Day 2- Powered Conditions for First Round Slalom and Freestyle Trials
The second day of the PKRA Kitesurf World Cup Mendoza offered stronger winds and a variety of racing and freestyle action. With the winds filling early, the remaining men’s freestyle trials got underway and finished up after 11 heats with riders using 9m-14m kites. As the thermal winds built throughout the day, the slalom racers got their first chance to compete amongst the full mixed-fleet of both race and twin-tip boards.
The freestyle trials heats showed the best riders advancing as the battle for the remaining 7 spots in the main event continued. In heat # 8 Da Sousa advanced with a Front Blind Mobe and Back Mobe 5 and was noted by the judges as one of the best performances of the day, along with Borisov whose fluid style and big S-Mobe 5 led to a clear win. Both Da Silva and Borisov’s wins put them straight into the main event.
For the next 6 heats, 18 riders battled for the 5 remaining spots in the main event. With plenty South American talent still in the ladder and primed to secure one of the coveted spots in the main event, the pressure was on for the riders to push their skills to the limit.
Solid action ensued and in the end it was Reis, Leleu, Fidalgo, Biscopi, Duverges, and Larcher advancing out of the second round leaving only 3 heats to decide which 5 out of those 6 would move on to the main event. After solid performances by Leleu, Reis in Heat 16 and Larcher and Duverges in Heat 17 taking first and second in their respective heats, Biscopi earned the last spot finishing first in the losers final.
As the afternoon progressed, the first round of men’s slalom heats got underway in 12-17 knots. Many Argentinian racers were on hand and most of them competed for the first time in this rapidly growing discipline. Soon into the heats, it became clear that the race boards had an advantage over the twin tips on the 6 buoy downwind course as they had a faster overall speed with the longer reaches between marks.
With 9 to 10 riders in each heat, and the top 4 finishers advancing, 6 heats were run to get to an 8-man final. With the exception of one abandoned heat, due to the retreating wind, most of the heats went off without any notable tangles or crashes. Brian Lake who is currently first place was clearly the fastest racer around the course. Also, notable was Reno Romeu who on his twin tip was faster than some of the other racers on race boards.
The first women’s race got underway following the men’s final but had to be abandoned due to dying winds and the event was called for the day.
For tomorrow, the wind is expected to increase with the forecast calling for a few more knots than today. Riders will meet at 10 am for a first possible start to the freestyle main event at 10:30 am. The live stream is expected to begin tomorrow for the start of the freestyle main event. Tune in to the LIVE page to see all the action as it unfolds live from Argentina.