Germany: Day One
Airton Aims to Secure a Commanding Lead in The GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Championship
NEWSFLASH: Championship contender Mitu Monteiro crashes out early, while title chasers Matchu Lopes, Paulino Pereira and Airton Cozzolino remain in the final heats in this crucial penultimate contest of the season.
Today’s action was fast paced in Fehmarn at the Kitesurf World Cup, the fourth stop on the 2017 GKA Kite-Surf World Tour, as riders progressed through the trials and the first four rounds of the main event in strong westerly winds. The HydroFoil Pro Tour and Kite Park League are also sharing the event site and running events in tandem with the GKA. In this busy beachside festival setting at surely the biggest kitesurfing event of the year, there’s a real buzz in the air at Südstrand!
The trials saw French rider Julien Kerneur make his return to the tour after breaking his leg at the Tarifa Strapless Pro last year and he surged into the main event alongside his Airush teammate, American Reider Decker. The flying Dutchman Steven Akkersdijk is also here and, although primarily known for being a Red Bull King of the Air big-air specialist, he showed his range and versatility on the surfboard as well.
In round one of the main event, Keahi de Aboitiz calmly picked his way through his heat with smooth, cleanly executed tricks, coming close to a 540 shuvit and went directly to round three. Matchu followed next, linking stylish variations, including a tweaked one-footed frontroll. Always a crowd favourite, Jan Marcos Riveras and Mitu Monteiro then followed, before Camille Delannoy beat Tony Cili and Jeremy Chan in a tight heat to go through to round three alongside Paulino Pereira, Gustavo Arrojo and Airton Cozzolino.
In the second round riders were eliminated from the competition. Reider Decker dispatched Steven Akkersdijk who exited the competition alongside Jeremy Chan and Nicola Abadjiev. Reider would go on to cause one of the biggest upsets of the tour so far in round three when he knocked Mitu Monteiro out of the competition to secure his spot in the quarter finals!
Matchu Lopes then put together one of the best displays of the day in round three with some ultra-stylish grabbed rotations in his heat against Djo Silva. One of the most improved riders of the year, Camille Delannoy, narrowly lost to Ismail Adarzane who also progressed on to the quarter-finals.
Another particularly close heat was between Gustavo Arrojo and Ralph Boelen – two riders who’ve both made immense progress in their riding so far on this year’s tour. Frenchman Boelen ended up winning the heat with a very clean frontroll shuvit. In the final heat of round three, Airton scored a decisive win over Sandro Pisu, and it was on to the quarter-finals…
As the wind continued to build, Keahi lost to Matchu after a seriously tight call from the judges that saw him trailing by just half a point. Paulino then beat Ismail Adarzane with some huge powered rotations and his unmistakable flat-out riding style before Airush teammates Julien Kerneur and Reider Decker locked horns in yet another tight heat which was a fantastic display of their creative riding styles.
#1 Matchu Lopes
#2 Airton Cozzoline
#3 Paulino Perreira
#4 Julien Kerneur