Extracts from the GKA wrap-up, ahead of the strong Levante hopefully kicking in on Thursday 24th June:
GKA Freestyle World Cup Tarifa 2021 has begun!
Date: Wednesday 23rd June
Words: Sasha Jade Gabriel
Photos: Samuel Cardenas
Video: Mintautas Grigas
After a long wait, the GKA Freestyle World Cup Tarifa is back! What better place to hold the first event of 2021 than the European capital of kiteboarding.
Tuesday saw a slow start at the Tarifa Kite Pro, the wind is living up to the local laid-back southern schedule. The Poniente is politely turning itself over for the Levante to blow our minds. With the forecast in the purple zone, you better strap in, we’re in for a treat! The judges have decided to not rush into the heats, ensuring to preserve the rider’s energy for the big forecast ahead.
A total of 40 riders ranging across 16 different nationalities registered to take their skills to the electric shores. Aside from the young emerging talents that have claimed the stage over the past couple of years, we have a few unexpected appearances from riders who have earned their respect from the early stages of the tour.
Steeze maestro Christophe Tack (BEL), power woman Hannah Whitely (GBR), and mischief-maker Oswald Smith(ZAF) have rocked up here and we’re all curious to see what they have for us in their back pocket this time!
Judges have already introduced the Mixed format, where Freestyle and Big Air tricks count towards the final score, the weight given to each category will be announced by the Head Judge (Alvaro Onieva) and in the Official Notice Board at least thirty (30) minutes before the start of the heat. There will definitely be prevailing elements of big air in the judging by the purple forecast. Find out more in this video:
Whatever the conditions, riders have 7 attempts at pulling their best tricks in the given conditions, but only the best 4 will be counted by the judges.
By 15.00 pm on Wednesday, the wind was filling in enough to raise the first green flag of the competition, powering up the electric energy here on the stadium shores of Tarifa. Just four men’s heats were completed before the wind started to change direction and the Poniente faded.
The judges released the riders early for the day, sending them home to rest for the big day up ahead on Thursday, where the format is likely to change to more of a mixed big air format.
There’s no livestream at this event, but you can stay up to date via the GKA Kite World Tour’s liveticker here
The Kiteworld Mag Instagram also has updates
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