES FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE
  6. Riders on the Storm on Day One of the Main Event Window Gka Air Games Cabarete 2018 Wednesday 11th July, Cabarete, Dominican Republic 
Report: Matt Pearce 1). Women’s tour leader, 13 year-old Mikaili Sol focusing in at this morning’s skippers meeting The main event window officially opened yesterday as the last remnants of a dramatic tropical storm that had raged through the night blew out to sea. Thankfully, the thunder and lightning ceased by mid-morning but the turbulent weather wasn’t going anywhere and Cabarete’s natural cross-on wind direction was skewed, with the wind blowing a little more side-offshore than usual. 2). 2018 Gka Air Games in Cabarete Couple that with the residual clouds that were stopping a thermal effect from building and it meant that the wind never quite hit full competition strength but, if you had a big kite, it was ‘go time’ all the same and a number of the riders were out warming up on their bigger kite sizes throughout the day. 3). 2018 Gka Air Games in Cabarete Variable conditions are a fact of life in competitive kiteboarding, and they don’t just pose a challenge for the riders either. We caught up with race director Sergio Cantagalli to get a bit of background on the conditions we can expect this week (spoiler alert: the forecast looks solid!) and tour manager Tom Hartmaan alongside head judge Mallory de la Villemarque who gave us some insight into the concept behind this exciting new World Tour. 4). 2018 Gka Air Games in Cabarete THE CONDITIONS LOOK PROMISING FOR THE WEEK AND THE MAIN EVENT WILL CONTINUE TODAY (WEDNESDAY). ALSO LOOK OUT FOR NEWS OF A LIVESTREAM BROADCAST, DIRECT FROM THE BEACH TOWARDS THE END OF THE WEEK. SKIPPER'S MEETING IS AT 10:00 WITH A FIRST POSSIBLE START AT 11:00 LOCAL TIME. CHECK OUR SOCIALS FOR UPDATES AS THE DAY CONTINUES. GKA Air Games Cabarete 2018 - Main Event - Day One STAY TUNED TO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS AS THE EVENT PROGRESSES FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE
  7. Gka Air Games Cabarete 2018

    Tuesday 10th July, Cabarete, Dominican Republic 
Report: Matt Pearce 1). 2018 Gka Air Games in Cabarete Barely a week after the GKA Kiteworld World Tour 'Air Games' took flight for the very first time in Tarifa, the riders will be back in action this week at the Air Games Cabarete 2018, which is taking place at the Cabarete Kite Fest from 9 – 15th July! 2). Tour number three Carlos Mario and women’s number four Gina Bihn will be out to push further up the podiums this week! 39 riders from around the world have registered for the event – 26 men and 13 women – with a solid field of competitors, ranging from former World Champions to hard-hitting local rippers, as well as some of the most promising up-and-comers in the sport. 3). Roll up and sign on the line! Cabarete has a long, proud history of hosting world class kiteboarding events and the steady, thermic winds are a constant feature of this iconic kiting location. However, possibly the most notable thing it’s known for is its pool of formidable talent! 4). Adeuri Corniel is just one of the local chargers who’ll be repping the Dom Rep this week! This is one of the true kiteboarding hotspots, churning out top notch freestyle riders who make it their mission to take down visiting big name pros out on the water whenever an event rolls into town. Unsurprisingly, the local riders will be out in force this week with 11 competitors in the men’s division (nearly half the field) and two in the women’s division! You can be sure they’ll be looking to bring home the glory for Cabarete with the home fans no doubt getting behind them when the main event begins. Check out the riders registered below. MEN 1: Jesse Richman (USA) 2: Maxime Chabloz (SUI) 3: Carlos Mario (BRA) 4: Posito Martinez (DOM) 5: Nicolas Delmas (FRA) 6: Valentin Rodriguez (CMB) 7: Valentin Garat (FRA) 8: Paul Serin (FRA) 9: Set Teixera (BRA) 10: Marius Hoppe (GER) 11: Edgar Ulrich (FRA) 12: Louka Pitot (FRA) 13: Luis Alberto Cruz (DOM) 14: Juan Jose Rodriguez (COL) 15: Joselito Del Rosario (DOM) 16: Aron Rosslee (ZAR) 17: Esteban Hernandez (COL) 18: Piolin Velez (COL) 19: Ariel Corniel (DOM) 20: Nisael Gomez (DOM) 21: Brayan Betance (DOM) 22: Robinson Hilario (DOM) 23: Adeuri Corniel (DOM) 24: Miguel Angel Rodriguez (DOM) 25: Rafelito Gonzales (DOM) 26: Andri Ramirez (DOM) WOMEN 1: Mikaili Sol (BRA) 2: Hannah Whiteley (UK) 3: Pippa van Iersel (NL) 4: Gina Binh (GER) 5: Maureen Castelle (FRA) 6: Osaia Reding Commaille (BRA) 7: Rita Arnaus (ESP) 8: Suami Cavallo (ITA) 9: Alea Velez Patino (COL) 10: Paula Hermann (DOM) 11: Alexa Vargas (COL) 12: Madelyn Corniel (DOM) Cabarete Kite Festival 2018 GKA Air Games Teaser STAY TUNED TO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS AS THE EVENT PROGRESSES FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE
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