A windless start at the the Mondial du Vent
But with 47 rippers in the mix and wind on the way it’s set to go off
The first freestyle fixture of the GKA Kite World Tour is ongoing right now (sort of) at the Mondial du Vent in Leucate, France. Unfortunately, just as in 2018, Leucate’s usually ultra-reliable mistral winds have failed to fire so far but, with two days left and solid wind due to kick in this afternoon, that could all be about to change.
47 of the sport’s top freestyle riders – 33 men and 14 women – are poised and ready to pounce when the conditions kick in!
Who to watch?
There are some big hitters in the men’s division, including freestyle luminaries like Alex Pastor, Liam Whaley, Adeuri Corniel and Stefan Spiessberger. There’s also a strong field of up-and-comers like Switzerland’s Maxime Chabloz and Moroccan rider Jonas Ouahmid, who had a great start to his season with a victory at the African Championships in March.
And of course, Carlos ‘The Destroyer’ Mario is in town as well looking to defend his title after winning last year’s GKA Air Games tour AND the final WKL Championship as well.
In the women’s division there are some very experienced competitors in the form of Paula Novotna, Francesca Bagnoli, Rita Arnaus and of course, the legendary Bruna Kajiya as well! Bruna took a break from competition in 2018 due to injury, so it’s great to see her back in action at the first event of the year on this newly-minted World Tour.
She’ll need to be firing on all cylinders when the competition starts rolling though, because if she wins her round one heat she’ll be squaring up against 14 year-old phenom Mika Sol in the semi finals. Mika, like fellow Brazilian Carlos Mario, also won both the GKA Air Games and WKL titles in 2018, and a showdown between these two Brasileiras – both former World Champions – will be something else!
Mika and Adeuri talk tactics ahead of the opening heats.
Time is getting tight with only a couple of days left in the competition window so the heat ladder will now become a single elimination, rather than a dingle. There’ll be four riders in the first heats and the lowest two will go straight out of the competition with the top two progressing.
Riders will take it in turns to do their tricks, but they’ll only get six attempts instead of seven, with their four best tricks counting.
Check the ladders below to see how the heats will progress when it all goes off!