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2019 GKA Kite World Cup Mauritius - Day 7

by Jim Gaunt 13 Sep 10:59 BST 6-15 September 2019
Jalou led the charge at Bel Ombre - 2019 GKA Kite World Cup Mauritius, day 7 © Ydwer van der Heide

Completing the women's single elimination heats that began yesterday, we reached a well contested final between the two leading contenders who had to battle it out for the title at the final event of the season in Brazil last year.

Carla Herrera Oria, a strapless freestyle specialist who is adapting to waves, and eventual 2019 title winner, Jalou Langeree, a highly respected double wave world champion who had to develop her freestyle game last year to help her over the line in winning the 2018 crown.

The women's final
Jalou Langeree (NED) V Carla Herrera-Oria (ESP)

Eight minutes and four waves into the heat, Jalou had a best two wave score of 13.53, already higher than Carla had managed so far in the competition, so with the pressure off to some extent, as is the case when you relax, the waves seemed to come to her. Every approach back in to the reef she seemed to be able to pick the faces that would hold up best and demonstrated to the judges her flowing and fluid style, repeatedly letting her fins loose during her top turn.

Carla, however, it must be said is much improved in waves, but reaching the final here is a solid bonus for her in terms of the championship - which she leads through her excellent strapless freestyle results at other events. The Spaniard put everything into this heat having made it this far, careering down from the lip, turning back up and leaving her turns as late as she could at the top, dropping steep and then banking hard again.

Her seventh wave gave her a 5.47, pushing her up to 9.47 overall, still chasing down Jalou's 13.53 that she maintained from waves two and four neat the start of the heat.

Six minutes remained... eight waves to seven registered, with Carla bagging most. That didn't matter though; just the two best scores count.

Jalou chased all her waves in close and seemed more comfortable when engaging repeatedly with the lip. There have been fewer big waves so far in the final, but with four minutes left a new set came in.

Jalou faded right into the foam giving herself more of an open face and then attacked, managing just two turns though before hopping over the back early to ensure she'd still have time to catch one of the remaining waves in the set. Carla did the same.

Seconds later Jalou was being escorted in on a clean wall. She held her rail, waited for the lip to feather, cut up and turned right underneath the lip... safe and secure... she dropped in again and smacked the lip once more before the entire 30 yard section to her left boomed shut as the section closed out.

The set's end was looming, as was the heat, and Jalou had picked another growing lump. Obviously coming hard off the top she kicked up a big fan of spray beyond the mass of white water on the wave in front of her that we were having to peer over. She repeated the process on her next turn so there was no mistaking the calibre of her control. Bang-tidy, she looked good.

One minute left and the scores were still 13.53 v 9.47.

Closeout followed closeout for the next 30 seconds; both women had wisely managed to not chase those ones in.

Jalou made three turns on what was surely her last wave, but behind Carla was frantically outrunning a massive wall of white water. As the wave took form she started an evenly timed assault, managing only two turns before the shallows sent the wave into meltdown. In the end it wasn't enough. Jalou had done it!

Women's single elimination final result:

1st Jalou Langeree wins the women's single elimination: 13.53
2nd Carla Herrera takes second: 9.47

Women's Mini-Final
Sophia Abreu (BRA) V Maria Kinkina (BUL)

Battle of the newcomers proved a pretty stylish affair with both riders cutting clean and repeated hacks down the line. The scores were really tight throughout, but in the end, and probably fair on balance from what we saw throughout the whole single elimination, Kinkina snuck her way ahead of the Brazilian onto the last step of the podium at her first GKA event!

Look out for these two ladies over the coming months. They've taken their surfing abilities into kiting and with some more competition experience, we hope to see them challenging Jalou in the wave stakes more closely soon!

Mini Final Result:

3rd place women's single elimination: Maria Kinkina (BUL) 6.7
4th place women's single elimination: Sophia Abreu (BRA) 6.33

Quarter Final 1
Jalou Langeree (NED) V Ninja Ricot (MRU / GER)

When you come to Mauritius, you always have to beat Ninja Ricot if you want to win the crown. Formerly Ninja Bichler, she was the 2016 GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Mauritius Champion and the 2012 winner when the KSP ran the tour here, so is the undisputed queen of waves on this island.

The first six waves for each rider seemed to rush by in this heat, it was action packed. With seven minutes remaining the score was 15.54 to 14.1 in Jalou's favour. If Ninja could get one more seven point score to match Jalou's 2 x 7s, she'd be right there.

Jalou slotted her highest score of 7.8 on her ninth wave after a steady and consistent barrage of great scores, mostly over the 6.5 mark throughout. Ninja wasn't far behind on the scoreboard, but her points for each individual wave were some way below those of Jalou's. With just two waves counting though, things can change quickly, so the heat remained close with three minutes left on the clock: 15.77 for Jalou and 14.1 to Ninja.

At the end of the heat the wave count was 14 to Jalou and 12 to Ninja - a high standard and second only to themselves in their previous heats on day six. Jalou commented that this was one of the best heats of her career - lots of respect between these two.

Jalou won and went through to the semi-finals: Score - 15.77
Ninja will return in the double eliminations coming over the next couple of days: Score - 14.1

Men's Doubles

The men's doubles resumed on completion of the women's singles, starting with the riders who were ejected first in the single elimination and given the chance to re-enter the competition with a large list of competitors in front of them. As before, they'd ride in 20 minute man-on-man heats.

The double elimination ladder continues like that, with riders having to advance through several rounds before they can reach the top finishers from the single elimination. Eventually the ladder narrows to become a simple case of the winner staying on the water to meet the next best rider from the singles, until someone is eventually left to face yesterday's winner, Airton Cozzolino, who already waits in the final.

The day ended with the last shred of usable light, a golden sunset glimmering across the water as local rider Willow-River Shakes-Tonkin emerged from a long, deep barrel, earning a 9.07. We've seen similar barrels get a fraction higher towards a perfect 10, but rather than continue to work the remaining wall of the wave, Willow decided that it was a moment worthy of letting go of the bar and swinging his hands by his side - rocking the floss manoeuvre.

Willow is a man who lets his emotions lead him, but his instincts to pull high and slip in and out of that tube have propelled him into round 3 of the double elimination, beating Louis Marvin, another local.

Find more results here

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