Day one intro video to the GKA Mauritius Wave & Strapless Freestyle Pro taking place at Le Morne which kicked off yesterday with the registration, qualifiers and five heats of the first round of the main event. We're currently charging through the main event, but here some action from yesterday!
GKA WAVE & STRAPLESS FREESTYLE STOP #03 - REGISTRATION AND QUALIFIERS
Le Morne, Mauritius, 6th September 2016
The hallowed spot of Le Morne in Mauritius plays host to the third stop on the GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle tour, and is the first full wave event on this mixed five stop tour.
After registration, 23 riders battled it out in six qualifying heats with 12 progressing through to the main event. Conditions were good, with the contest running between Chameaux and down to One Eye as and when the waves allowed.
PHOTOS: Toby Bromwich
The GKA Freestyle Riders of the Year 2016 have been crowned at the WorldCup Germany in Fehmarn tonight.
Congratulations to Alex Pastor and Bruna Kajiya!!!
More details coming soon.
The GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle tour lands in Mauritius from the 5th – 15th September for one of the most hotly anticipated events of the year. The world’s best wave kiters will challenge themselves and each other at the awesome One Eye wave – to take the win at this the third round of the GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle tour.
The GKA held its annual general meeting in Fehmarn, Germany on the 29th August. During the meeting the new GKA board was also elected for the upcoming two years.
ELECTION OF A NEW GKA BOARD
Three representatives have been voted in to take up the following positions:
Pictured, left to right: Till Eberle, Robby Naish and Clinton Filen
Five time World Champion Aaron Hadlow may not lead the table with all discards in place, but as all riders are registered in Germany, when we take the discarded round away, he finds himself at the top of the list of contenders for the first GKA Freestyle Rider of the Year award. The final Grand Slam event that makes up the series, is in Germany, which got underway on the 26th August and runs to the 4th September.
Aaron takes the win at the Red Bull King of the Air 2016 - the first event on the GKA Freestyle Grand Slam calendar / PHOTO: Red Bull Content Pool / Kolesky
DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE FINALS IN GERMANY, STARTING TODAY:
26TH AUGUST - 4TH SEPTEMBER!
The GKA Freestyle Rider of the Year award was an initiative developed by the member brands of the Global Kitesports Association, to find the all-round freestyle kiteboarding athlete of the year.
The Global Kitesports Association (GKA) was founded in August 2014 by most important kitesurf brands worldwide – there are 13 in total. The main goals of the GKA are to keep the beaches open for practicing kitesurfing in harmony with nature, to make kitesurfing even safer and to support professional kitesurfing on a spectacular, sustainable and reliable level.
As a result of the 'fight' between IKA and WKT and the disaster in the freestyle championship tour in 2015, the brands discussed whether to pull out of professional freestyle kitesurfing completely, or to create an overall title that was independent of all the ongoing political discussions between the parties involved.
The GKA and its members decided to choose the second option and created the GKA Freestyle Grand Slam Tour with the eventual champion called 'Rider of the Year' at the end.
Brazilian rider Bruna Kajiya is currently leading the standings for the GKA Female Freestyle Rider of the Year award ahead of the final Grand Slam event that makes up the series, which is in Germany, running from the 26th August to the 4th September.
The 'Grand Slam' events that have counted towards the Rider of the Year award this season have been the Mondial du Vent in Leucate, the Wind Voyager Triple-S in Cape Hatteras, the MaiTai Cabarete Freestyle Invitational and this final event, the Pringles Kitesurf World Cup in Fehmarn, Germany.
GKA WAVE & STRAPLESS FREESTYLE TOUR, ROUND 2: SOTAVENTO
Sotavento, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain, 6th August 2016
Kiteboarding has the ability to impress, and this event has successfully blended elite and technical competition with a massive spectacle element for the crowd... thanks also in no small part to the excellent Rene Egli event MCs who have commentated brilliantly with information and good humour through each heat.
PHOTOS: Tom Brendt / Tillmanns Team
GKA WAVE & STRAPLESS FREESTYLE TOUR: RENE EGLI, SOTAVENTO
EXPRESSION BEST TRICK SESSION!
Sotavento, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain, 4th August 2016
So, on to today, day four. After yesterday's full bore sessions, that not only included the climax to the main strapless freestyle event, but also a full 'Best Trick' contest (both won by Airton by the way), we felt that as we have the luxury of continuing strong conditions at the awesome Rene Egli Sotavento spot, we could allow the contest to breathe by running an expression session. Riders were encouraged to really let go and show us their take on the sport, taking advantage of mixing small wave attack with an array of fun freestyle moves. The crowd would act as an extra judge for the final, and it was up to the riders to court their approval any way they could... as you'll see.
GKA WAVE & STRAPLESS FREESTYLE TOUR ROUND TWO, DAY THREE
QUARTERS, SEMIS, FINALS & A BIG AIR BONANZA!
Sotavento, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain, 3rd August 2016
After almost two weeks of non-stop action, the forecast could finally – perhaps - be receding in terms of wind here in Sotavento over the next few days. Rene Egli hosted the windsurfing World Cup before this GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle kitesurfing contest, and in order to ensure a complete result in the best conditions possible, the race crew pushed ahead today with the first quarter final at 12 noon sharp, intending to push all the way through to the final before lunch. The riders certainly dished up a feast of entertainment!
BLOWING THE DOORS OFF AT SOTAVENTO!
Sotavento, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain, 2nd August 2016
Day two and the start of the main event here in Sotavento brought some intense action on the water and the crowds got the chance to really see what this new kitesurfing discipline is all about. And entertainment factored highly!
Two sessions saw us rattle through the eight heats of round one in the morning and eight more in the afternoon, bringing the contest to the quarter final stages to come from tomorrow.
The crowds here at the Rene Egli centre in Sotavento have already experienced ten back-to-back days of windsurfing slalom and freestyle World Cup competition in the build up to this kitesurfing strapless freestyle contest, but everyone agreed that this is the first time that the crowds have truly erupted in appreciation of the huge entertainment.
FUERTEVENTURA DAY ONE: GKA WAVE & STRAPLESS FREESTYLE TOUR ROUND 2
Sotavento, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain, 1st August 2016
The GKA event team and strapless freestyle tour riders have arrived at Sotavento in Fuerteventura at the Rene Egli kitesurfing and windsurfing spot for six days of what should be incredible strapless freestyle competition for round two of the GKA Wave and Strapless Freestyle tour.
17 riders registered for the contest this morning and this afternoon they had the opportunity to warm up and get used to the conditions here in front of the crowds. The rest of the week has strong winds forecast for each afternoon, presenting different opportunities as well as challenges for the riders in this new discipline.
The GKA Wave & Strapless Tour will see a mix of freestyle and wave events over the next several months, eventually resulting in the crowning of a GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle Rider of the Year. The first round was the Tarifa Strapless Kitesurfing Pro in June.
Congratulations to all involved in the first World Kiteboarding League event that took place in association with MaiTai Global in Cabarete at the weekend. Good conditions, the world's best riders, a rising local superstar, livestream coverage... we hope that freestyle is back to its best!