Day two at the 2016 Pingtan Kiteboarding Grand Slam got off to a somewhat lazy start - as the tide was still very low early on, the decision was made to hold back the competition and wait for better water and wave conditions later on. By 11am the conditions were looking great and the Big Air finals for both Men and Women commenced followed by the Waveriding discipline.
The Womens Big-Air losers final (for 5th place) saw a notable absence of the Brazilian Ferreira who said she was saving her energy for the Waveriding finals. The heat commenced without her and the three Women all fought hard for a place. It was however to be Korean rider Youngeun Lee narrowly inching out the other two Women (Tien and Jantawan) with some lofty big jumps towards the end of the heat securing her an overall 5th place finish.
It was assumed that the Womens final (heat 8) would be an easy win for Magaji given her performance the day earlier, she however got off to a slow start with both Correia and Chen gaining a lead early on with some high jumps and spins off the 4ft waves. Magaji only got things happening around the half way mark showing some nicely controlled Board Off tricks and clean Double Spins. Correia answered back again late with a few nice Kiteloops but it wasn’t enough to match the clean style and height of Magaji, landing Correia in a second place finish with Magaji claiming her first Big Air win for the year.
The Mens semi finals (heats 13, 14) were also exciting to watch, with both heats having a stacked field of riders. The rankings changed many times throughout the heats but there was to be one common factor in both heats and that was; that the two riders who advanced to the winners final were the two riders who both managed to execute high technical jumps in combination with kiteloops, Handlepass and Boardoff maneuvers.
The riders were guided in the skippers meeting that this would be a big factor in close scoring situations and it was clear that the judges decisions today were certainly influenced by this.
The bottom half of the semi finals made up the loosers final (heat 15). There was a notable absence of the Thai rider Yo who sadly injured his ribs during his heat 14 semi final. We hope that Yo is ok and that he can still compete in the Twin-Tip race class in the days to come as he’s been know to do very well there in the past.
It was the two Frenchman however who would battle down to the wire for a 5th place trophy. Both Kerneur and Lhostis went hard with big Kiteloops and Onefoot / Board Off maneuvers, Kerneur getting serious towards the end trying some handlepass manuvers that he hadn’t tried in any heat previous, perhaps trying to swing the judges opinion his way. We’re not sure if it worked but in the end Kerneur narrowly defeated Lhostis by just three points taking out 5th place for the event.
The Mens final was by far their most exciting heat of the day with all four men going massive and looking like it was possible that any of them could take the win. Young Carew from Australia put up a massive effort for his first international event, throwing some of the biggest kiteloops but coming unstuck on some of his other tricks landing him in a 4th place finish.
Posito also looked great in the beginning starting out with a huge couple of handlepass jumps but later crashing out on some big spins and failing to produce a big Kiteloop, which likely aided his 3rd place finish.
The top two men were a step above the other two, noticeably going higher more often and pulling out some wild Kiteloops and large dynamic jumps. One particular Kiteloop had the crowd thinking Crathern may end up in hospital once again, getting caught very late by the kite wowing both spectators and judges alike.
Hoppe on the other hand pulled what was likely the most technical trick of the day, a massive Kiteloop front roll, which we must assumed scored high, but it just wasn’t enough to take out the variety and risk displayed by Lewis. Crathern making some huge Jumps with a Handlepass that Hoppe did not, landing him in a deserved 1st place with Hoppe in a close 2nd, with Posito and Carew in 3rd and 4th respectively.
The Wave-riding discipline saw conditions very similar to yesterday, with no noticeable increase in wave height or wind strength.
The three-women final was up first, hotly contested by both Correira and Ferreira with Hou trailing behind but giving it her best shot. The Portuguese and Brazilian riders have both been in many events together and no doubt were keen to take out the win today.
Correira had some what of an advantage riding on her frontside down the line while Ferreira was on her backhand making it harder for her to quickly attack the lip. Ferreira gave it her best shot, producing some nice linked together turns but looked less comfortable in comparision to her heats the days previous.
Correira showed a dominant attack from heat start to finish with powerful smooth bottom to top turns which no doubt sealed her 1st place finish, with Ferreira and Hou trailing behind in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The mens loosers final (heat 15) saw the return of the young Australian Carew once again who was no doubt keen to better on his 4th place finish in the big air just a few heats earlier. It wasn’t to be however as the seasoned Frenchman Ribeiro used his superior wave selection and repertoire, narrowly defeating the Australian by a margin of just over a point.
Heat 16 (the Mens Wave final) was no-doubt the closest heat of the entire competition, with both men swapping positions throughout the heat and continuing to challenge one another to deliver a world championship worthy performance.
Both Men delivered a clinical backhand attack with very little difference between them. Matoz very narrowly had better wave selection and repertoire pulling off the only smooth backhand 360 cutbacks seen in the entire competition. Ferreira however was trying his best to solidify a first place finish claiming at the end of some rides and attempting some unique tricks of his own; the stand out being what can be described as a backhand backflip off the lip (down the line).
Ferreira tried hard to pull his backflip move off throughout the heat getting super close on two occasions but very un-fortunately only pulling it off on his 13th wave (which was outside his allowed wave count and thus not scoring). Had Ferreira pulled off his backflip he likely would have taken the heat win, as such it resulted that Matoz narrowly took the 1st place victory over Ferreira by a super slim 0.04 points!
With another amazing round of action today the whole team is excited for the great forecast for the rest of the week and the start of the Twin-Tip race category tomorrow. We’re expecting the races to be exciting with such a big field present so make sure to stay up to date with the latest reports!
Final Results Big Air Men:
1. Lewis Crathern (GBR, North) - 94.3pts
2. Marius Hoppe (GER, Core/F2) - 90.7pts
3. Posito Martinez (DOM, Da Silva) - 75.7pts
Final Results Big Air Women:
1. Bibiana Magaji (SVK, Flysurfer) - 89.3pts
2. Ines Correia (POR, North) - 80pts
3. Jingle Chen (CHN, Ozone) - 57.3pts
Final Results Wave Performance Men:
1. Pedro Matoz (BRA, North) - 14.47pts
2. Filippe Ferreira (BRA, F-One) - 14.43pts
3. Sebastian Ribeiro (BRA, North) - 13.67pts
Click here for full results and elimination ladders with heat scores BIG AIR
Click here for full results and elimination ladders with heat scores WAVE
Low resolution pictures can be downloaded from https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jpzzc4te1sn8xfa/AABGXXTuWAsVgetaEnyW86isa?dl=0