I will remember it all my life – Arthur Guillebert on his recent GKA win


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After a long event sabbatical due to travel restrictions worldwide, the first GKA event of the year took place in Tarifa and it was the French powerhouse Arthur Guillebert who stole the limelight

Photos by Samuel Cardenas 

GKA Arthur Guillebert

This is an excerpt from the full interview – click here for the full feature

Jim Gaunt: What was the atmosphere like between the riders as the format started to change?

Arthur: It created a lot of anxiety among riders, especially for the competition format to go from freestyle to a mixed format (2 freestyle tricks and 2 big air tricks) then to 100% big air, but the atmosphere between the riders remained the same. We’ve always known that if we get conditions like this the GKA Freestyle format would change. It is the riders who wanted the competitions to evolve with the conditions. It’s much more intelligent to modify the criteria according to the wind conditions, avoiding freestyle competitions in 40 knots where we cannot send big technical tricks. It also avoids trying to run big air competitions in just 15 knots. The first factor of kitesurfing is the wind and we have to adapt to it and this current format works very well.

GKA Arthur Guillebert kiteloop boardoff

Jim Gaunt: Talk us through your emotions during the final heat?

Arthur: The final took place at the end of the day and the wind became more and more gusty. After spending two whole days on the beach dealing with 30 to 45 knots of wind we were very tired. My stress levels were also at their highest level, but I managed to calm down and keep landing my tricks. I knew the other riders had to do really good moves to pass me, so I waited and watched as they took their tricks and when I saw Jeremy crash his last trick I knew that I had won. I was in the middle of the spot at that moment, I raised both arms in the air and yelled, “Yesss!”. When I came back to the beach, I put my kite down and all my friends were waiting for me at the water’s edge. It was the most moving moment of the competition for me. All the stress suddenly fell away in place of so much joy, it was extraordinary.

Here is a video from the final day of the comp

The GKA have one more Freestyle event scheduled for the year in Brazil, 10 – 14th November. Meanwhile they have three ‘Kite-Surf’ (wave and strapless freestyle) events planned for Germany, Denmark and Morocco.

Find out more about the GKA Kite World Tour

Arthur won this event using his Eleveight XS2. In Kiteworld issue 109 we interviewed Eleveight designer Peter Stiewe along with Arthur and Stijn Koster to find out more about this boosting machine!  

Eleveight XS kite feature in Kiteworld

Click here to read the Excessive Control feature as seen in Kiteworld issue 109


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