bwin Kitesurf Pro Competition 2006
Aaron Hadlow won the men's freestyle at the Tarifa BetandWin 2006 Kite Surf competition to confirm his place as the 2006 PKRA world champion despite the outstanding tour stop in Brazil. Aaron was also the 2005 PKRA world champion.
The event was the eighth of nine stations in the PKRA (Professional Kite Riders Association) World Cup 2006. (Isla de Coche Margarita; Venezuela, Knokke- Heist; Belgium, Portimao; Portugal, Cabarete; Dominican Republic; Fuerteventura Spain, St metre-Ording; Germany, Iles de la Madeleine; Quebec, Tarifa; Spain, Joao Pessoa, Brasil.)
World champion Aaron Hadlow of Great Britain confirmed his position by wining both the singles and the double elimination freestyle competitions at Tarifa. In second place was the Dutchman Kevin Langeree. Bruna Kajiya of Brasil won the women's singles on day one with Ania Grzelinska and Karolina Winkowska of Poland also on the podium.
Other favourites like Spanish duo, Alvaro Onieva and Cesar Portas, and the world's best female kite surfer, Kristin Boese were disappointed not to stand on the podium.
Of the 32 men competitors twelve were seeded from the PKRA world ranking; Rui Meira (pt), Aaron Hadlow (uk), Alvaro Onieva (es), Cesar Portas (es), Cristain Holley (es), Etienne Lhote, Kevin Langeree (nl), Mikael Blomvall, (se), Petr Tyushkevich (ru), Randy Hereman (nl), Reno Romeu (bz), Youri Zoon (nl) and four 'wildcards' chosen by the organizers; Joe Ciastula, Jaime Herraiz (2005 Champion), Alex Pastor (es), Sergio Perera (es). The remaining 16 places being made up from the open entrants who qualified from the heats held on the Tuesday.
The freestyle competition itself took place from Wed 6th to Fri 9th. This is the classic discipline of the PKRA World Tour. The 32 men (and 16 women) kite-riders will compete in one-on-one duels. Judges awarding points for Technical Difficulty, Height, Smoothness, Power, Style, Variety, and Innovation.
Men's round one of the singles knockout consists of 8 groups of four riders with two riders from each group going through to the next round. The fifth round is the final two riders. For the women round one if four groups of four.
The double elimination is a second chance for all who had to exit the singles at an early stage to take on the best again after a laborious ride through several heats.
Due to changing wind conditions the competition was stopped a few times but overall the weather was not an issue for the organizers as the knockout competition was almost completed by Friday leaving only the men's double final to played out on Saturday morning.
|Tarifa, Kite Surf|
Even more spectacular was the big air tricks competition starting at 13.00hrs on Saturday and lasting two hours. About 1000 spectators watched the free event from the beach as the flying Dutchman Kevin Langeree jumped up to 15m securing first prize. In this format the height of the jumps made of 70% of the rating. Alex Soto was second and local hero Jaime Herraiz third. Jaime was the freestyle winner in 2005 and second in 2003 (see below). Disappointingly only a spectators for the award ceremony at 19.00hrs On Sunday afternoon there was a exhibition Slalom event.
Every year this event gains more interest in Tarifa as a spectator sport. The organizers should seriously consider making make more facilities available for the spectators such as organized parking and handout information. Many spectators found it impossible to understand this complex competition.
Robbie Naish the sports veteran from Hawaii does not compete in person any more however he was in Tarifa again in spirit as five of the men competitors chose his boards. This was only surpassed in popularity by 'North' with seven riders electing them.
As a special highlight away from the beaches was a concert in Tarifa Bullring by Ojos de Brujo concert. This nine-member group from Barcelona mixes flamenco with rumba, Indian rhythms, and easy-going drum'n'bass grooves - an unforgettable party night.