Super Final Freestyle Drama at the KTA Indonesia
Freestyle winners of KTA Indonesia event kept on tenterhooks after tight finals wrap up but results held for Sunday’s closing ceremony
Trikora Beach Km52, Bintan – Both the men’s and women’s freestyle contests at the Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) were so tight they went to a “super-final” decider as the competitors executed their biggest moves almost faultlessly in near perfect conditions on Indonesia’s Bintan island.
Jaka Komocar (SLO), victor in the round robin format of day one, was forced to face Dylan van der Meig (NED) twice after the 18-year-old battled his way back in the double elimination with a series of heats where he consistently landed powered tricks smoothly.
The Dutchman defeated Komocar, 17, in the first final despite the Slovenian almost matching him trick for trick, throwing down “S” bend passes, blind judge 3, and back mobes with similarly powerful fluidity.
Komocar was given another chance to clinch the KTA Indonesia title with a deciding super-final, but tore a binding off his board in the last minute as a double “S” bend pass went awry in the surf break, ending his heat.
But both teenagers will have to wait until Sunday’s closing ceremony of the event, whose presenting sponsor is Bintan Regency supported by the tourism department and Agro Beach Resorted, when the organizers will reveal the outcome.
“The last final was not my best, but I hope it was enough,” said van der Meig. “I was certainly pleased to get the win over him in the first final. It gave me confidence for the ‘super-final’. I’d got used to the conditions more today and the officials moved the competition box inshore, giving us more space and the chance to use the kickers.”
The women’s freestyle contest also went to a nail biting “super-final” after Estefania Rosa Santos (BRA) saw off a challenge from the 21-year-old British champion, Rosanna Jury, who took a hard crash in shallow water when she caught a wave in an “S” bend attempt.
Santos, 26, the Brazilian number two, then took out Kelly Shouten (NED), the winner from day one as both women experienced difficulty completing their allotted five tricks from nine attempts in the seven-minute final in the winds gusting to 25kts in the rolling swell.
In the tense super-final Santos landed five air passes during her repertoire that included a Blind Judge 3, Slim Chance, and a Shifty 3 that left her elated on and off the water and Shouten slightly gloomy about her prospects when the results are finally unveiled.
“It was tough for me today, it definitely didn’t go as well as yesterday,” said Shouten, on her first foray back to competitive riding since her cruciate ligament surgery last April. “Conditions were easier than yesterday, but I just didn’t really get into the flow of landing all my tricks. I feel I didn’t do enough to win.”
By comparison a beaming Santos was confident her stellar riding would be sufficient for the judges to give her victory. “I feel very relaxed,” she said. “I think five air passes is more than enough. After losing yesterday it much more energy, so today was better.”
With the freestyle contest completed the racers were again given the chance to take to the water, though the difficulties posed by the tough conditions of strong winds and huge swell on day one forced officials to set a shorter course for safety reasons, with Formula kiteboarders completing three circuits of the track and the Twin-Tip racers one.
Narapichit “Yo” Pudla (THA), who had unusually faltered in the freestyle contest, was almost flawless in both the raceboard and twin-tip classes as he elected to take part in the three races in each division run back-to-back.
Of the six races Pudla, 23, won five and took a second in the twin-tip class, only beaten by Doque Delos Santos (PHI), the reigning KTA champion. In the raceboard class Pudla was chased hard by his training partner Chanon “Jack” Phrakaew (THA) and Nils Stolzlechner (AUT), both of whom took seconds and thirds.
Stolzlechner, a raceboard designer for Gaastra, was pleased with the shortened course in the conditions, though in the dropping breeze had struggled to find an optimum compromise between his 10m and 13m kites.
In the women’s raceboard class Astrid Berz (SUI), who had placed fifth overall at the Kiteboard Racing World Championships in China last November, put in strong performances winning two of the three races and retiring in a third.
Kathrin Borgwardt (GER) took the opportunity to snatch a wind with Berz gone, and scored to second places, along with three victories in the twin-tip class.
“The courseboard race was a big challenge with the huge waves outside,” said Borgwardt. “Down-wind with the big swell it’s more like surfing, but the risk is that you run under your kite. Astrid Berz is just too fast and my wins yesterday and today were because of her mistakes. But I’m pretty happy.”
Day Two Freestyle results, men and women
Final winners results held until the awards night on the 26th Jan
Day Two Raceboard results, men and women
1. Yo Narapichit Pudla (THA) 1. Astrid Berz (SUI)
2. Nils Stolzlechner (AUT) 2. Kathrin Borgwardt (GER)
3. Atte Kappel (SWE) 3. Bilge Ozturk (TUR)
Day Two Twin-Tip results, men and women
Yo Narapichit Pudla (THA) 1. Kathrin Borgwardt (GER)
Jay Ortiz (PHL) 2. Kelly Schouten (NED)
Louie Fernando (PHL) 3. Fon Benyapa Jantawan (THA)