GKA Freestyle-Kite Worlds – title chances come… and go

There are days in competition that truly go down in the history books and day two of the Copa Kitley GKA Freestyle-Kite World Cup Brazil in Taiba is one of them.

As the final Freestyle event of the season, the scenarios for the Championship contenders on both the Men’s and Women’s side had been much discussed, but finally, the chance for Manoel Soares to take his first world title came in the men’s quarter finals.

If he could finish in the top two and therefore advance to the semi-finals, Soares would be guaranteed enough championship points to take the title.

As the draw would have it, he faced second ranked rider Gianmaria Coccoluto in that quarter final, as well as Valentin Garat and a local ripper with a huge reputation, Erick Anderson.

The heat was stacked with firepower and threats to Manoel’s chances.

All Gianmaria Coccoluto could do at this event was keep winning his heats and hope that Soares would trip up before reaching the semi-finals. Now it was in his hands, but even if Coccoluto won the heat he’d need help from one of the others to push Manoel into third, and out of the competition.

Speaking of how he felt before the quarter-final, Gianmaria said, “Well at the beginning I was super stressed, but then when I went into the water, I was all in.”

Coccoluto produced a performance for the ages. Attacking without fear, he ripped Taiba lagoon apart like never before.

Soares led after two tricks, but started to slip as the Italian hit full beast mode, scoring two nines and then two 10s in succession that sent goosebumps through the crowd and left the judges in awe. Bottle the flow that Gianmaria had in that heat and you’d make millions.

Having uncharacteristically caught a front edge on his third trick, Manoel started to look tense. He forced out a 319 and a 315 and then the backside 315 on his last trick attempt just wasn’t good enough to overtake in-form lagoon specialist, Erick Anderson, who went through to semis behind Coccoluto.

There are still three contenders for the title, but only two remain in the competition. Manoel now has to sit things out and wait to see if Gianmaria or Juan Rodriguez will win the event or not.

Those two will meet next in the semi-finals, coming up today!

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