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Found 43 results

  1. Let's Make a Change!

  2. The Desert Trip

    Pro riders Jalou Langeree and Roderick Pijls went for a 24-hour trip to southern Morocco – see what kind of attractions they've found there.
  3. GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Torquay - Day Five

    GKA KSWT Australia Final result and 2018 Champions crowned! Round Seven: Torquay, Australia GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Sunday 17th December 1). Done and dusted - Keahi took the event win on home soil / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide AIRTON COZZOLINO AND JALOU LANGEREE TAKE THE 2018 WORLD TITLES After a few days of faltering winds, a fair bit of waiting and consistent but mostly onshore surf, Point Danger delivered cross-off winds and peeling waves for an epic final round in the men’s single eliminations. On Saturday, the last day with any reliable wind on the forecast, we watched Keahi de Aboitiz beat Sebastian Ribeiro in a world class final to take the KSWT Torquay title (and on his birthday no less). 2). Ribeiro takes second / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide The women’s single elimination had wrapped up the day before and their results were announced alongside the men’s with Jalou crowned the winner after a testing single elimination round that saw the women competing in some of the toughest conditions of the event at nearby Thirteenth Beach. GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Women’s Champion Jalou Langeree 3). Tropical feels at Thirteenth Beach / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide On Sunday the riders were back on the point at 08:00 AM for a possible start to the double eliminations but, although there were clear blue skies and some beautifully clean lines rolling over the reef, the wind wasn’t up to strength and there would be no more heats run on the final day of the event. With no doubles being completed, the results from the single eliminations now count as the official results for this event which makes Keahi and Jalou the first ever KSWT Torquay winners! Jalou’s win here also secures her first GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Title (3rd world title in all) after a hard fought season in which she’s battled Moona Whyte and Carla Herrera Oria for the top spot since the first event back in February in Cape Verde. 4). Focus pays off for Carla / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Carla finishes the year in second, a strong result for the Spaniard given her relative inexperience in the waves before she joined the tour in 2017. With Jalou currently planning a break from competition in 2019 you can bet Carla’s eyeing her chances at a tour title next season! 5). Charlotte rigging up before her opening single eliminations heat / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Charlotte Carpentier had a challenging time of it at this event, crashing out early in the single eliminations after losing to Australian rider Jennie Milton. This has been an impressive debut year for her on the tour though and a series of steadily progressing strapless freestyle performances throughout the season had given her a good base of points before this event began, so she retains her third place position overall. 6). JC – stoked on cookies and on third place in 2018 / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Johanna Catharina Edin will no doubt be overjoyed with her performance this week. She scored third place and although it doesn’t move her any higher in the overall rankings she still finishes the season in fourth and that’s a solid final position at the end of her first year on tour. She’d aimed for a top five finish and she stuck it. Let’s see if she can build on that in 2019! 7). Moona hits the lip at the KSWT Dakhla 2018 / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Moona Whyte sadly missed this event and last month’s KSWT Brazil after injuring her back at home in Hawaii, but second place earlier this year in Dakhla and two first place finishes in Portugal and Cape Verde had seen her already amass enough points to round out the season in fifth place. MENS DIVISION In the men’s division there’s no change at the top and Airton, who started this event with an unsurpassable lead, still finishes the season in first place retaining his KSWT World Title! 8). Job done! / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Men’s Champion Airton Cozzolino It’s been a huge year on tour for him during which he’s proven himself close to unbeatable in the strapless freestyle stakes, while also showing that he’s able to win convincingly in the waves after his victory at the opening tour stop at Ponta Preta in Cape Verde. 9). Airton on the attack / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide He started this season hoping for a clean sweep at the title and it hasn’t quite worked out that way but with five wins from seven events he’s not had a bad run at it! This isn’t the first time Keahi has pulled the rug out from under Airton at a final event though and his victory here means he now takes second place overall ahead of Matchu. In 2016 the Australian beat Airton in the final event in Dakhla and last year he won the final event in Mauritius to deny Airton a clean finish on the way to his first ever KSWT title. 10). Matchu meets Mitu in the mini-final / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide So Matchu now finishes 2018 in third overall while Mitu Monteiro retains fourth. After yesterday’s final, Mitu admitted that he’d been eyeing a top three finish for this season and a win at this event would have secured that for him but it was not to be. You can bet he’ll be coming back even harder next year though and we all know he’s still got the ability to take event wins, so let’s see what he brings to the table when the tour kicks off in Cape Verde in February 2019! 11). Eyes on 2019! / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Mitu’s F-One teammate Camille Delannoy came into this event fresh off the back of the KSWT Brazil where he had his best performance in the last two years taking second place against Airton. Here in Torquay he made it to the semi-finals earning himself enough points to finish the season in fifth overall. 12). Camille on day one at the KSWT Torquay / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Camille’s been pushing hard to make it into the top five this season so he’ll be happy with his final standing and, at just 19 years-old, he has a bright future if he can keep building on his 2018 successes. KSWT TORQUAY RESULTS 13). GKA KSWT Australia Final result and 2018 Champions crowned! MEN 1: Keahi de Aboitiz – AUS 2: Sebastian Ribeiro – BRA 3: Matchu Lopes – ESP 4: Mitu Monteiro – CV 14). GKA KSWT Australia Final result and 2018 Champions crowned! WOMEN 1: Jalou Langeree – NL 2: Carla Herrera Oria – ESP 3: Johanna Catharina Edin – SE 4: Jennie Milton – AUS 2018 GKA KITE-SURF WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS 15). GKA KSWT Australia Final result and 2018 Champions crowned! MEN 1: Airton Cozzolino – CV / ITA 2: Keahi de Aboitiz – AUS 3: Matchu Lopes – ESP 4: Mitu Monteiro – CV 5: Camille Delannoy – FRA 16). GKA KSWT Australia Final result and 2018 Champions crowned! WOMEN 1: Jalou Langeree – NL 2: Carla Herrera Oria – ESP 3: Charlotte Carpentier – FRA 4: Johanna Catharina Edin – SE 5: Moona Whyte – USA FULL SEASON RANKINGS GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Torquay | Awards Ceremony THE LAST WORD So with no competition today and the final tour standings confirmed, it was on to the closing party this evening at Bomboras Bar on Torquay seafront overlooking Point Danger. It was an awesome location to wrap up the event and the people of Torquay have really welcomed the tour into their beautiful town with open arms this week. Everyone who’s a part of the KSWT talks about the family feel of the tour and it was amazing to finish the KSWT 2018 season up here on the Surf Coast – a place with such a storied surf and water sports history. Keep an eye out for the full action highlights reel coming up! 17). GKA KSWT Australia Final result and 2018 Champions crowned! 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 Four

    GKA KSWT Australia Men's single full action finals and women's result. Round Seven: Torquay, Australia GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Saturday 16th December 1). Matchu prepares / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide KEAHI DE ABOITIZ AND JALOU LANGEREE WIN THE SINGLES HERE'S HOW IT PLAYED OUT ON DAY FOUR It was another early start this morning as the men rigged up in the dark preparing for a 06:00 AM kick off at Point Danger. The wind was more side shore than yesterday with a slightly improved swell angle as well which made for some decent conditions and the day’s first heat – heat 10b featuring Matchu Lopes and Jarrod Snow – was on the water shortly after sunrise. 2). Kicking off day four and the single eliminations / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Matchu took the heat convincingly with a super clean no-handed wave 360 and fellow Cape Verdean wave seeking savant Mitu Monteiro then came up with a masterful backhand performance to win the following heat against Paulo Aurelio. Next up wave riding heavyweights Sebastian Ribeiro and local legend James Carew went at it for a place in the quarter finals. James is one of the tour’s standout up-and-comers but Sebastian used to compete on the QS pro surfing tour and his ability in the waves is next level. He was deftly looping his kite for power and keeping his centre of gravity low, catching the best sections from the start with powered lip hacks and floaty backside tail slides time after time. 3). Sebastian drives the tail / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Carew answered back with his muscular, powered riding style and a barrage of toeside aerials and then finished up by linking a couple of airs on a solid runner out the back as the final minutes ticked down but Sebastian had done the business and he was through to the semis. 4). James Carew burying the rail / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide What followed was the best heat of the event up to that point. Aussie ripper Beau Pilgrim, who spends much of his time kiting at the famous Namotu Island in Fiji, took on Airton Cozzolino in the final heat of round three and he opened with a blinding backside top turn on his first wave. Disaster then struck for Beau as his kite ejected onto the safety line and it lost him valuable time that Airton was able to capitalise on. Airton struck hard on his front hand with the most powerful top turn of the event so far, obliterating the lip and exploding into the heat after a slow start. 5). Airton lines one up for the spectators / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide He followed up with a stylish air reverse as Beau continued to flounder relaunching his kite but he was soon back in the game and on his next ride he managed five turns before the wave ground out on the inside section of the reef. At this point, it was starting to look very close indeed but Airton’s sheer technical skill is undeniable and a stomped aerial off the lip followed by a smooth wave reverse was enough to give him the edge over Beau as the buzzer sounded. It was close though, with Airton scoring 13.17 and Beau notching up 11.89 making this one of the tightest and highest scoring heats of the event. 6). On to the quarter finals / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide In the quarter-finals the intensity went up a level. Keahi dispatched Jan Marcos Riveras with a barrage of air reverses and effortless tail slides and then Matchu overcame Pedro Matos to book his place in the semis. Sebastian Ribeiro then struck a massive blow by beating Airton Cozzolino to secure a route to a semi-final heat against Mitu Monteiro with Keahi preparing to face Matchu. Airton had allowed himself to get sucked in to going for a higher wave count but he was taking the smaller sets inside the reef while Sebastian was going for fewer waves but the ones he did take were bigger and he was able to make more out of them. It was a case of quality over quantity and it paid off for Sebastian. 7). Tour leader Airton exits the KSWT Torquay / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Keahi won the first semis heat with a shuvit into a wave 360, the most technical move so far at the KSWT Torquay, and he was through to the super-final. Who would take him on though? Mitu or Sebastian? Either rider would have been a worthy contestant and Keahi’s met them both in finals in the past but Sebastian’s near faultless, pure surf style was working well for him. It wasn’t easy to pick waves today with sets cropping up seemingly at random but Sebastian had tuned into the conditions and he had the pick of the sets. Advantage Ribeiro – it was onto the finals. Or so we hoped. 8). Mitu prepares for the semis / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide The wind threw yet another curveball at this point and dropped right off and for several hours Point Danger was shrouded in fog with the wind barely pushing past ten knots. 9). The waiting game continues as the cloud lifts / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Then, at 16:00, a sea breeze began to blow in from the north, the sun came out and things started to look promising. The wind was now blowing cross-off from the left and the waves were transformed from snarling onshore lumps to clean, moulded peelers. It was an entirely different playing field to what the riders had started on this morning and Keahi tentatively tacked out to the reef and was soon joined by Matchu and Sebastian and then finally Mitu. The finalists were ready and the heat sequence began. 10). Keahi on the attack / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide The super-final was up first and Keahi opened on a double-up on the left hand corner of the reef. Riding on his backhand, he was throwing the cleanest, most stylish backside top turns of the comp driving huge fans of spray with every hit. Sebastian was also riding on his backside and, like Keahi, was showing an excellent tactical understanding of the waves. Before he committed to one you could see him eyeing down the line to see how it might unfold but he seemed to focus more on smaller sets on the inside while Keahi stayed out the back picking off bombs. 11). Sebastian Ribeiro in the single eliminations / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Both Keahi and Sebastian are at the top of their game when it comes to waves, but Keahi had the measure of Sebastian today and even managed to stall his way into the first barrel of the event before the buzzer went. Next up came the mini-final with Matchu taking on Mitu for third place. These guys have logged so many hours in the water together over the years both freeriding and in competition and they know each other’s riding inside out. This was the tighter of the two heats and Mitu brought a really creative edge to his riding, constantly alternating between backside and switch frontside and showing just how comfortable he is with both. At one point, he switched from backside to frontside in between turns on one wave and he was living up to his nickname – the Maestro! 12). Mitu Monteiro in the mini-final / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Matchu wasn’t backing off though. He knew that he’d potentially lost his second place ranking to Keahi by failing to make the final and maybe that lessened the pressure for him and allowed him to relax into the heat more fully. He wanted to win, but it looked like he was having fun with it and he even managed a little cover up on one of his bigger waves. But was it enough? As the sun began to set over Point Danger we had our answer. 13). Birthday boy takes the win / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Matchu had made up for losing his second place ranking (for now – he may yet find redemption in the doubles) by taking third in the mini-final over Mitu while Keahi had won the super-final ahead of Sebastian – and on his birthday too! At this point the women’s results from yesterday’s single eliminations were also announced in front of the crowd at Point Danger. Jalou had done the job ahead of Carla Herrera Oria in second while Johanna Catharina Edin had taken third with Jennie Milton in fourth. SINGLE ELIMINATION RESULTS 14). GKA KSWT Australia Men's single full action finals and women's result. WOMEN 1: Jalou Langeree – NL 2: Carla Herrera Oria – ESP 3: Johanna Catharina Edin – SE 4: Jennie Milton – AUS 15). GKA KSWT Australia Men's single full action finals and women's result. MEN 1: Keahi de Aboitiz – AUS 2: Sebatian Ribeiro – BRA 3: Matchu Lopes – ESP 4: Mitu Monteiro – CV So these are the results so far but the action’s not necessarily over yet. Tomorrow the riders will be back at Point Danger for 08:00 AM as they ready themselves for the double eliminations if conditions allow. As it stands, Keahi and Jalou have the lead but that could all change if their potential pursuers have their way! We’ll keep you updated as the action unfolds.. GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Torquay | DAY 4 - Men's Singles Finals Lock in to our Instagram / Facebook / Twitter Photos: Ydwer van der Heide Report: Matt Pearce Videos: Mintautas Grigas
  5. GKA Brazil - Final Wrap-Up!

    UNOFFICIAL BIG AIR EXTRAVAGANZA CLOSES OUT THE CEARA KITE PRO Round Six: Prea, Brazil GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Saturday 24th November Four action packed days in Prea, Brazil for round six of the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour came to a close on Saturday with a big air competition. This unofficial result doesn't count towards the overall World Championship ranking, but with pride on the line as well as performance momentum propelling the winner positively onwards towards the final round in Australia next month, the beach crowd was treated to one more afternoon of aerial acrobatics. 1). Man and machine, Airton Cozzolino Two tricks counted for each rider in the heats, with judges awarding 70% of the score for height and 30% for technicality. 2). Kiko stoked to make his first ever final! 17 year-old Spaniard Kiko Roig has impressed all week and reached the final against Airton Cozzolino but couldn't topple the reigning World Champion who was riding high after his main event win yesterday. 3). Carla back to winning ways against Jalou In the women's unofficial big air event Carla Herrera-Oria got sweet revenge over Jalou Langeree who had claimed the all important official event win against her on Friday. In doing so the Dutch star crucially moved ahead in the overall rankings, making the final in Australia a winner-takes-all event for the championship. In the men's main event season, the battle for 2nd place overall and below is running hot, but after not winning the final event last year and not getting the chance to claim his championship from the top step, Airton isn't going to want to miss his chance for double glory to close the season out this time. Everyone wants to win! Game on: the Australia event runs from 12 - 16th December at Torquay. Find out more here. 2018 RANKINGS MEN: 1 Airton Cozzolino (ITA / CV) 2 Matchu Lopes (SPN) 3 Keahi de Aboitiz (AUS) 4 Mitu Monteiro (CV) 5 Camille Delannoy (FRA) 6 Jan Marcos Riveras (DR) 7 Paulino Pereira (POR) 8 James Carew (AUS) 9 Gustavo Arrojo (SPN) 10 Ralph Boelen (FRA) WOMEN: 1 Jalou Langeree (NED) 2 Carla Herrera (SPN) 3 Charlotte Carpentier (FRA) 4 JC Edin (SWE) 5 Moona Whyte (USA) 6 Ines Correia (POR) 7 Marie Gautron (FRA) 8 Odile Cavin 9 Didi Lopes (CV) 10 Justyna Sverpwska (POL) A livestream ran all week. Catch all the streams on the GKA YouTube channel where you'll also find the pick of the best heats as well as the usual highlight reels. Report: Jim Gaunt
 Photos: Ydwer van der Heide Videos: Mintautas Grigas
  6. ONE FLIP AWAY! Round Six: Prea, Brazil GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Saturday 24th November 1). Party time in Prea! Many experienced industry pros are already calling 'Prea Friday' one of the most exciting single event afternoons of action that we've ever seen in kiteboarding. 2). Airton engaged top gear Revenge was sweet for Airton Cozzolino who beat single elimination winner Camille Delannoy twice to take the win here in Prea at round six of the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour. This crucial win puts the 2018 World Title beyond doubt for him as we look towards a terrific final event in Australia next month. 3). Airton pulled the trigger again and again... After three years of strapless freestyle competition it feels like this event is going to be a watershed moment in terms of how people perceive kiteboarding competition. In a year that the Air Games twin-tip competition launched, arguably it's the strapless freestyle riders who have come along and truly set a world tour big air benchmark. We will come onto the men's contest in a moment... WOMEN: The women's contest (8 riders) was equally tight and after surprisingly losing her first heat in the single elimination, tour leader Carla Herrera-Oria had to fight her way up through four heats just to reach the double elimination final against Jalou Langeree. 4). Carla Herrera-Oria had it all to do Carla would have to beat Jalou twice to claim the event win. Carla was a different rider to the one ejected early from proceedings on Thursday. Having focused on strapless freestyle as a discipline at a time when it's so new and fresh for women, this is a golden opportunity for her to claim a world championship. 5). Carla calculated a steady rhythm of tricks to win 5 heats Carla had been averaging a considerable 14 tricks per heat as she climbed her way back up through the doubles and was equally mechanical against Jalou, taking the win in the final, forcing a re-match. Come the final minute with the scores as tight as you like, Langeree found a big rodeo to sneak the event win and move ahead in the championship thanks to an event discard after five events. 6). Women's podium - Jalou back on top It's now a winner takes all event at the final in Australia between her and Carla with Moona being injured and now having missed two events. GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Brazil | Women's doubles finals Jalou Langeree VS Carla Herrera PREA WOMEN'S RESULT: 1 Jalou Langeree (NED) 2 Carla Herrera-Oria (SPN) 3 Sabine Beukeleers (BEL) 4 Marcella Wit (BRA) MEN: There is literally too much to report on... Mitu Monteiro described the daily 25 – 30 knot winds here in Prea as absolutely perfect for strapless freestyle progression, so let's pull out some heroes and key moments, beyond the usual high performers like Matchu Lopes, Keahi de Aboitiz, Jan Marcos Riveras and co. Check out the heat ladder at the bottom of this feature to see where those guys prevailed and lost in what has been an event full of highs in so many ways. 7). Mitu was his usual high calibre but narrowly lost in the quarter final to James Carew Canadian Reece Mysercough has been on tour all season and has improved so much, particularly in the last two months. A freshly bagged front roll shovit (which evaded many more successful riders this event) saw him achieve his best position so far in his career, taking down Paulo Aurelio, Pedro Matos and Alan Trancart at this event before finally losing out to American Evan Netsch in round four of the double eliminations. 8). Reece and that front roll shovit Leonardo Da Souza entered the event as a wildcard but finished as the highest placed Brazilian; no small achievement. A super slick skate / surfstyle approach getting the business done for him against many a more experienced rider. You'll enjoy his heats on the livestream playback. His biggest scalp: 10th placed world tour rider and regular competitor Ralph Boelen! 9). Da Souza Matt Elsasser entered the fray after a year off, as did fellow American and Cabrinha team mate Evan Netsch. Evan just making it one round further in the double elimination than Matt, but great to see these two Americans back on tour and riding without compromise in terms of style and, in the case of Evan, bringing in some of his wakestyle competition experience, too. We hope to see them again on tour soon. Matt eventually lost to Keahi and Evan to Gustavo Arrojo. 10). Matt Elsasser 11). Evan Netsch Gustavo Arrojo, like many riders, has found consistency in landings as well as height and amplitude. Let's not forget this tour is just three years old and in order for it to thrive it needs a hungry field of skilled athletes. The Spaniard is quickly raising his game and is putting serious claims on a top five finish at the end of the season. He eventually succumbed to Matchu Lopes who had points to prove after losing in the single elimination quarter finals, but unfortunately finished 5th, someway short of his best, but at least we got two heats of magic from Matchu while his form was truly singing for the livestream. Good man. 12). Gustavo Arrojo 13). Matchu Lopes James Carew is a man on a mission and bringing an explosive big game to the table. He stormed his way to third place in the single elimination and then beat Mitu Monteiro in his first heat of the doubles but crumbled in the second half of the semi-final against Airton. Actually that's not entirely fair. Airton switched into a new gear, achieved an event high of 54.33 that included the first of his two 10 point trick scores of the day for a massive boogie loop (kite loop front roll). James himself admitted that he didn't care; that the riding level he was in the midst of was something very special. 14). James Carew will be among the favourites for Saturday's big air contest after claiming the win in Sotavento And so to the final. What can we say? Camille Delannoy didn't put a foot wrong all competition, going high with commitment, power and flow. Often looking more like an acro-paraglider than a kiteboarder, he broke the immense 50 point barrier in each of the double elimination finals that he faced Airton. 15). Camille Delannoy, so close, but still one of only two men to have ever beaten Airton Cozzolino in a pure strapless freestyle heat Sadly for him Airton managed to hold firm and score just a couple of points more come the final tally and for the super final required an adjudication from the judges that saw Airton actually awarded even more points for a back roll kite loop with a tic-tac and then an added board flip that the automatic scoring app hadn't registered. So that explains the misleading final score graphic on the livestream as the heat closed, but moments later Airton was hailed as the winner in a heat that saw his second 10-point score of the competition for his unhooked 313. 16). Airton - still next level There's nothing like seeing a man like Airton on a mission with vengeance on his mind, but Camille Delannoy lit up the event and has added a new name to the list of KSWT potential event winners, which can only be good for the neutral fan. 17). A true force of nature Having only been beaten three times in the last three years, we were starting to believe that Airton Cozzolino could only leave an opportunity for opponents through his own errors. That's no longer true. There are chinks in his armour. It's going to take at least a 50 point heat to beat him though, but it turns out the alien is actually human. Sadly for Camille, Airton was on fire on Friday and took both his second chances in the double elimination. Camille's super-charged improvement in consistency is good news because it's just not feasible for a tour to progress and grow under the starlight of one hero. Airton needs riders to come up and truly challenge him at strapless freestyle (there are plenty of challengers in waves). Ideally for him he wants riders who will push him to his absolute best, but will narrowly fall just short making for epic final showdowns and much media exposure, as we saw on Friday. Camille didn't lose, Airton just switched back to alien form but the sport as a whole won. 18). High flyers - Men's podium, Prea GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Brazil | Men's doubles finals Airton Cozzolino VS Camille Delannoy PREA MEN'S RESULT: 1 Airton Cozzolino (ITA / CV) 2 Camille Delannoy (FRA) 3 James Carew (AUS) 4 Mitu Monteiro (CV) MEN'S DOUBLE ELIMINATION LADDER WOMEN'S DOUBLE ELIMINATION LADDER 2018 RANKINGS MEN: 1 Airton Cozzolino (ITA / CV) 2 Matchu Lopes (SPN) 3 Keahi de Aboitiz (AUS) 4 Mitu Monteiro (CV) 5 Camille Delannoy (FRA) 6 Jan Marcos Riveras (DR) 7 Paulino Pereira (POR) 8 James Carew (AUS) 9 Gustavo Arrojo (SPN) 10 Ralph Boelen (FRA) WOMEN: 1 Jalou Langeree (NED) 2 Carla Herrera (SPN) 3 Charlotte Carpentier (FRA) 4 JC Edin (SWE) 5 Moona Whyte (USA) 6 Ines Correia (POR) 7 Marie Gautron (FRA) 8 Odile Cavin 9 Didi Lopes (CV) 10 Justyna Sverpwska (POL) WHERE TO WATCH? Catch all the action on the Preá event page on the GKA website here. Or watch it on the GKA Facebook page here. Report: Jim Gaunt
 Photos: Ydwer van der Heide Videos: Mintautas Grigas
  7. 26th April 2018: Dakhla, Morocco Report: Matt Pearce / Photos: Ydwer van der Heide AIRTON GETS ONE HAND ON A DOUBLE EVENT WIN AND JALOU STRIKES BACK AS THE RIDERS STORM THROUGH THE SINGLE ELIMINATIONS 1). The Single Elimination finalists at the end of a long day of competition / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide The single eliminations fired into action at the start of Wednesday and the event crew stormed all the way through to the finals of this first stage of competition. Nine-and-a half hours later the single elimination results were in! The wind forecast looks good, but the waves may drop off in the coming days, so at least there's a result in the bag should things deteriorate in the week. If you're unfamiliar with this format, the riders will now go into another round, the double elimination, where they will compete in order of their placings in the single elimination. So the winner of the singles is already in the final, the runner-up is already in the semis, and so on. It's a second chance for a rider to become a hero and charge up the ladder. 2). Tony Cili gearing up before round one / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Wednesday's single elimination heats were to be judged on a split criteria of 70% wave riding and 30% strapless freestyle and the men’s division were up first for round one. The majority of male riders who’d entered the event with no 2018 tour seeding (or a low one) had been awarded ‘byes’ so they would be progressing straight to round two where they’d meet seeded riders who’d competed at the first event of the season in Cape Verde. That was where things would start to get interesting. THE EARLY ROUNDS 3). Pedro Matos - all out from the off / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Pedro Matos and his North teammates Sebastian Ribeiro and Matchu Lopes were putting in standout performances straight off the bat in round two with Pedro and Sebastian churning out powered, choppy assaults on the lip and seeking out point scoring opportunities in the shore break close to the main beach. Matchu was also making excellent wave selections and showing that, even backside in smaller waves, he’s a force to be reckoned with. 4). Matchu going off the top and eyeing the competition / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Airton then entered the fray and he opened with a huge new trick that hasn’t yet been seen in competition - a massive strapless backroll with a board-off board spin. Not his usual low angle technical stylings, but it shows that he’s opening up his repertoire this year which will make him even harder to beat in strapless freestyle showdowns! 5). Airton Airs / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide ROUND THREE The waves were a bit sporadic in some round two heats but things improved in round three and this was where big names would start to leave the competition. Airton kept up his seemingly relentless assault and Paulino Pereira rose to the challenging, punchy conditions with his high-octane, full-tilt riding style. 6). Paulino pulls out all the stops in round three / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide Young Aussie ripper James Carew also rode with his customary levels of commitment and managed to snap his board mid heat before Matchu sprinted down the beach to hand him a spare and get him back in the fight. #teamwork. Strapless freestyle ability was what carried a few of the riders at this point during lulls in the waves but there were still solid sets coming through and Keahi, who’d had a slightly slower start than expected, began to gather speed with his eyes set on a Single Elimination final (he is after-all a four-time champion here in Dakhla). 7). Keahi finds his heat in round three / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide THE WOMEN TAKE THE STAGE Next came a break from the men’s division and the action moved to the point at Oum Lamboiur where round one of the women’s division would begin. Ines Correia was a standout rider in that round, her wave selection was super-strong and she was linking up solid turns even on the best sets of the round. She continued her form in round two and booked her place in the semis against tour leader Moona Whyte. Carla Herrera Oria and Jalou Langeree would go on to claim the remaining semi-final spots. 8). Ines knows a thing or two about right-handers and brought that to bear in round one / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide THE SEMI-FINALS The women’s and the men’s semi-finals ran back to back in shifty conditions as the swell began to back off and the wind softened. Riders were out on bigger kites by this stage and Jalou Langeree showed just how far she’s improved her backhand riding by beating Carla to claim a place in the super-final against Moona Whyte. This meant Carla would face Ines in the mini-final. 9). Carla stays calm and collected before hitting the water for the first time here in Dakhla / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide 10). Jalou flies down the line / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide In the men’s, Keahi narrowly beat Mitu in the first semis heat before having to do it all over again after the judges decided to rerun the heat due to a technical error. Matchu and Airton then met in yet ANOTHER crucial heat (how many times have they done this now?) and what followed was a masterclass of how to perform in lesser conditions. 11). Waist height wonderment from Keahi / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide These guys routinely ride the best waves in the world, but sometimes an even bigger test is what you can achieve in smaller, less-ideal conditions and this was where these guys shone. Neither rider gave the other a sniff, but Airton managed to beat his old friend Matchu and would meet Keahi in the finals, while Mitu and Matchu would battle it out for third place. 12). Airton throwing fans for the fans / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide THE FINALS In the men’s, Airton kept up the charge in a supremely tight heat against Keahi as these two seasoned competitors eeked all they could out of the faltering wind and waves. Matchu and Mitu’s third-place heat was similarly close, and any one of these riders would be justified a podium. Mitu won it and joined Airton and Keahi on the steps at the end of play. 13). Men's podium - 1: Airton, 2: Keahi, 3: Mitu, 4: Matchu / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide In the women’s final, Jalou Langeree rode strongly and snatched the top spot from Moona’s grasp. Jalou’s one of the few girls who has been working on her strapless freestyle riding as well and that no doubt added to her final score with Moona second, Ines in third and Carla in fourth. 14). Women's podium - 1: Jalou, 2: Moona, 3: Ines, 4: Carla / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide TOP FIVES AFTER SINGLE ELIMINATIONS MEN 1: Airton Cozzolino (ITA / CV) 2: Keahi de Aboitiz (AUS) 3: Mitu Monteiro (CV) 4: Matchu Lopes (ESP / CV) 5: Ismail Adarzane (MAR) WOMEN 1: Jalou Langeree (NL) 2: Moona Whyte (USA) 3: Ines Correia (PT) 4: Carla Herrera Oria (ESP) 5: Kirsty Jones (UK) WHAT'S NEXT? So that’s the Single Eliminations in the bag, and that means that there’s now a fallback official result for this event no matter what the conditions bring this week. However, that doesn’t mean the main event is over yet by any means, and with the double-eliminations yet to run, all the riders will have another chance to take a crack at the podium here in Dakhla! The wind looks strong but more shifty for Thursday, but we’ll be keeping you updated on social media (Facebook / Instagram) as the day unfolds. 15). GKA Kite-Surf World Tour in Dakhla, Morocco CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP RANKINGS If you're not sure how the tour tables look right now then check out the top fives below and head to our site for the full GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 rankings. MEN'S DIVISION 1: Airton Cozzolino - CV - 2100 pts 2: Keahi de Aboitiz - AUS - 2067 pts 3: Sebastian Ribeiro - BRA - 2034 pts 4: Pedro Matos - BRA - 2001 pts 5: Elvis Nunes - CV - 1968 pts WOMEN'S DIVISION 1: Moona Whyte - USA - 2100 pts 2: Jalou Langeree - NL - 2067 pts 3: Ines Correia - PT - 2034 pts 4: Marie Gautron - FRA - 2001 pts 5: Carla Herrera Oria - ESP - 1968 pts SEE THE FULL GKA KITE-SURF WORLD TOUR 2018 SCHEDULE AT: WWW.GLOBAL-KITESPORTS.ORG/EVENTS/GKA-KITE-SURF-WORLD-TOUR
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