Event organizers have outdone themselves with the first ever
After tour stops in most states of Australia, and one in New Zealand, the Classic Holidays NKL has selected the states top riders, and invited them all to the Gold Coast for one big finale. Slightly different to your average tour, riders were only allowed to enter their individual states events, so they worked a little like state titles. The winners of each state event were then invited back to the Gold Coast, for this weekends grand finale to crown a National champ, in Australia’s first ever Kiteboarding League.
20 knots from the South East, courtesy of Cyclone Winston up north were ideal for the spot on Main beach, and saw solid waves rolling in for the surfers. WA’s Billy Hampton took on some bombs, showing that he’s not just conditioned to the WA seabreezes, putting his left foot forward and smashing down the line frontside. So did local girl Michel Blinkhorn, who took out the Women’s national title with her impressive display of fluid surfing. These two were left standing on top of the podium with rivals James Carew, and Beau Pilgrim along with Michel Malmedal and Jacqui Hockaday in second and third respectively.
Halftime saw the Cabrinha FX Big Air comp, and fresh off his flight from the Red Bull King of the Air in Cape Town, South Africa, was Marc Jacobs. This guy really showed the Aussies how its done, claiming the top spot in the freestyle division with a couple of mega loops and some big moves off the solid swell. For those with a keen eye, the South Easter was a different direction to the winds experienced in Cape Town, so Jacobs was forced to pop off his left foot, rendering a lot of that training useless!
The freestyle finals were always going to be a super tight battle between the Victorians, Ewan Jaspan, Katie Potter and the rest of the countries top riders. As predicted by many, they took the top spots with a truly world class riding standard, Ewan showing Marc Jacobs from New Zealand and Elliot Drury from Sydney that he’s ready to hit the big time again.
“So stoked, finally won our biggest event against some top riders!” Exclaimed Ewan on social media after his win, “Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the last years through hard times and injuries, it's all been worth it now!”
The young star from Melbourne, Katie Potter who trains with Ewan regularly, had a dream run in the womens finals. Up against stiff competition Sammy Pearce and Marine Sudre, she took out all the stops and proved to the judges that she’s Australia’s number one, ready to take on the world.
“Yeaaah! So happy to take out the National Kiteboarding League Grand Final with a win, Thanks everyone for a good comp.”
A good comp it truly was, with rider feedback positive all round. Organizer David De Whitt is already on the next event too with Kite Jam up on the Sunshine Coast, and the Classic Holidays National Kiteboarding League is secured for another three years on the Gold Coast. It’s going to be a great few years for Australian kiteboarding, so start training for the 2016/2017 series, which will be kicking off in just a few months.
NKL Final Results
Wave - Mens
1st: Billy Hampton (WA)
2nd: James Carew (VIC)
3rd: Beau Pilgrim (NSW)
Wave - Women's
1st: Michel Blinkhorn (QLD)
2nd: Michel Malmedal (NSW)
3rd: Jacqui Hockaday (SA)
Freestyle - Men's
1st: Ewan Jaspan (VIC)
2nd: Marc Jacobs (NZ)
3rd: Elliot Drury (NSW)
Freestyle - Women's
1st: Katie Potter (VIC)
2nd: Sammy Pearce (QLD)
3rd: Marine Sudre (NSW)
Once in a decade storm heading for WA
Remants of Cyclone Mangga combine with a cold front for massive effects