The first day of competition of the PKRA Marsala freestyle World Cup, brought one of the most talented fleet of riders ever seen at a PKRA event. The trials had 38 men competing for 14 spots and 13 women for 7 spots. After five hours of competition the main event was set, and the top riders were selected after going through many heats. The top riders like Da Silva were able to easily advance into the main event, while many riders on the men's side had to go through three rounds to qualify. On the women side the battle for the seven spot was very close, with the women that could land the most technical tricks advancing into the main event.
The thermal wind was slow building all afternoon, but by 4 o'clock it had picked up to 15 knots and the event was ready to start. It started with the men's heats and Font from Spain was able to advance by landing a full repertoire of tricks in the light winds. The second heat was delayed due to wind conditions but when the thermal filled back in Sebastian Garat from France with his experience, easily advanced into the main event. The next two heats Shitzhofer and Spiessberger, the two Austrians landed many power tricks with clean execution to move straight into the main event.
Heat number six with Hutter from France Scholte and DaSilva was very close. Hutter was able to land this tricks with his kite extremely low while getting some nice stylish grabs on his board. His tricks were considered extremely progressive and even though he did not have many, the quality and the execution gave him the win. The next two heats with Guias and Blanc were also very close, they both won because of their execution and power. The final two heats of the first round of men were won by Eudazio da Silva and Carlos Madson that have become tour veterans and know-how to secure a win, especially when the conditions are similar to the lagoons of northern Brazil.
After the first round of men was completed, 10 men had been qualified for the main event and four spots remained, for the last 28 riders. Seven heats were run and the winners advanced into round three where seven men would be battling for the last 4 spots. The first heat of round three was between Suriel, Bakker and Garachenko. The heat was close but unfortunately Suriel broke his kite halfway through the heat and allowed Bakker and Garachenko to qualify for the main event. The last heat of the day was extremely tough with Scholte, Corniel, Neto and Borisov. Borisov and Neto rode extremely powered while Scholte lost his kite and Ariel was not able to land enough clean tricks.
On the women side of competition, the competition was also extremely fierce. In the first round Novotna, Van Westerop and Brochocka kited extremely well, landing S-1, 313's BJ's, Kiteloops and many other tricks. The second round was much closer with 10 girls fighting for 4 spots into the main event. Lange and Potter advance out of the first heat with clean blind judge's and S-1's and Baumeister and Rodenas advanced with nice kiteloops and BJ's.
After a long day of waiting for wind and one of the toughest trials ladder we have ever seen on the PKRA, the main event is set for the days to come. The flat waters and perfect thermal winds will provide a perfect venue for this third PKRA freestyle event of the season. The town of Marsala set up a great village for the riders and have made this event is very special with their attention to details.
Check out the livestream to see some great riding and follow the PKRA on twitter and Facebook: