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Winners crowned in GKA Big Air Kite Worlds Surfboard and Hydrofoil disciplines

by Ian MacKinnon 4 Jun 03:08 PDT 26 May - 16 June 2023
Camille Losserand - Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships Tarifa © Samuel Cardenas

Swiss rider Camille Losserand was the architect of a remarkable upset when she won the world title in the Surfboard division at the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships in Tarifa, Spain.

  • Untouchable Losserand rides out of her skin to land stunning victory at world championships
  • Brodel shows mastery to take back-to-back crowns in Hydrofoil discipline in tricky winds
  • 'Green' light signalled for Twin-Tip Big Air contest with first possible start Monday afternoon

Losserand overhauled reigning world champion, France's Capucine Delannoy, with a stunning performance that left her streets ahead of rivals in the four-berth final at the end of a day of tricky conditions.

"At the beginning there was not so much wind, but by the finals it was good," she said. "So I managed to do my tricks—even a new trick—so I'm feeling super-stoked. It feels amazing. i couldn't be more stoked. I'm feeling super-happy to be here with my family. They were motivating me so much. Amazing."

France's Charles Brodel showed his complete mastery of the breath-taking Hydrofoil Big Air discipline when he landed his second consecutive crown at the opening of the world championships.

Brodel had won the Hydrofoil contest in last year's maiden Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships, which also played out on Tarifa's Balneario beach. Brodel swept aside all-comers with his spectacular, high-flying kite loops and boards offs. It is his fourth Hydrofoil world title.

Only the Netherlands' teenager Jamie Overbeek came close to troubling the Frenchman. Overbeek, 17, lost out in the thrilling four-man final by little more than one point and took the second podium step for the second year in a row.

Challenging opening

The opening of the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships—which will also feature Twin-Tip—has proved challenging for the event organisers as the usually consistent Levante winds have been largely absent lately.

One week into the three-week competition window, the wind forecast finally appeared good enough to get the action started with the Surfboard and Hydrofoil Big Air contests. The 20 knots Levante that greeted the riders for their early start on day one were ideal for the Hydrofoil fleet of eight men, who started the action.

Both Brodel and Overbeek advanced smoothy up the competition ladder, carefully building big heat scores in a way that few of their rivals could match.

Overbeek made short work of Hunter Becker (USA), throwing down a huge contra loop front roll board off that earned 7.26 from a possible 10 and secured the win.

Compatriot Joppe van de Poll was also no match for Overbeek who, like most of the other athletes, was jumping more than 20 metres high even in the light breezes. The teenager's killer blow was a kite loop front roll board off that scored 7.74.

Stop-start affair

Brodel was equally ruthless on his path to the final. He had also made short work of Van de Poll and then blew away Becker with a kite loop back roll board off that helped seal his progress.

Both Brodel and Overbeek were in a league of their own as they came up against the Dominican duo of Alex Soto and Joselito del Rosario in the final.

Overbeek suffered several early crashes. But then he found his rhythm with several jumps, including a massive contra loop front roll board off that the judges awarded 7.50 that took his total to 21.12.

But the consistent and committed Brodel was putting big scores on the board, with a kite loop backroll board off for 7.62 and the contra loop front roll board off for 7.80 doing all the damage. It gave him 22.80 and the victory.

The women in the Big Air Surfboard competition were less fortunate. It was a stop-start affair but eventually shifted into high-gear as the sun began to sink and the wind picked up.

One-sided final

Camille Losserand (SUI) shone in her heat against Sofia Monti (ITA), and Zoe Bazile (FRA) and multiple world champion Mikaili Sol (USA) did enough to progress. Reigning world champion Capucine Delannoy, 17, had the luxury of a bye into the next round as there were just seven women competing.

The women's final, when it came, was a one-sided affair. Losserand put some solid scores on the board before cutting loose. First she notched up a 6.58 for a kite loop board off and then went even bigger with a contra loop front roll board off that scored in incredible 7.46.

Teenaged title holder Delannoy did not have any answers for the huge scores and had to settle for the second podium spot, with Mikaili Sol (USA) well behind in third.

For the men's Big Air Surfboard fleet it was a day of watching and waiting. In the end the breeze kicked in allowing the first round to be completed. But on day two the wind was not sufficiently strong and the riders were released for the day just after noon.

The "green" has been signalled for the Twin-Tip Big Air competition for Monday, 5 June. Registration for the Twin-Tip will run from 10.00 to 11.00 CET, with the Twin-Tip riders' briefing at 12.00. The first possible start for all disciplines, men's Surfboard and men's and women's Twin-Tip, is 13.00 CET. Join us for all the action.

Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships 2023 results

Big Air Hydrofoil

    1. Charles Brodel (FRA)
    2. Jamie Overbeek (NED)
    3. Joselito del Rosario (DOM)
    4. Alex Soto (DOM)

Women's Big Air Surfboard

    1. Camille Losserand (SUI)
    2. Capucine Delannoy (FRA)
    3. Mikaili Sol (USA)
    4. Barbara Sgardello (ITA)

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