Longboat Key, FL (PressExposure) April 26, 2008 -- It was a Kevin Langeree-Aaron Hadlow battle to the top podium spot once again as the two top-ranked PKRA athletes tried to stay on their feet and outperform each other in the dying winds. Although the wind was dropping out to a point where it was on the brink of being cancelled, Langeree managed to keep riding and landed several tricks on the outside while Hadlow struggled on the inside with a downed kite after messing up a landing. The wind came in strong again for the second half of the heat and while Langeree managed to survive the lull and land tricks, Hadlow spent most of it trying to re-launch and get enough speed up for a trick. Even though the wind came back in and Hadlow stomped trick after trick, it wasn't enough to sway the judges from their 5-0 decision and award Langeree the first place overall.
A surprising feat came courtesy of Russian kiteboarder Petr Tyuskevich (Cabrinha) who went out with a vengeance after being beaten yesterday by Michael Schitzhofer (Naish, Austria) in their battle for third place in the singles. Tyuskevich defeated crowd favorite Sebastien Garat (RRD, France) and simultaneously silencing the crowd before having his sweet revenge against Schitzhofer for a chance in the final. "I'm so stoked," he said. Tyuskevich, who has been kiting for 18 years missed three stops in the 2007 PKRA World Tour but managed to stay in 13th place overall. His third place finish in today's competition equaled his best performance of his PKRA career which happened in Chile last year when he grabbed the third podium spot.
In the women's Freestyle final Gisela Pulido (Slingshot, Spain) pulled her big moves once again to defeat Bruna Kajiya (Best, Brazil) in two final runs. Susie Mai (Cabrinha, Germany) settled for third place overall after loosing to Pulido.
In Course Racing, Sean Farley (North, Mexico) continues to dominate the event, winning both of today's races. The Mexican racer now enjoys a comfortable 6.2 points lead over North teammate Charles Deleau (France) who is currently in second place. With only a race remaining, Sean is already assured of the top podium position. Currently occupying third spot is Sami Gali (Best, Spain) who still has a fighting chance for second place overall if he wins the last race and Deleau finishes third.
Having been knocked out early from the singles, Silvester Ruchdaschel (Fone, Germany) started a steady climb up the ladder by knocking out a powered up and much improved Ali Barrett (Slingshot, UK) in heat #18 via several powered moves.
Tom Hebert (Airush, New Caledonia) performed for the crowd exceptionally well. Boosting large right near the beach, very similar to the riding he has in his home spot at Meridian Beach, Noumea. He could boost right on the shore line as the wind carried him along the beach and away, far enough to land back in the water. Against Bjorn Viane (Flexifoil, Belgium) in heat #19, this worked well along with his powered moves while Viane struggled in the gusty, strong winds. Ironically, Hebert's run was short-lived as he was stopped by Reno Romeu (North, Brazil) in heat #23 courtesy of several powered moves. Hebert went as big as possible, took too many risks and did not land enough technical tricks to stand a chance of winning.
Alvaro Onieva (Best, Spain) started his long climb up the ladder against Adam Withington (Mexico) in the 20th heat before tiring out and loosing to Alex Pastor (Naish, Spain) in the heat #30.
Rick Jensen (Naish, Germany) stomped some well powered moves to win heat #21 against Julian Hosp (Best, Austria), including a mobe, KGB, blind judge with aerial handle pass and a blind judge. Hosp landed a regular and switch blind judge and a higher kite mobe, slim and back to blind airpass.
Cesar Portas (North, Spain) lost to Alex Pastor (Naish, Spain) in the 29th heat and struggled at the deteriorating wind conditions. While Pastor managed to continue landing tricks and stay in the box, a very underpowered Portas had to work hard to stay upwind before the wind came back in the last few mintues. Portas attempted a comeback but only managed to land a blind judge with aerial handle pass and slim against Pastor's mobe, s-bend to blind with airpass, raley to blind and a slimchance.
Garat continued storming his way up the ladder to the delight of the cheering crowd, ending Ruckdaschel's run in heat #30 with a mobe, slim, blind judge with aerial handlepass and hasselhoff. Garat also made some nice moves in heat #31 including a blind judge, mobe, front mobe, and s-bend to blind with airpass to defeat Pastor. The tired Garat then lost to Tyuskevich in the 32nd heat ending his run.
Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, UK), with his eyes on the top podium spot ended Tyuskevich's run in the 34th heat via power and consistency before facing Langeree in the final. Hadlow walked away with the win, landing a s-bend to blind with airpass, blind judge with aerial handle pass, mobe, slim and a couple of huge kiteloops. The Russian kiteboarder managed to nail a 313, blind judge with aerial handle pass, mobe and back to blind airpass.
An upset in the women's double took place courtesy of Caroline Adrien (France, Naish) defeating current world number 5 and teammate Karolina Winkowska (Naish, Poland) in heat #11. In the 12th heat, Josie Wilson (Naish, UK) had a very close heat against Kari Schibevaag (Ozone, Norway) but a handle pass and several kite loops for Wilson were not enough to defeat Schibevaag's kite loops, backloop to toeside surface pass and raley to blind.
Mai took out Angela Peral (North, Spain) in heat #17 landing a raley to blind, front to blind and several big airs with grabs against Peral who landed her raley to blind and downloop. Unfortunately, Mai got dispatched by world number one Pulido who busted out several handle passes and a big kite loop, easily taking the win in heat #18.
1.Kevin Langeree (Naish, Netherlands) 2.Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil, UK) 3.Petr Tyuskevich (Cabrinha, Russia)
1.Gisela Pulido (Slingshot, Spain) 2.Bruna Kajiya (Best, Brazil) 3.Susie Mai (Cabrinha, Germany)
Race Results (after seven races - overall ranking)
1. Sean Farley (North, Mexico) 2. Charles DeLeau (North, France) 3. Sami Gali (Best, Spain) 4. Raphael Salles (F-One, France) 5. Herve Kerneur (France)
1. Steph Bridge (North, UK) 2. Gina Esteva (Best, Spain) 3. Fabienne D'Ortoli (Cabrinha, France) 4. Angela Peral (North, Spain) 5. Caroline Adrien (Naish, France)