Mikaili Sol takes the win and Valentin Rodriguez 2nd place at penultimate GKA freestyle stop in Mauritius

Duotone Kiteboarding GKA Freestyle Mauritius 2019 Claudia Mikaili

The Freestyle discipline of the GKA Kite World Tour in Bel Ombre, Mauritius was a showstopper. The world’s best riders took to the lagoon to throw down next level tricks with even more style and power than seen before. Here’s what our Duotone competitors had to say.

Mikaili Sol - 1st

Mauritius had been on my bucket list for ages so it was super cool for the GKA to take us there. With great conditions and breathtaking views, it’s my number one location this year. I was feeling super confident go-ing into this event. After my 3rd place in Fuerteventura, I was determined to train hard and secure 1st place in Mauritius.

The first round I got through without a problem, but then in the semi finals I got a bit scared. I crashed my first four tricks which meant I had to make the next three perfectly in order to make it into the finals. The judging criteria allows for seven trick attempts with the best four counting. 

It was a very stressful moment, but I was able to keep it together and pull through into the finals where I got my best scoring heat this year. All of the competitors were riding really well. Rita Arnaus fought through the competition and ended up in 2nd place, she really showed off her skills. I’m excited to see what challenges she will be bringing to the next event and I’m motivated to see what I can pull off in Morocco, the final event of the year!

Duotone Kiteboarding GKA Freestyle Mikaili Sol
Duotone Kiteboarding GKA Freestyle Teamrider Mikaili Sol

Valentin Rodriguez - 2nd

Duotone Kiteboarding GKA Freestyle Valentin Rodriguez Team Series 2020

It meant a lot to me to be part of the competition. There's so much support amongst the riders, the crowd was amazing and it felt great to be out there. The water was a bit choppy and the wind gusty at times, but compared to other spots it was next level. 

I had been training hard before this event in the Dominican Republic, so I felt confident going into each heat and ready to throw down. The level at the moment is so high and Adeuri Corniel rode insanely well, I couldn’t believe what he was doing. To be up on the podium with him and Liam was an honour.

Claudia Leon - 4th

The location was incredible! Mauritius is perfect for every style of riding. Over the last month I haven't had any time to train since I've been completing my studies, so I’m really happy with 4th place. The level amongst us female riders gets better and better at every event. The top spot could go to anyone! In the semi finals I had the best heat of my life, landing all the tricks I went for and didn't crash once. This competition was incredible with everybody putting in a huge effort. From the riders to the organisation, it couldn’t have gone better.

Duotone Kiteboarding GKA Freestyle Teamrider Claudia Leon

Paula Novotna - 5th

Duotone Kiteboarding GKA Freestyle Paula Novotna

I felt strong, fit and ready to be in the final again. After winning Fuerteventura I wanted be on the podium again. I still haven’t found the reason why I lost in semi finals, I was disappointed. I had a small kite and it was a mission to change it. I didn't check the scores on the beach because I was underpowered. I was just focused on having the right mindset and not get distracted but I failed in asking for help I did a mistake, which I’ve now learnt from. Next event I’ll take my coach with me, so I am sure I’ll be better there. Some-times you win, sometimes you lose, that’s how it is.

The wave team were incredible and I really admire how James Carew and Sebastian ride - of course Airton is one to look up to. From the freestyle boys I was amazed by Valentin Rodriguez. He had a massive crash on his KGB 7. It took him a while until he stood up from the water, we were scared. But he did and he was fine. He went out and did the trick again and landed it. That is absolutely crazy and something I will keep in my mind when I need to push myself. Thanks Val!

Pippa Van Iersel

Mauritius is really cool. Although it’s off the coast of Africa it reminds me of Bali. The environment is really beautiful with waterfalls and tropical forests. The competition area was a little gusty, but it was by far the best spot on the tour so far. I felt a bit nervous before the event because coming to the end of the world cup, every score counts. I was in a heat with my team mate Mika and Rita, Slingshot. Mika crashed four tricks which is so unlike her and I landed my first three. I should have delivered and advanced to the final, but my nerves got the best of me. In the end I came 7th, not something I’m proud of.
On another note Valentin Rodriguez really stood out. In every heat he put out an outstanding performance with power and style. In my opinion, he should have won but let’s see what happens in Dakhla. He deserves to win.

Duotone Kiteboarding GKA Freestyle Pippa van Iersel

Stefan Spiessberger

Duotone Kiteboarding GKA Freestyle Mauritius Stefan Spiessberger

It was super cool to take the world tour to Mauritius, so thank you to the organisation for making it happen. I was excited for the event and started really well. Sadly, in the quarter finals it all ended for me when I crashed my first trick and dislocated my shoulder. I’m back home now and have made a plan with my doc-tors to not have surgery. I will miss the last stop on the tour, but I will be working hard to make a strong comeback, finishing off the year with some video projects. Thank you to everyone who helped me out in Mauritius