WKC Dakhla - Qualifier Championship - Day Two
The day started off strong for Day Two of the Qualifier Championship in Dakhla, Morocco, with the wind blowing over 25 knots from the early morning.
The Men’s Rounds 3 and 4 were completed, together with the Women’s Small Final.
Heat 13 was the first in sequence, and the athletes hit the water with the wind pumping and the tide high at 10.30 am. Belgian/Spanish rider Jerome Cloetens was on fine form for the start of the day, opening with several good tricks, including a nice Double Heart Attack. He clinched the spot in the Semi-Final, together with Frenchman Nico Delmas, who knocked out Sergei Borisov by just 0.01 points, a very tight ending to this first heat of the day.
Four french athletes came together for Heat 14, each one wanting to beat his fellow team mate for a chance to advance to the semis. Each athlete pushed to go bigger, but struggled to land their attempts due to the increasing wind conditions. Arthur Guillebert and Louka Pitot managed to keep a lead on their competitors, trying their best to perform solid tricks in the gusty wind conditions. Their effort paid off as they both passed to the Semi-Finals.
Kalu de Sousa from Brazil was not going to let the difficult conditions deter him, and put on a strong display of riding. Elite Championship rider Gianmaria Coccoluto from Italy struggled at times to perform as he wanted, but he managed cover the basics, and he followed De Sousa into the Semi-Finals, knocking out Edgar Ulrich and Cohen van Dijk from the competition.
Local rider Soufiane Hassouni faced a difficult challenge coming up against 3 Elite riders in Heat 16. He worked his way through the heat but it was not easy, and was knocked out at this round. However he receives the Wildcard for the Elite Championship as he is the highest qualifying local rider. Val Garat from France managed to maintain a lead landing a good Slim 7 and Front Blind Mobe. Anthar Racca from Mexico and Frenchman Paul Serin remained very close throughout, but it was finally Serin and Garat who advanced to the Semi-Final.
Women’s Small Final
The wind dipped for the start of the Women’s Small Final, allowing them to ride comfortably on their 7 and 8 metre kites. Claudia Leon from Spain successfully worked her way through her heat, landing a Back to Blind and Backside 313. She finished the heat in 1st, followed by Osaia Reding in 2nd and Kristina Belogorskaya in 3rd.
Men´s Semi Finals
The level was high for the first men’s semi-final, as Jerome Cloetens, Paul Serin, Gianmaria Coccoluto and Louka Pitot each competed with their eye on a spot in the finals. Young talent Louka Pitot from Mauritius opened nicely with a Double Heart Attack but he faced some tough competition. Jerome Cloetens , Elite Championship rider from Spain/Belgium was again on fine form for this heat, and landed a clean Double Heart Attack. Coccoluto commenced with a Front Blind Mobe and a nice 317, but couldn’t execute all of his tricks with his usual power. He landed a smooth Back Mobe 5 for his last trick to seal the deal. All four riders remained very close in points throughout the heat, and it all came down to the final trick attempt. Paul Serin scored 7.1 for a Double Heart Attack, and he advances to the final together with Gianmaria Coccoluto. It was a very close heat from all athletes.
Kalu de Sousa had started the day with some impressive riding, but struggled to maintain the same standard at the start of Heat 18, crashing his first two attempts. Young French rider Arthur Guillebert however had a storming start, throwing down a Front Blind Mobe and Heart Attack for his first attempts. Elite Championship rider Val Garat pulled out an impressive Slim 7 scoring 8.27 points. Nico Delmas landed a clean Double Heart Attack and Hinterberger Mobe 5, but still struggled to climb up into the top two positions. Kalu de Sousa stepped up his game with Slim 7 that scored 8.43 points, the highest score of the day. He followed it up with a 317 which pushed him all the way up to the first position. Val Garat finished 2nd and both of them advance to the finals. Nico Delmas and Arthur Guillebert were close in points but their final crashed trick attempts cost them dearly.
The Men’s and Women’s Qualifier finals with be held tomorrow.
Live scoring: https://worldkiteboardingchampionships.com/scoreboard/