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Lords of Tram GKA Big Air Kite World Cup France - Winners crowned

by Ian MacKinnon 18 Apr 03:30 PDT
Francesca Maini, Nathalie Lambrecht, Pippa Van Iersel, Zara Hoogenraad - Lords of Tram GKA Big Air Kite World Cup France © Samuel Cardenas

The Dutch pair of Pippa van Iersel and Jamie Overbeek landed the win in the women's and men's events with dominant performances at the Lords of Tram GKA World Cup in Barcarès, southern France.

Van Iersel was coming back after being out with injury for two years and told how her return to the top of of the podium and being back in competition was all she thought of in the tough times.

"It's absolutely unbelievable," said Van Iersel. "When I was out injured the only thing I dreamed of was getting back in competition. I imagined standing on top of the podium the whole time. Now it's real and I'm super-thankful for my sponsors, family and friends, my whole team, for standing behind me through thick and thin. It literally cost me blood, sweat and tears."

Overbeek, who is between main sponsors, was similarly moved by his first major international victory which he landed with a bravura show that saw off a challenge from the reigning Big Air world champion along the way.

"I'm so super-stoked that I can't even explain it," said Overbeek, 18. "I trained hard for this competition all year. I knew that I was good, but I didn't know that I was going to perform this good in competition. It's my first win, so I couldn't be happier. I really needed this podium for myself. It'll give me even more motivation to push it even harder."

Mouth-watering match-up

The third and final day of Lords of Tram dawned to pulsing Tramontana winds. Pumping breezes blowing over Barcarès' lagoon set the stage for the finals' showdown of the men's competition.

The four-berth semi-finals were a mouth-watering match-up of the biggest names in Big Air kiteboarding. Josué "Baby Shark" San (BRA) opened the first semi-final with huge intent and put big numbers on the board. One Conta-loop Back-roll Board-off, where he travelled 116 metres downwind, earned 7.07.

But Spain's Jeremy Burlando put together a strong heat and edged out the young Brazilian and go to the final. Local favourite Edgar Ulrich (FRA) went one better and took the heat win with some big tricks that saw him advance in top spot.

The second semi-final had an equally starry cast. Reigning Big Air world champion Andrea Principi came out firing, but was unable to find the gusts he needed despite some big moves and made a shock exit.

Lorenzo Casati (ESP) put down the biggest score of the heat, 8.37 for a huge Kite-loop Back-roll Board-off, to advance with a second place. Jamie Overbeek was single minded and racked up big scores that gave him a clear path to the final.

Highs and lows

The final was a banger in the 25 to 30 knots winds. But Lorenzo Casati never really found his groove and the former Red Bull King of the Air finished fourth.

Edgar Ulrich had a mixed heat of highs and lows, but clinched the third podium spot with a big final trick for 7.53 that was enough to edge out Casati.

Jeremy Burlando had fire in his eyes and quickly chalked up an 8.83 trick for a Kite-loop Front-roll Tic-tac. But in the end he just fell short and took the runner up spot with a heat total of 25.56 for his three counting tricks.

"I rode as good as I could and I didn't crash any tricks," said Burlando. "I was just focused on that first podium. I'm happy with the way I rode. The wind was what it was and I'm super-happy with my second place."

The Dutch teenager Jamie Overbeek radiated confidence from the start, building his heat with a huge 9.53 and closing it out with a 9.07 trick that sealed his victory and gave him his first world cup win.

The women's heats threw up some of the greatest riding seen contest. Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE) landed the highest score with a 9.10 for a Kite-loop Board-off in her Round 2 heat as she fought for survival.

Tight affair

Zara Hoogenraad (NED) landed one of the biggest double Kite-loops in competition and earned 8.73. Between them, Lambrecht and Hoogenraad the ended the run of France's Big Air specialist, Angely Bouillot.

In the semi-finals, Egypt's Sarah Sadek and Slovenia's Lana Herman, both debutants, chalked up big 8-point plus tricks, but were just outpointed by more experienced rivals.

The women's final was a tight affair. Britain's Francesca Maini gave a good account of herself and racked one of the bigger trick scores, 7.70 for a Kite-loop Front-roll, but finished fourth.

Zara Hoogenraad opened with another remarkable Double Kite-loop and put some solid numbers on the board, but seemed to struggle with kite size in the faltering winds and finished third. Nathalie Lambrecht put on good performance, but could not match the intensity of her earlier heat and ended in second.

Pippa van Iersel has returned full of purpose. Her riding and her tricks were head and shoulders above her rivals, and an 8.77 for a Kite-loop Back-roll, was easily the final's biggest trick score. It gave the Dutchwoman the win in Barcarès and a third Lords of Tram title.

The exceptional Dutch victories were a fitting climax to the sixth edition of Lord of Tram. Join us again for the next round in Gran Canaria, Spain, in July.

Lords of Tram GKA Big Air Kite World Cup Results

Men

    1. Jamie Overbeek (NED)
    2. Jeremy Burlando (ESP)
    3. Edgar Ulrich (FRA)
    4. Lorenzo Casati (ESP)

Women

    1. Pippa van Iersel (NED)
    2. Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE)
    3. Zara Hoogenraad (NED)
    4. Francesca Maini (GBR)

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