GKA Kite World Tour – Day 3

  • On day 3 we completed Men’s Rounds Four and Five.
  • Riders that showcased powerful combinations were rewarded.
  • Highlight moments of the day include Gianmaria Coccoluto’s Crowmobe 5 combined with a backside 360, Carlos Mario’s banger heats and Finn Flugel making it into the semi-final round!

Yesterday marked the third day of competition at the GKA Freestyle-Kite World Cup Colombia!

We’re back for another day of action! With three days in a row of solid, building wind, the crew is stoked on the conditions. Coming off an action-packed day yesterday, the judges and crowd are looking for another day of big tricks, interesting combinations, and one of the most powerful displays of strength and execution in kiteboarding!

Besides the action, one of the most incredible parts of the competition is the energy on the beach. The locals are stoked to see kiteboarding in Salinas del Rey. In fact, in just one year since the GKA first launched in Colombia, this spot has seen a huge boost in popularity, with new hotels, and restaurants popping up and tourism exploding here on the Northern Coast of South America.

We started the day with men’s Round Four. The top two riders advanced while the bottom two were eliminated, meaning that it started to get serious here in Colombia!

Full report and action video is here.

Athletes started out on 10-meter kites as the wind filled in over the countryside.

Juan Rodriguez (COL), who came in third here last year is one of those riders who always has a smile on his face. You can see the emotion and his love for his country shine on and off the water. Unfortunately Juan lost out in the quarter finals in an absolutely stacked heat.

The highest heat scores of Round Four were landed by Valentin Garat (FRA) who scored a 8.87 for his super solid 317 and Valentin Rodiguez (COL) who executed a gigantic 319 scoring 8.5 points! Despite these high scores, it was still early on in the competition and the riders were working on maintaining their energy for the finals. The energy in these rounds was one of a reserved confidence and determination. We quickly progressed through Round Four as riders got eliminated and moved into the Quarter Final Heats.

In the final heat of the day, pure energy and power were on display with Carlos Mario (BRA) facing off against Giamaria Cococoluto (ITA), new comer Jack Rieder (CAN) and local favorite Juan Rodriguez (COL).

Carlos delivered insane combos with a tootsie roll into a double Hinterberger 5. As well as a beautiful crowmobe 5. Juan Rodriguez opened up with a huge Backmobe 5. Carlos Mario landed a huge double heart attack right out of the gate. What sets the top athletes apart from the other competitors is how little they crash. They’re able to law down their hardest tricks in changing conditions.

Coccoluto laid down some combos of his own, pairing a Crowmobe 5 with a backside 3. As the heats advance, we’ve been seeing more and more combos. Juan answered back with the exact same combo, getting just a slightly lower score than Coccoluto. In the end it was Coccoluto and Mario that managed to secure their spots in the semi-finals.

They’ll be joined by Swiss phenom Maxime Chabloz who added a lot of grabs into his tricks scoring super high with a Backmobe 5 with both a nose grab and a seatbelt grab and Arthur Guillebert (FRA) who shows consistency with a lot of power. He got super rewarded because his moves were really inverted. As well as the the legend Luis Alberto Cruz and stylish Louka Pitot (FRA) and finally super consistent Manoel Saores and our youngster Finn Flugel.

Salinas del Rey, Colombia
Salinas del Rey, Colombia

We’re starting up the semi-finals shortly! Stay tuned!

Words: Sensi Graves

Photos: Andre Magarao

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Jeanneau JY55
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