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THE BOSS IS BACK! HADLOW TURNS HEADS IN ST PETER ORDING
The Think Blue Kitesurf World Cup was hosted in St Peter Ording, Germany. Possibly one of the biggest events of the PKRA World Tour in terms of attendance, it's a buzzing event drawing in a huge spectating audience and brand presence. Running from the 1st to the 10th of August, the world's elite kiteboarders came together to fight their way through heats in magnificent fashion to gain points and dominate the podium.
North Kiteboarding had a strong presence at the event, most impressivly from Brazils Reno Romeu and newest team member Aaron Hadlow from the UK. Reno has had an exciting and consistent season so far, marked as a strong contender for SPO and quite rightly so, taking 4th in the Single Eliminations. However, the rider with the most outstanding track record and world titles under his belt is Aaron Hadlow who, after time out from the circuit, injury and change of brands has taken to the tour once again hungry for yet another World Title. Having not had much luck since the start of the 2014 Tour, he put in a remarkable performance, dominating and claiming a first in the single eliminations, holding it through the doubles to come out on top at St Peter Ording.
Aaron, you’ve been battling hard in previous legs of the PKRA but haven’t had much luck. How does it feel to be back on top after your result SPO and whats changed?
Luck, inconsistency and confidence have all played a factor so far. Although I've been able to do the same tricks as the other guys, I seemed to have failed by having bad heats at critical times whilst the others are on top of their game in every instance. In some cases, winning that one heat instead of loosing would have had a major impact of some of my results so far, but that is competition and level right now is higher than I have ever seen right now. I realise the reasons I am in this position half way through the season, so those are the areas I have been working on. I do feel I have under achieved so far this season but I knew I only needed everything to come together and those better results would start coming. After being on the edge of podium all season I couldn’t have picked a better time to turn that around. I have never won in Germany, even with past career wins so to come out on top exactly half way through the season is amazing, especially at Norths home ground!
Having been out of the competitive circuit for the past few years, has it been a case of falling back into old ‘competition mode’ that saw you dominate for so many years or, as you have grown as a person, have you had to adapt what you know to suit who and how you are now?
There is no doubt that I have gained a lot of experience in the past which definitely helps and I think this last competition has showed that. I was able to make the most of the conditions, pull the tricks I needed at the right time in the right place and keep my cool to focus in the Double Eliminations. It is good to have been on both sides and I can imagine how the younger, hungry competitors feel as I have experienced that myself. Being older and seeing the bigger picture is pretty cool, I really think things have changed so much since those days, it's much more of a challenge and I really have to focus, practise and look after my body. I guess my mind set is similar during the heats but I have had to adapt and do everything I can to make a win possible.
How are you getting on with the North Kiteboarding gear?
The gear has played a massive roll in getting me closer and now finally to that top spot of the podium. Since I got my new kites and boards I feel totally in tune and comfortable on the water, it's made a big difference. In Fuerte I was really feeling the new gear and was unlucky to not get a better position. Finally in Germany, my riding came together along with my kite and that was enough to do it. Having the choice of every kite size has helped me a lot, along with the new North Kiteboarding boots on my Hadlow Edition Team Series aids landing and consistency.
What’s your game plan for the next event and are you feeling confident?
A win for sure gives you confidence but I have to take each event at a time. Liam Whaley is also full of confidence right now and although I have spent most of the Summer in Tarifa, he grew up there and knows the conditions better than anyone. Beating him and other top riders like Christophe Tack was great at the event in Germany, but they all have the ability to come back strong from defeats. It is really close at the top with any one of 4 or 5 riders can take the win at any time. I just hope everything clicks and I can make it happen again.
Any tips for any young riders looking to compete?
To practise hard and know that if you are dedicated enough, you really can achieve anything. Competing is quite physiological as well as physical, so gain as much experience where you can.
Double Elimination Results Men Freestyle
1st Aaron Hadlow (UK)
2nd Liam Whaley (ES)
3rd Marc Jacobs (NZ)
4th Christophe Tack (BE)
Double Elimination Results Womens Freestyle
1st Karolina Winkowska (PL)
2nd Gisela Pulido (ES)
3rd Bruno Kajiya (BR)
4th Annelous Lammerts (NL)
Mario Rodwald takes his third European Championship title!
I had been dreaming about the title long before I competed at my first European Championships five years ago. The first two years I was close to 1st place, but not close enough. Once in Lamezia where this years competition took place, a famous sportsmen said,“second is the first loser.” I'd never really shared this point of view, although there were certainly times I felt like it and so, coming second in the Singles in Italy was not the best start mentally.
The event was held on the infamous Hang Loose beach in Gizzeria, where Italian local and Northkiteboarding team rider Gianmaria Coccoluto really surprised me landing a variety of doubles and moves I rarely see. I had a good Semi Final landing a KGB5 and Frontmobe5 but I wasn't able to repeat my performance for the Finals in the Single eliminations. According to spectators, the wind was good for my heats and over the next few days the Shirokko wind kicked in despite a bleak forecast. With lots of power in my 9m Vegas I set my focuses on having fun and taking pressure off myself. Every heat I improved my riding landing Double Hinterberger 3, Double S Bend passes, Frontmobe 5s and my first Tootsie Roll. I am very stoked to get a third European Title and would like to thank my family, friends and sponsors.
Paula Novotna showed an incredible performance coming back from injury, landing Mobes and S-Mobes and taking the European Title. My team mates Gianmaria Coccoluto and Sander Bos complete the triple podium for North Kiteboarding!!!
In the coming days, I will enjoy this feeling and express it in my heats during the PKRA in Germany!
Rider Profile Craig Cunningham
The Dream Team of the future. Aaron Hadlow joins North Kiteboarding!
He is one of Kiteboarding' s most prestigious riders, 5 x World Champion and an inspiration to kiteboarders across the globe with his sheer style, ruthless technicality and British persona. The name has been seen on kites since 2008, boards since 2004 and he was landing double handle passes over 10 years ago. Bringing years of experience in product development, we are proud to announce that Aaron Hadlow has joined the North Kiteboarding Team.
At just 25 years old, Hadlow's kiteboarding career has been exceptional throughout. Forever advancing at a pace that left the rest of the PKRA competition fleet behind, Aaron has carved a name for himself deep into the kiteboarding industry. Having managed his own brand within Flexifoil for years, he speaks about how he is excited to be part of a team after a longtime being responsible for everything from product development and marketing, all the while trying to find time to train and travel on the PKRA tour.
Hadlow joins North Kiteboarding not only as a rider and Team member, but will be involved heavily in R&D. Between his extensive knowledge and time on the water, teamed with North Kiteboarding's product development and setup, it's as if the 'Dream Team' has finally joined forces and it's more that he could have ever imagined.
I'm excited about joining North Kiteboarding and it's great to be supported by such a knowledgeable and experienced team. It's obviously a massive step for me, but I feel that this partnership has a lot of synergy and potential.”
So what's next? Hadlow joins a Team of life long friends such as Jaime Herraiz and Tom Court, so you can expect some great videos from Tom and Aaron as the work and travel together. North Kiteboarding also has PKRA riders Mario, Stefan and Reno to offer up some in-house healthy rivalry on the tour. And finally, next month Aaron will be headed to Hood River with the other Vegas riders for his first Team shoot, so stay tuned on how that goes.
Welcome to North Kiteboarding Aaron Hadlow!
photo credit: Toby Bromwich