EL GOUNA RRD CENTER KITEBOARDING WORLD CUP – QUALIFIER LEAGUE – DAY TWO
Words: WKL Media / Images: Svetlana Romantsova
Daybreak in El Gouna saw ideal conditions in El Gouna, perfect for freestyle, but the wind dropped slightly during the morning and competition ended up on hold until 3pm, when it resumed and both the men’s and women’s semi-finals were completed.
The semi-finals for the men picked up where they’d left of, starting with the completion of heat 11. As the wind strength was decreasing the men were struggling for power even on their biggest kites but Anthar Racca from Mexico still managed to remain firmly in control, and landed 5 of his 6 trick attempts. His scores remained high enough to give him a good lead, and a position in the Qualifier League final. Val Garat from France joins him after finishing just a few points behind in second place. Both riders remain firmly on course for a good finish at this Qualifier Event. Anthar Racca will be focused on gaining entry to the Elite League in 2018, and Val Garat will be wanting to maintain his position within the Elite League too.
Heat 12 for the men continued, and with the lighter wind conditions, the heat was extended to give the riders a little more time to go for their tricks. Maxime Chabloz from Switzerland seemed unfazed by the conditions and landed every one of his six trick attempts. The young rider, who was winner of his category during the Youth Cup earlier this year, was pleased to secure himself a position in the final for this event. Frenchman and newly qualified Elite Rider Nicolas Delmas was just one point behind him and will also follow him through to the final.
“The conditions were really light, but it was quite an advantage for me because I am one of the smaller riders, and at home I also have light wind conditions so I’m really used to it. I had a bit of luck, and a lot training, and it all worked out! “ said Maxime.
The young Mikaili Sol from Brazil proved that she is a force to be reckoned with during heat 7. Although she is still not old enough to compete in the Elite League (where the minimum age is 14) she continues to push her boundaries during each event, and today was another solid performance for her. With four sound scores during her heat, she cruised through to the finals comfortably. Maureen Castelle from New Caledonia was also up to the challenge, and landed several high scoring tricks giving her a well-earned position in the finals which will be held tomorrow.
“It was great being under pressure again and I’m really glad that I finally did well! I’ve been training really hard for this and I’m hoping to do a lot better in Brazil and maybe get the wild card for the Elite event!” Mikaili Sol.
Heat 8 saw two newcomers to the Qualifier League, Claudia Leon and Nathalie Lambrecht, take on two more experienced riders, Francesca Bagnoli from Italy, and Danish Champion Therese Taabbel. Bagnoli claimed the win, eager to position herself in the final, and Taabel was determined to join her, landing 5 of her 6 trick attempts, which placed her just above Spanish rider Claudia Leon.
“The wind was quite light, but in the end we managed to run some heats with some good tricks. I’m very happy to have won my heat and make it to the final of the Qualifiers.” Bagnoli said after the heat.
The wind unfortunately dropped as the afternoon wore on, bringing the day’s competition to a close. Tension hangs in the air for the Qualifier League riders as they need to battle for a good result to gain entry or remain in the 2018 Elite League.