The Unpredictable Winds of Barcarès: Lords of Tram GKA Big Air World Cup
The Lords of Tram GKA Big Air World Cup in Barcarès, France was an exciting and thrilling competition that showcased the best kiteboarders in the world. Riders had to put their skills and experience to the test to take home the top honors amidst unpredictable wind conditions ranging from 20-45 knots. Kite selection proved to be a significant challenge for some riders, and one of them was Clement Huot, who ended up in the hospital after attempting the first triple loop. The competition showcased the best kiteboarders in the world, with incredible displays of skill and competition experience.
- Riders faced unpredictable wind conditions ranging from 20-45 knots
- Kite selection was a significant challenge for some riders
- Liam Whaley won the men’s final from Andrea Principi with his consistent performance and impressive tricks, despite Andrea having a more technical trick book
- Mikaili Sol defeated Angely Bouillot in a nail-biting final on the women’s side
- Clement Huot attempted the first triple loop and ended up in the hospital after crashing heavily on his board
- Lorenzo Casati’s chicken loop accidentally released mid-air twice, resulting in some heavy crashes
- Liam Whaley and Mikaili Sol are now in the running for becoming the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air World Champion
The Men’s Final: Liam Whaley’s Competition Experience Shines
In the men’s final, Liam Whaley showed his competition experience, winning the final from Andrea Principi, who has a larger trick book. Liam has been competing at the highest level for several years, and his experience showed in the final.
Andrea Principi is known for his technical tricks and has a larger trick book than Liam. However, in the final, Liam was able to outscore Andrea with his consistent performance and impressive tricks. Liam’s victory in the final was the result of a combination of factors, including his ability to read the unpredictable wind conditions, his skill in selecting the right kite size, and his experience in competition.
Liam’s kite selection was spot-on, allowing him to execute the right tricks at the right time. This helped him secure a massive heat score of 26.37, ultimately defeating Andrea Principi and cementing his position for the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air World Championship crowns at the next tour stop in Tarifa, Spain in May.
It was a well-fought battle between Liam and Andrea, and both riders put on an incredible show for the crowd. Liam’s victory in the final was a testament to his experience and skill in the sport, despite Andrea having a more technical trick book.
The Women’s Final: Mikaili Sol Edges Out Angely Bouillot
On the women’s side, Mikaili Sol put on a stunning display of athleticism to defeat Angely Bouillot in a nail-biting final. Sol, who came into the competition under-prepared, managed to edge out Bouillot and is now in the running for becoming the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air World Champion for the second time in a row.
Mikaili Sol is known for her impressive tricks and has been dominating the big air competitions, and the final at Barcarès was no exception. The competition was intense, and both riders showed incredible athleticism and skill.
The Unfortunate Crash: Clement Huot’s Triple Loop Attempt
Unfortunately, the competition wasn’t without its accidents. Clement Huot attempted the first triple loop, but he crashed heavily on his board with the phone from Surfr in his ribs. Luckily, he was released from the hospital the same night.
Clement Huot’s attempt at the first triple loop was a significant moment in the competition, and it showed the risk and danger involved in attempting such tricks. The incident put the whole beach in quiet and brought everyone to the reality of the dangers of the sport.
Kite Selection: The Key Factor
One of the key factors that made the competition even more challenging was the unpredictable wind conditions. Riders had to guess how windy it was going to be in their heats, making it difficult to pick the right kite size. Unfortunately, some riders, like Cohan van Dijk and Giel Vlugt, made the wrong choices in the end, choosing a smaller kite when they might have won their heat on a larger kite.
The Chickenloop Malfunction: Lorenzo Casati’s Unlucky Day
Lorenzo Casati, the young Italian rider, had an unfortunate day in the competition, with his chickenloop accidentally releasing mid-air twice, resulting in some heavy crashes. A chickenloop is a key component of the kiteboarding setup, as it allows riders to quickly disconnect from their kite in case of emergencies.
Unfortunately for Casati, his chickenloop malfunctioned at the worst possible times, leading to some dangerous crashes.
It’s worth noting that accidents like Casati’s are rare in kiteboarding, as the equipment used by riders is rigorously tested and checked before each competition. However, accidents can still happen, and riders need to be aware of the risks involved in the sport.
Final Thoughts: The Thrilling Competition
Despite the challenges, the Lords of Tram GKA Big Air World Cup in Barcarès, France was an exciting and thrilling competition that showcased the best kiteboarders in the world. The unpredictable wind conditions and kite selection proved to be a challenge for some riders, but it also highlighted the importance of experience and skill in the sport.
It was a well-fought battle between the top riders, with Liam Whaley’s experience and consistency earning him the victory in the men’s final, and Mikaili Sol’s impressive athleticism and determination securing her win in the women’s final.
However, the competition wasn’t without its accidents and setbacks, with riders like Clement Huot and Lorenzo Casati experiencing crashes and gear malfunctions.
Overall, the Lords of Tram GKA Big Air World Cup was a fantastic event that showcased the best of kiteboarding. With incredible displays of skill and extremity, it left us all in awe and anticipation for the next tour stop in Tarifa, Spain, in May. We can’t wait to see what the top riders have in store for us next!
first place: Liam Whaley
second place: Andrea Principi
third place: Jamie Overbeek
first place: Mikaili Sol
second place: Angely Bouillot
third place: Nathalie Lambrecht