Outstanding results in Spain for the PKRA Freestyle Junior World Championships
Sant Pere Pescado, Bay of Roses, Spain played host for the second year running to the PKRA Freestyle Junior World Championships, which ran from the 30th June - 4th July. The idyllic venue of Camping Ballena Alegre, saw 46 riders representing 18 nationalities including exotic locations such as Hawaii, Japan, Philippines and Mauritius. The boys were split into three age categories and the girls into two, giving each rider a fighting chance for a place on the podium.
The first day saw strong and gusty winds from the south and riders using a broad range of kite sizes (5m – 12m). Although the conditions were tricky, NKB rider Karim Mahmoud from Egypt set the tone for the rest of the week, showcasing some powerful riding and winning the youngest age group.
Swiftly the 12yrs-14yrs category got underway and NKB's Tom Bridge demonstrated why he was the favourite for the title with some impressive tricks. Progressing into the Semi Final with Tom was another NKB rider, Christian Tio from Boracay, also showing why he is one to watch out for in the future with some stylish and powerful riding. Over the course of the competition, the Single Eliminations were completed with Tom beating Christian in the Semi's, before going on to dominate in the Finals taking 1st place and Christian taking 3rd.
In the eldest of the boys category, NKB rider Guy Bridge made his way through the heats against some solid competition reaching the Semi's and securing a 4th place. Also riding well in his category was Yaya Ochiai from Japan.
As the Double Eliminations got underway they were dogged but marginal, light and gusty winds taking time to reach the Final heats on the last day. Guy Bridge managed to maintain his position finishing 4th in the 14yrs-16yrs age category. Christian Tio improved his position by one place securing a 2nd behind the winner, Tom Bridge.
Tom Bridge ventures to Egypt for his first PKRA event!
North Kiteboarding Team Rider Tom Bridge, is the youngest of the Bridge Brothers, an outstanding trio of kiteboarders hailing from the UK. Taking advantage of his school holidays, he headed to Soma Bay, Egypt for his first PKRA event.
Light winds met his arrival, so Tom took advantage of the warm waters on a 10m Vegas. Later that day, the opening ceremony saw him flying the flag for Team UK with Jo Wilson and Aaron Hadlow, a role model and inspiration for any young kiteboarder.
“It was really good to be in warm water, in a shorty wetsuit and session with a bunch of great riders from all around the world. I also got to fly the English flag with Jo Wilson and Aaron Hadlow which was pretty special”
A 0630 start had competition getting underway. Tom, unfortunately was feeling particularly ill prior to his heat, which left him struggling to put in his best performance and ultimately out of the competition.
“I didn't get a second chance, so for the rest of the holiday I learnt new tricks like the Low Mobe 5 and Crow Mobe. I'm stoked to be returning home with these two tricks in the bag as I take off with my left foot, which is not my regular side. I was super happy to be part of the event, see the level of riding and strategy used during competition...and take my riding to the next level. Thanks Dad for taking me and to my sponsors for the support.”
fotocredit: Toby Bromwich
Well done Kirsty, 2nd in PKRA Dakhla
Kirsty Jones just showed an amazing performance at the PKRA Wave event in Dakhla, Morocco, finishing 2nd!
The second tour stop of the PKRA season just officially finished with a closing ceremony celebrating the event and honoring the champions of the competition. The tour already came to Dakhla the 5th time! The 2014 PKRA Kiteboarding World Cup Dakhla came to a close after 4 consecutive days of fierce competition.
The wave discipline in Dakhla saw an incredible pool of talent coming together after very few wave events in 2013. As the first wave stop of the 2014 PKRA tour, riders are hungry for more!
With a mix of regular and goofy footers reaching the podium, riders from around the globe pushed the levels of progressive kite surfing. Despite smaller conditions than was seen at last years event, competitors were very happy nonetheless.
In this field of the best athletes of the world, Kirsty Jones, North Kiteboarding, showed her outstanding talent and experience and finished 2nd overall. Well done Kirsty!
North dominates the PKRA Youth World Championships in Costa Brava!
Bay of roses on the Costa Brava was the venue for the PKRA youth world championships from 2-6th July. Ideally situated with daily thermal onshore winds & the event run from a huge campsite which was also the sponsor - camping la Ballena Alegra. Age categories were 8-14 and 14- 16 in boys and girls which meant there were 4 world titles up for grabs.
17 countries were represented with 43 riders registered for this 1st PKRA youth freestyle championships. Winds allowed the 8-14 category to be on their 7- 10mtr kites during their heats for the first couple of days. North Kiteboarding rider from the Phillipeans - Christian Tio showed huge style with committement and finished this event in 5th place. Uk north riders - Guy and Tom Bridge came from different sides of the freestyle ladder to eventually meet in the final for a superb close show with the judging now scoring 12 attempts with the best 5 counting. Tom Bridge (12 years old) scored 35 with his highest scoring move being a 7.76 with a double hinterberger pass. This beat Guy on 20 points who at age 13 was riding powered in straps with the NKB Select. Tom takes his first world title and shares the celebration with his older brother!
Day 4 and 5 saw the 14 - 16 category of the boys, riding on their biggest kites. Execution continues to play a huge role in the overall result and it showed that many riders had been really working on their skills to show them to the judges. Since the ladder did not get completed a joint 5th place went to team mates Jan Novotny from chech republic and Manu de Pfyffer from Spain while another world title for North Kiteboarding was earned. This one went to european champion - Jérôme Cloetens from Spain. As the single elimination did not get finished he shared this title with Font.
Youth race world champion, older brother Ollie Bridge had a blinding heat on his 14mtr Vegas, but got kicked out of the singles so this put an end to this championship for him for this time.
This PKRA event showed the huge talent amongst the youth and the potential of the North Kiteboarding youth team. Congrats to the the 2 new youth freestyle champions - Jérôme Cloetens and Tom Bridge
Welcome to China! By Mario Rodwald
Since I am on the NKB international team I´ve spent quite some time in Asia, but never in China though. This massive country and it´s “communism” always brought some mystery to my imagination and it was really nice to get an insight. On some of the webpages Hainan Island was announced as the Hawaii of China, but it must be more the south of the island. Anyhow Chinese people are truly great at organising and tried to help as much as possible. It seems that in their culture the official meetings and dinners are very important, but can also turn out very funny as alcohol is a must have at these ceremonies!
The first day the wind did not quite kick in but was enough to show the Chinese crowd some of our tricks. All of them were pretty stoked on kiting as they invented the kite 2000 years ago. Furthermore they took hundreds of pictures, just as you would imagine. One day later the wind picked up even more and the race director Eric decided to run the Slalom Worldcup. It is the first time since many years that the PKRA is running this kind of downwind race again. Powered on 14 meter kites and locked into boots, racing against four of your mates/competitors is really really good fun! A head start can give you quite a lead, however in some of the races I could overtake one or two riders. Also the turns at the buoy can decide about winning or loosing the whole race. Most of the time I sent the kite for a downloop some meters before the turn, so you just make it around the buoy without loosing any speed. My start in the final was not that great, so I was fourth at the starting line. On the first downwind I could overtake Ewan (AUS) and Victor (FRA) and finished second behind Kevin (NED).
The Freestyle Single Elimination took place in nice 14 meter weather and some quite choppy water, with some small kicker waves near the beach. I was quite happy with my heat for these conditions, landing an F-Mobe blind, switch Slim, Double S-bend blind but unfortunately I lost quite close against Alberto Rondina for two points. My teammate Stefan Spießberger went one round further and also lost in another close heat against Alberto. After one day without wind and many hours in the hotel´s hot tub, the wind slowly started building up again on Saturday. It was quite rainy and a bit chilly in my shorty, but I wanted to make it at least into the price money and pushed Eric a bit, by some freeride sessions on the 14. Due to the light wind I had to re-run two of my first heats, but made it to the ninth place where my teammate Ariel Corniel kicked me out - in the end he got 7th. Reno and Stefan had some really decent heats as well and both finished 9th. Stefan’s heat against Christophe was a thrilling one as both are really close in the overall ranking. Unfortunately Stefan was really unlucky and broke his board on his Mobe5 and Christophe passed to the next round. The wind didn´t stay all the way through the double elimination and Youri could take this one home without going again. Right now everyone is pumping the kites for the trials in New Caledonia. Can´t wait to shred the blue water in paradise!