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Asian champions crowned @ 7 Stones KTA Philippines

The 7 Stone KTA Philippines, has been the surprise final that has turned in one of the best events of the 2010-11 Asian Kiteboard Tour season. Coming from one of Asia’s most renowned kiteboarding locations Boracay Island showed the KTA its best side with near perfect wind and conditions for a full four days of on water action. Supported by the smoothly efficient 7Stones team of Mr Dani Aliago the KTA team had the back-up and infrastructure to deliver a highly professional event package for the 71 registered riders from more 20 different countries.

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For four full days the daily crowds numbering in the hundreds watched as course racing, freestyle, speed and the Old Skool project competitions unfolded before them. The wind at times was tipping over the 30kt mark and riders were flying both in the air and race style. Also stepping up a gear to match the daytime competition activity a full menu of social events was laid on by the local organising team lead by Normeth Prego. After all this is Boracay and no event here would be allowed to pass through without a touch of Filipino party action – so as the evenings unfolding the KTA and its riders were treated to roof top cocktail parties, casino nights, a stunning fashion and fire show, the unforgettable Tet in Netherland birthday party and of course a fantastic awards night dinner hosted by Boracay Regency hotel on the island word famous White Beach. Then with the official ceremonies completed the crew once again descended onto the competition beach for a final 10/11 Asian Tour closing party at the Hangin Kiteschool – themed as a Lady Gaga and foam party we will just leave it to your imagination how the night unfolded.

handle_pass_mikeFollowing our first two days as reported in our halfway review the competition once again picked up fully as everything was still to play for in all disciplines.

The third day delivered excitement across every competition, beginning the day with 25 knots of wind, the double eliminations of freestyle were run. Taner Aykurt (Turkey) climbed his way from a 9th position to 4th. 13 year old local Stefano Ganugi killed it again with stylish mega-loops, but Nicolas Feraud (France) beat him with two blind judges and a shifty 313. Nicolas went on to beat Taner in an all out battle that was a tough deliberation for the judges, but Nicolas’s last back mobe made it clear. For the girls it was spectacular to watch the small Dina Muldasheva (Russia) go out heat after heat in the strong and gusty wind for over three hours. She worked hard and even beat Christina Alstad (Norway) to be seated 3rd and ready for the semi-finals. Dina’s unhooked rotations were wooing the crowd. The last two heats for both men and women have been saved for the last day of competition as the tide was flooding and the beach disappearing.

 

We then moved into the Old Skool project. This discipline is actually being run at all time of the competition, next to the freestyle square. The idea being people can go out whenever and put on a show, whenever the wind is best for them, but between freestyle and racing the Old Skoolers had a session all to themselves. The “show” is judged by not only the KTA official judges, but by the riders, spectators and media. Old Skool is known to attract so many to the sport, so it is being run with entertainment value in mind. Huge displays of entertainment were seen from Taner and Erkan Aydin (Turkey), Merck Marasigan (Philippines), young locals Christian Tio and Stefano, and of course the local hero Ken Nacor.

As the day moved on and three races were run in the afternoon. Rebecka Maudal (Norway) who spends the season here in Boracay certainly had a gigantic smile on her face, cheered on by her local supporters as she crossed the line first for the women’s TT class everytime! Aya Oshima (Japan) is seated 2nd with Helle Johansen (Denmark) in 3rd. For the men it was an exciting start as leader William Bourget (France) broke a line right before the 1st race was to begin. A good show of sportsmanship was seen from K!NN Pro rider team member Kin Nguyen Ngoc (Vietnam) who body dragged William in to change his lines as soon as possible, allowing William to get back out in time to compete. A good thing for William as after today he is holding onto his 1st position with Nacor right on his tail, literally, every time. And it is Estonian Pridu Null who is holding the 3rd position.

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For the race boarders it continued to be edge of the seat intensity watching Yo-Narapichit Pudla (Thailand), reigning men’s Asian Champion, contend with world champion Cabrinha rider Bruno Sroka (France). Bruno continued to lead, but the gap was closing. Taner held the position for 3rd. The female race boarding fleet did not go out as it was too strong for their equipment and with that Brunotti sponsored Kathrin Borgwardt (Germany) held onto her 1st place, Dina in 2nd and Astrid Berz (Switzerland) in 3rd.

Day three started with the freestyle finals!

After climbing her way to 3rd yesterday, Dina Muldasheva (Russia) was stopped by Kathrin Borgwardt who went on to ride against Aya Oshima (Japan) in the ever familiar battle that has continued throughout the tour year. Aya proved to have more style and power, all though not a quick decision by the judges, she took the first place prize.

The men’s freestyle was big air, big tricks, big crashes! Ken Nacor, a favourite local rider on this beach, beat K!NN Pro rider team Long Ngyuen Duc (Vietnam), yesterday to take the 3rd seat. Long had won third in Thailand at the last KTA round. Now he was up against reigning Asian Men’s Champion Yo-Narapichit Pudla (Thailand). Riding trick for trick each rider would copy the other, pushing his oppoment to the next level. After many crashes their trick programs began to be more individualistic. Another tough heat to judge, Yo ended up winning due to having more power and lower kite placement. Yo went on to contend with Mike “The Knife” Blomvall, a Nobile rider from Sweden.

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Course racing was captivating. It was a thrill seeing the fleet move towards the starting line, slowly at first then quicker and quicker with eager faces full of intensity. Three races were run, the first full of tangles before the start with many disqualified for crossing the start line to early. The crowd were on the edge of their seats watching with anticipation for the moments when Yo would pull ahead of World Champion, Cabrinha rider, Bruno Sroka (France). The second race presented the biggest of these moments when Yo beat Bruno over the finish line. “I feel very happy. This is my dream, that one day I’m going to beat Bruno. So my dream came true!” Rebecka Maudal (Norway) who had been leading the women’s TT class had two bad experiences in the first two races with line tangles by other riders. “In the 2nd race I had to use my quick release and put my kite back together before starting again. In the 1st race an upwind rider crashed on me. I had to stop while they were able to keep riding. Then my kite flipped inside itself, eventually I was able to relaunch it and finish, but I had already lost too much time” reported Rebecka. But her overall performance still won her top spot on the podium.

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The winners of the course racing for the men were Bruno, then Yo for 2nd, and Taner Aykurt (Turkey) for third. For the women it was Kathrin for 1st, Dina for 2nd, and Astrid Berz (Switzerland) for 3rd. For the men’s TT class it was William Bourget (France) for 1st, Ken Nacor (Philippines) for 2nd, and Pridu Null (Estonia) for 3rd. The women’s TT ended with Rebecka in 1st, Aya Oshima (Japan) for 2nd, and Helle Johansen (Denmark).

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The Old Skool Project has also been keeping spectators and riders busy. With strong winds riders are able to compete at any time they wish to create the best overall show. Judged by each other, spectators, media, and official judges the winners for the women were Helle Johansen (Denmark) for first, Astrid Berz (Switzerland) got 2nd, and Kathrin won 3rd. For the men it was the godfather of Old Skool himself, Toby Braeuer (Germany), who took 1st, Taner who won 2nd, and Merck-Mino Marasigan (Philippines) who won 3rd.

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Also in the background throughout over the four days was the local Boracay Speed Comp, which in the winds we have been experiencing was fully lit. Running with an open gate format over a set time period each day, riders could take as many runs as they wished through the time gate. Local speed specialists were showing the way to the visiting riders, many of whom had never tried speed racing before. In the end it would be the local knowledge and experience that would win through with Tony Heiss, Angel Parzhuber and Winni Levai taking the top three slots respectively for the men, while in the women’s class Janicke Stav, Liezel Tio and Dian Tobes would take the honours.

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So with the 7 Stones KTA Philippines complete all attention turned to the overall rankings and who would take the overall championship titles for the 2010-11 Asian Kiteboard Tour, some changes and surprizes were in store and in one case one single point would be making the difference between being the 2011 Champion and runner up – read on ……………

Asian Freestyle Champions

Men

  • Yo-Narapichit Pudla (Thailand)
  • Taner Aykurt (Turkey)
  • Kin Nguyen Ngoc (Vietnam)

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Women

  • Aya Oshima (Japan)
  • Hill Billy Siu (Hong Kong)
  • Dina Muldasheva (Russia)

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KTA Tour Freestyle Champions

Men

  • Yo-Narapichit Pudla (Thailand)
  • Taner Aykurt (Turkey)
  • Kin Nguyen Ngoc (Vietnam)

Women

  • Aya Oshima (Japan)
  • Kathrin Borgwardt (Germany)
  • Jannicke Stav (Norway)

freetsyle_ladies_tour

KTA Tour Course Racing

Men

  • Taner Aykurt (Turkey)
  • Yo-Narapichit Pudla (Thailand)
  • Deivis Maciulis (Lithuania)

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Women

  • Kathrin Borgwardt (Germany)
  • Marielle vd Reit (Netherlands)
  • Aya Oshima (Japan)

KTA Tour TT Class Racing

Men

  • Kin Nguyen Ngoc (Vietnam)
  • Dennis Wong (Hong Kong)
  • Ken Nacor (Philippines)

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Women

  • Marielle vd Reit (Netherlands)
  • Aya Oshima (Japan)
  • Hill Billy Siu (Hong Kong)

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