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Liam Whaley 2nd at Red Sea Kitesurf World Cup

The sound of wind whistling through the palm lined shores of the hotel was like an alarm clock for riders and crew starting the final day of competition here in the Red Sea. Surprisingly the wind was even stronger than forecast with some locals predicting a large sandstorm headed our way. The 9am briefing informed riders that the wind had been measured at 25-43knots and that the comp area would be adjusted to accommodate the more offshore direction wind compared to previous days. Thankfully the sandstorm held back and the event continued as planned.

The womens double elimination was one of the most hotly contested to date, with all girls giving it their all to improve upon their first round seeding. Manuela Jungo, Malin Amle and Annabel Van Westerop all had very credible heats but sadly were unable to make it back into the final four. It was Annelous Lammerts who once again surprised everyone with a great heat against Bruna Kajiya knocking her from the 3rd place and giving her a chance at the second place spot. She rode an extremely close heat against Gisela Pulido leading for most of it until Pulido managed to put together a few tricks in the dying minutes and keep her place.

The Womens final was once again an Pulido vs Winkowska affair and much like yesterdays final it seemed to be Winkowska narrowly leading for most of it due to slightly better kite positioning and power in her tricks. Winkowska also managed to land a nice backmobe towards the end of the heat that no doubt sealed the deal. Winkowska has now won a total of 3 events this year coming 3rd only once and showing that she’s truly motivated to once again reach for the world title.

The mens double elimination was exciting to watch with the strong gusty wind giving riders a chance to throw some big tricks and some even bigger crashes. Everyone was riding well for the conditions but it would be right to say that today was no-doubt Liam Whaley's day. Whaley had a methodical approach to heats doing only what he needed to win but in a way that provided him with some of the highest scoring heats of the day. The young Spaniard came all the way from dead last position, through 9 heats including the Brazillians (Carlos Mario, Eudazio Dasilva and Alex Neto) to come up against the winner of yesterdays single elimination Christophe Tack.

Whaley's front blind mobes amongst other tricks were some of the nicest seen in competition so far and we’re sure that this kid still has a bright future ahead of him. However it was once again to be Christophe Tack's day. Tack didn’t ride as good as days previous, but he did enough to take the win and narrowly defeat Whaley by a .4 margin. Tack has also now won 3 events this year and has come second at another, showing that he’s well on his way to winning the world title this year.

Text adapted from PKRA.
Photos by Toby Bromwich.

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