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Tack and Winkowska Take the Singles in Tarifa

Day five of the Tarifa Pro Kite Tour 2014 stood out with an incredibly high level of riding as the single elimination ran to completion with Christophe Tack (BE) and Karolina Winkowska (PL) topping the podiums in their respective divisions. Eudazio Da Silva (BR) earned second for the men in his highest career finish ever, while Youri Zoon (NL) demonstrated his intentions for the doubles, finishing closest to the podium since his injury. 

“For me it’s like a dream come true,” commented Da Silva about his result today.  “I’ve been waiting for three years now to be in the finals and I’ve finally reached them. I believe that I can be the world champion someday and I’m going to work hard to achieve it.”

In his semi-final heat against Zoon, Da Silva scored a 39.47 for the highest score of the event so far.  Both riders landed big, clean Blind Judge 7s with Da Silva securing the highest trick score of the day with 9.3 points. Still, Zoon rode exceptionally well and with renewed confidence after taking out former world champion Aaron Hadlow in his second heat of the day.

Tarifa local, Liam Whaley, was disrupted on his way to the winner’s final after losing in the semi-finals against Tack. “Everyone on the beach was telling me they thought that I won, but then I didn’t, so I was down for a bit,”  stated Whaley. Commenting on his performance in front of his home crowd, “I’m kind of in my zone, but at the same time, in the back of my head I’ve got that extra pressure, home pressure, and I know I have to do well, but in the end it helps. I knew had to win against Youri.”

For the women’s side of the ladder, the usual battles played out, as Karolina Winkowska, beat out current World Champion, Gisela Pulido.  Pulido crashed on multiple early trick attempts in the final heat, putting her at a deficit. Although she landed a nice Hinterberger Mobe and Front Blind near the end of the heat, she was not able to score high enough to take the lead.

The highlight trick of the day came from Felix Martinez (DO), who squared off on a kicker wave.  With his kite positioned extremely low, Martinez launched into a huge one-handed Front Blind Mobe that sent spectators and competitors into an uproar for a dramatic response from the crowd lining the beach.

Tack and Pulido now sit in pole position with no shortage of determined talent waiting for another chance in the double elimination. With winds averaging 14-16 knots, today offered optimal freestyle conditions for the competitors to push their ever-expanding limits.  With so many big and technical tricks being landed, it is a testament to the continuing evolution of the freestyle discipline.