The Mondial Du Vent event came to an official close today, as top competitors were celebrated at the awards ceremony in front of hundreds of in-person fans and over 200 online viewers. Riders were presented with special gifts and praise, while the local sponsors, Orange, Orangina, and the City of Leucate were also recognized for their significant contributions to this stellar event.
Manuela Jungo and Liam Whaley took to the stage first to accept their award for the “Rookie of Mondial Du Vent”, an honor they both most certainly deserved. Liam Whaley turned heads at this year’s French competition, beating out current World Champion Youri Zoon and earning a third place finish in the single eliminations. Jungo also continued her solid riding, as first exhibited in Dakhla, Morocco –the PKRA’s inaugural stop of 2012.
Once the female event winners stepped onto the podium, it was apparent that the entire crowd was excited to witness this final unveiling of the official Mondial Du Vent champions. First place winner, Gisela Pulido, told the crowd that she was very happy to be in first place and that she hopes to do the same for this same event next year. The second place winner, Karolina Winkowska announced that she was very pleased with her final results, and Bruna Kajiya – the third place holder – commented on the high level of riding now present in the women’s portion of the competition, adding that she was very grateful to be standing on the podium.
The men also entered the stage to much applause and excitement. Alberto Rondina moving up, grabbed his first ever 2nd place with an excellent display of riding during the event. Also a major focus of this year’s event, Youri Zoon stood proud at third place, after slowly and impressively inching his way up from 17th place on the final day of competition. Alex Pastor remained humble, yet highly appreciative and excited for his first place position, saying that he loves riding in Leucate, as it retains similar conditions to his home spot of Tarifa, where he has been on the water since 8 years old.
Up next for the 2012 PKRA will be the MINI Kiteboard World Tour in Mexico, for the highly anticipated first racing event of the year. This competition promises to deliver the ultimate in racing action, with a special freestyle exhibition put on by top riders, Alberto Rondina and Sebastian Garat. The next PKRA freestyle event – the O’Neill Kitesurf World Cup the Hague 2012 - will take place for the first time ever in Holland, from May 15th-20th. Spectators and fans can look forward to more live streaming, real time scoring, and, as usual, the best freestyle performances by the best riders in the world.