04 June 2022
Words by Kyle Cabano
Photos by Maria Cole, Rosa Breton Luis, Paco Jmr, Sebastian Kanzler, Sergio Murillo, Freeride Tarifa, Antonio Trujillo and Gregor Mkgregor.
Full Power Tarifa 2021 will go down in kiting history. The event took off on Thursday 20 May with ballistic 40 knot offshore winds, putting the riders on their 7 and 8m kites for a change, paired with small shin-high kickers. It is not often that riders of this caliber go down to these size kites for a big air kiting competition and it speaks volumes about the conditions at hand.
This is the second time that the event has ran, the first being in October 2018, unfortunately due to health and safety restrictions the event was unable to run until this edition. Collaborating with the Big Air Kite League, this event forms the 2nd stop of the Big Air Kite world tour, you can view the current World Tour Rankings here. A massive shout out to Wladimir Rodriguez who poured so much passion and effort for months on end to bring us this competition. With none of the BAKL 3rd edition Cape Town finalists attending this event, the potential to rise to the top of the leaderboard became a reality.
A total of 42 riders spanned across the amateur and pro divisions to make up the contest fleet. It is amazing to be able to bring such an array of riders together, including top ranking industry professionals, like Liam Whaley and Janek Gregorzewski to name a few and have them competing alongside first time competitors and the rising generation of big air kiters. We would like to give a massive shoutout to the event sponsors CORE, Ride Engine, Wayuu Tarifa and The Surfr App for their support in this event. It would not be possible with out their support.
For the first time for Big Air Kite League we were able to put on a live stream of the event. This would not have been possible without the crafty hands of the talented Michal Jagniatkowski who singled handedly managed the camera work and operations of the live streaming. We salute you bro! Joining Michal on the live stream work was the industry's finest Adrian Kerr and Colin Colin Carrol who both commentated remotely and really added the human element to our live stream.
The organisation fleet comprised of 35 dedicated individuals who all delivered far beyond what there were payed for out of passion and dedication to making this event world class.
Opening the dance floor, we had the amateur riders kicking off the first heats of the day. These competitors are tomorrows champions and we could not be more proud! A total of 4 female competitors were also placed in the amateur division and are proud to be running an all-inclusive organisation where an all-inclusive environment is fostered and true development can take place.
There were a few standout performances in the amateur division, with many of the riders being well capable of holding there ground in the pro category too. Taking the win was Milan Lukic from Holland who put on a stellar performance through all of his heats in the day.
Thanks to the Surfr App we were able to use live scoring throughout the event. This innovative phone app allows you to track your sessions using a downloadable cellphone app and uses the phone to measure your jumps. This was a really useful variable when it comes to judging and we can highly recommend you try it out yourself. Paired with digital heat scoring software by Michael Ericsson, spectators all around the world were able to stay fully engaged with the live stream, commentary, jump height and trick scores. It was really amazing to see the word echo through the industry as the event ran on and the live stream gained more and more traction.
Thanks to Ride Engine we were able to run a competition for the viewers where we had you try to predict the podium to win a harness. We are super impressed with your predictions! The cut-off for entries to the giveaway was the start of the pro division, so only entries up until that point were counted. No-one guessed the podium correctly before this time, so we're giving the bundle to the first person to guess the closest! The closest prediction was Uli Genenger and he has just won a Ride Engine Saber Harness and sweet Big Air Kiter apparel. Congrats Uli! We wish you all the best of luck for the next 'Guess the Podium' which we will release shortly before the next BAKL Competition!
The pro division was highly contended. By the time the semi-finals had been narrowed down, it became a matter of strategy and luck as all of these riders were capable of snagging the crown. The three riders that made it into the finals were Andrea Principi (ITA), Giel Vlugt (HL) and Janek Grzegorzwski(PL). Andrea chose to ride the heat on a 8m kite with the two CORE riders opting to go out on 7m kites. What a nutter! It made sense on paper but in reality proved to be too much power as the young Italian came unstuck on a few of his bigger tricks in the final placing him in the 3rd position. Janek Grzegorzeswki had a great day of competition, on an injured rib too, winning the final and seeing him place on the top of the BAKL World Tour leaderboard by quite a lead. Giel Vlugt put on a solid performance with some monstrous boogie loops earning him the 2nd place on the podium.
The safety at this event was of utmost importance and we were very pleased to have two very qualified waterman, Wladi and Juan Antonio (Race Director) on the boat doing safety throughout the event.
Stay tuned for the next BAKL World Tour Stop! It's called TatajubaFest and it will be taking place in Tatajuba, Brazil (8 to 15 September). We are still seeking partners for this event so if you want to help us make magic the world tour happen, please shoot us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org