For day 5 of the Pringles Kitesurf World Cup we awoke to strong winds and rainy weather. Quite the contrast to the last sunny days here in St. Peter Ording.
After the 8am riders meeting, the Men’s Freestyle Qualifiers got underway immediately. The conditions were not at all easy, with rain and gusty winds of up to 30 knots, but the riders put on an amazing performance to try and work their way up the freestyle ladder and fight for one of the 8 spots available in the main event.
Some hightlights of the morning included Russian rider Anton Cherkashin (RU/Cabrinha) who did a massive 315 off the kicker, a great performance which allowed him to advance to round three. Also advancing was Patrick Blanc (ES/Ozone) who showed that he is a rider with plenty of experience and pulled off an amazing and clean heat, especially considering how difficult the conditions were.
The Freestyle Qualifiers were run consistenly throughout the day. Needing to complete a total of 56 heats, it was non-stop freestyle action back to back. The rider’s were fighting hard, and the public thoroughly enjoyed watching all the new, young, up and coming riders who were each hoping to gain a place in the main event.
Dutch rider Sander Bos (NED/North) was certainly on form today, and delivered an amazing heat against the British Youth Cup Champion (U15 category) Tom Bridge (GB/North). Bos landed a very powered S-Mobe amongst other things, but then unfortunately crashed his kite and did not manage to relaunch it for the remainder of his heat. Even though Bridge rode extremely well, it was Bos who advanced to the next round.
Oswald Smith (ZA/Airush) was another rider who was on fire today. After a disappointing start to the competition a few days ago, Smith managed regain the lost ground by passing his heats in round 2 and 3 by performing nicely powered backside 313, front to blind and a front-side 7. He was certainly happy with today’s performance.
Tomorrow, the Freestyle Qualifiers will be completed and we will then know who the 8 riders are who will advance into the main event.
For the women, the conditions were difficult, but that did not stop them from giving it their all and putting on exceptional performances. Rita Arnaus (ES/Best) and Therese Taabbel (DN/Cabrinha) put in notable performances and were happy to pass through to round 4. Other girls who showed great skills were Francesca Bagnoli (IT/North), Dioneia Vieira (BR/Gin) and Kristiin Oja (EE/North), who are all ready to put up the big battle tomorrow to gain one of the 4 spots in the main event.
After a remarkable day with just over 11 hours of back to back heats, the day’s action came to a close due to the rising tide. The rider’s meeting has been called for 8am tomorrow morning, with the first possible start at 8.30 am. The focus will be to complete the Freestyle Qualifiers and to get started on the main Freestyle Event.