Story and pics below, double elimination action video here:
<br />The eighth day of competition at the Beetle Kitesurf World Cup brought on the continuation of the men’s and women’s freestyle and airstyle double eliminations. With only two days of competition left, remaining competitors welcomed the day as the ultimate opportunity to showcase their best skills with as much consistency as possible. After their much-needed day off, all competitors returned to the event village, eager for what was to come.
The day began with side shore winds, which later shifted to more on-shore in the later heats of the day. Measuring around 11-25 knots, the conditions proved challenging, yet well-suited to the continuation and completion of both disciplnes – allowing for the crowning of the official champions at the Beetle Kitesurf World Cup.
Starting off with face-offs between Christophe Tack (BEL) and Reno Romeu (BRA), as well as Hannah Whiteley (GBR) and Therese Taabel (DEN), onlookers were treated to a full array of on-the-water action. Tack pulled off a Front Blind Mobe and Back Mobe in the middle of his heat, while Romeu’s highest scoring trick was a 6.44 KGB. Going on to compete against Patrick Blanc (ESP), Tack advanced once again with a higher score of 39.3 to Blanc’s 35.43. For the women, Bruna Kajiya (BRA) did incredibly well in her heat against Karolina Winkowska (POL) in the semi-finals, wherein she executed a well-scored Blind Judge 3 and an Loop 1. In the women’s final, Kajiya and Pulido battled once again in a very close heat. Bruna’s best tricks proved to be a strong 313 and S3, which she completed in the middle of her heat, while Gisela’s top scoring moves included a Blind Judge 3 and 313. Eventually, Pulido came out on top, with less crashes and a higher overall score.
By the time the last four men’s heats were in sight, the bulk of the beach gathered to the shore to watch the excitement unfold. Alex Pastor (ESP) emanated confidence and near perfect wake-style technique in his high performance heat against Stefan Spiessberger (AUT), and advanced with a solid lead. Pastor then went up against Youri Zoon (NED), the defending 2011 champion of this event, eventually losing in the last minutes of the heat. Finally, Kevin Langeree (NED), the winner of the single eliminations, and Zoon met up again in the final freestyle heats of the Beetle Kitesurf World Cup. With the ominous feel of the dark clouds moving overhead, and rain beginning to dot the huge windows of the elevated judging tower, Zoon and Langeree entered the water for the final showdown. All of the anticipation of the event culminated in the following minutes of this battle. For Kevin, a win would mean a return to his former glory as the three-time champion of this event, while for Zoon, it could mark the continuation of his winning streak with the PKRA.
In heat #47, Zoon took his 10-meter straight into a powered SH5, while Langeree initially threw down a Back Mobe. As the winds began to increase with the front pushing through, each competitor gained more speed and power in the tricks they executed. At first, Langeree was in the lead, with a high-scoring Slim, Blind Judge 3, and KGB; however, Zoon came from behind with a very powerful S3 and Slim to win the heat.
As Zoon defeated the singles winner, the two went head to head once more. This would be the final deciding heat. Amazingly, both of the competitors stepped it up once again, and earned the highest heat scores of the day. Zoon started off with a huge Front Mobe, which gained a gasp from the judging tower, while Langeree solidly executed a Late to Back Mobe and big Slim, among other tricks. Zoon, however, may have sealed the deal with the highest scoring trick of the day, an 8.13 Blind Judge 5. This put him over the edge into the winning position, which he held onto until the very end.
When asked about the day and his solid heats, Youri commented, “It has been an amazing day. The conditions were pretty hard to ride but I made it into the final after a challenging heat with Alex. I really wanted to win the doubles, so I pushed it and rode with lots of power and took some risks, which paid off.”
After announcing the freestyle champions with much applause and excitement, the Airstyle World Championship double eliminations began. Top placers in the single eliminations such as Alvaro Onieva (ESP) and Gisela Pulido returned to hold onto their singles titles. Throughout the late afternoon, a myriad of big air moves, board offs, and even can-cans were showcased, leaving many to smile and watch in amazement at this new yet different discipline. Perhaps most impressively, Reno Romeu (BRA) was able to climb up through the ladder the ladder, consistently exhibiting crowd-pleasing moves such as the YMCA and Triple Board-Offs. In the end, the winners of the singles – Onieva and Pulido – remained victorious, gaining the 2012 Airstyle World Championship for the first time ever. Reno Romeo, Ariel Corniel (DR), Kristin Boese (GER), and Katja Roose (NED) earned podium placements as well (respectively).
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