DRAMATIC FINISH TO THE KITE PARK LEAGUE TOUR STOP IN SICILY
WHEN TEARS RUN FROM THE CORNER OF AN EYE AND DOWN ONE’S CHEEK, IT IS OFTEN IN RESPONSE TO THE SENSATION OF GREAT HAPPINESS OR GREAT SORROW. HOWEVER, IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS, THESE EMOTIONAL DROPLETS CAN EMANATE FROM BOTH OF THE CONTRASTING SPECTRUMS. THE LAST DAY OF COMPETITION FOR THE 2023 KITE PARK LEAGUE SICILY CONVEYED THIS DISTINCT PARALLEL.
Sadly, despite the forecasted projections and the finalist’s eager expectations, the wind was little more than a tender puff, enough to cause trees to shiver but not enough to fill the sky with kites. The dependency on wind is a meteorological reality that both embraces and torments kiteboarding, and unfortunately, the second portion of the men’s final faced the latter.
However, the doleful forecast was humbled by the week’s accumulative success that allowed park-riding and the competitors to thrive and rejoice within the competition’s sphere. Together, the riders of KPL Sicily represented 15 Nations, and for us, that in and of itself is a tear-jerker. The rider’s themselves are the driving force and the epicenter of the Kite Park League, and we feel privileged to help showcase their competitive expertise and individuality within the industry.
Due to condition restraints, the second portion of the men’s final was unable to proceed, and the concluding scores were determined from the first half of the completed final. The scores across the board were exceedingly comparable, but as always, the riding spoke for itself. Out of the six finalists, the scores differed by less than three points but provided enough contrast to determine the tier.
The awards ceremony and closing party hosted by the DPC (Duotone Pro Center) kicked off by recognizing the female victors who were able to finish their finals the day prior. For KPL Scilily 2023, we are happy to celebrate Lauren Holman on her third-place finish, followed by Karolina Winkowska as second, and the champion of the women’s final, Katie Potter. These three women, along with many more, are role models in our sport, and each one of them deserves equal respect and admiration. Park-riding is not easy, yet the style and grace showcased by these three powerhouses make it appear otherwise.
For the men, our victors are as follows; Ramiro Gallart, Eric Rienstra, Ewan Jaspan, Maxime Chabloz, Xander Raith, and Noe Font. Although all of the rankings are celebrated, for KPL Sicily, the final, along with the podium, was greeted with new faces. KPL first-timer Maxime Chabloz dominated throughout the week, more than proving the Swiss Army Knife’s capabilities in any setting.
Maxime’s competitive prowess within park-riding was overtly apparent, and we are excited to watch him refine his techniques as his podium reign is likely just beginning. Along with Maxime, Xander Raith also made the final debut. After making his way through both the qualifier and the semifinal, Xander continued his momentum into the finals and was able to punctuate the valued etiquette of park by pressing and grabbing his way into second.
Although Maxime and Xander were both welcomed faces to the KPL podium, their efforts could not dieter the Spanish veteran. Once again, atop the podium for the second consecutive time was none other than Noe Font, arguably one of the most consistent and smooth park riders of our time. Noe is a master of the craft, and during the second stop of the 2023 KPL season tour, Noe was able to defend his title and illustrate the beauty of park-riding.
While the contest may be in the rearview, the KPL is thrilled to announce the standing establishment of the Duotone Pro Center Sicily seasonal park. In an effort to make park-riding more accessible, all features used during the event can be available for use with permission and authorization of the DPC. With the support of the DPC, the KPL hopes that those interested in park-riding can take this opportunity to experience world-class kiteboarding features, continuing the growth and prosperity of park-riding.
As with any event we proudly host, the effort and time invested are driven by passion and inclusivity. The KPL staff, contractors, legal team, media personnel, and chief editor would like to share our sincerest gratitude for the sponsors that helped bring KPL Sicily to life. Without the help of Duotone, ION, Duotone Pro Center Sicily, We Ride Local, Xenon Boards, Oasi Guzzetta, and Knotfuture, the event would have been nothing more than a pipe dream. Additionally, the staff at KPL would like to thank the entire staff at the Duotone Pro Center Sicily for accommodating and being the most gracious hosts to our event.
The KPL would also like to thank the interim staff, which included head judge Christophe Tack, secondary judge Alec Mur, photographer Samu Cardenas, videographer Laci Kobulsky, and social media director Nina Font. Despite the unfortunate legal dispute that barred the televised livestream, Samu, Laci, and Nina, along with the rest of our media staff, captured the event with razor-sharp precision and timelines, delivering our audience premium coverage.
And well… that’s it, that’s all folks. The inaugural 2023 Kite Park League Sicily has officially concluded. The results have been chronicled, the photos have been captured, the videographers have filled their hard-drives, the riders have dispersed, and the contest now wonders freely as a memory. See you all again soon in August for the Team Battle.