Fight for crown goes down to the wire

Published 17th November 2023 by Liam Dredge

After early struggles title contenders change gears with solid performances leaving it hanging on final day

Copa Kitley GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cauipe
Cauipe, 14-17 November, 2023

Day two at the Copa Kitley GKA Kite-Surf World Cup was an important day for all. With the world title race still fully up for grabs in both the men’s and the women’s divisions, those who weren’t quite on their game during yesterday’s heats would be looking to perform at better levels to advance through to the later stages in the competition.

Conditions this morning were noticeably different, with more of a side-shore wind and lower tide, the sea state was a lot cleaner providing better waves for all riders. This was showcased in the scores throughout the day, with all riders now dialling in with the spot and finding their individual grooves.

Women confirm semi-final spots

The day began with the women but after a long wait while we progressed with the men it was time for them to begin the quarter finals.

Camille Losserand (SUI) showed amazing freestyle with her 6.27 Kiteloop Backroll. Her two freestyle tricks were highly regarded by the judges as she will meet Moona White (USA) who continues her search for a fifth world title, defeating Luana Saunier (BRA) earlier on.

Capucine Delannoy (FRA) does not give up without a fight. The determined young rider has only one thing in mind for this competition, and that’s defending her title.

Up against Sofia Monti (ITA), she had to pull out all the stops. A well-executed Frontroll One Foot scored 5.40 which helped assist Delannoy into the next round. She’ll now face Kesiane Rodrigues (BRA), a match-up that also happened last year where Kesiane got the better.

Duo fire back

Matchu Lopes (ESP) started his day off with a bang. After yesterday’s third-place finish in Round 3, the pressure was on for Lopes to step up and keep those title hopes alive. Scoring a total of 20.41, he dismantled his opponent leaving the Spaniard with a smile from ear to ear going into Round 5.

When it came to Round 5, Lopes continued his performance knocking out Charly Martin (FRA), a rider he’s faced a couple of times this year. Lopes, one of those riders who is so famous for his elegant backside riding, chose the right wave at the right time, scoring a healthy 7.63 and 7.00 for his two waves. Lopes 7.33 Back Side 3 was his highest freestyle trick of the day, giving him the day’s highest combined total.

“After yesterday’s heat where I couldn’t connect to the elements I was struggling and didn’t know what I needed to do. Today I approached things differently, I prepared differently with a better mindset and how I will approach the waves. Everything then came to plan. I had so much fun and the moment I did the backflip, I thought there was no way that I was stopping. I knew it was over. I’ve walked away with the 2 best heat scores of the day and I’m feeling so good and confident”

Pedro Matos (BRA) also had a point to prove. Knowing that yesterday wasn’t his day, his Round 4 heat saw him throw down big moves, including a 7.53 Double Frontroll and a 7.17 wave score. In Round 5, Matos followed his momentum by beating fellow countryman Joao Carlos. During this heat, Matos had two freestyle tricks counting, which included a 6.27 Frontside Shove-it 3, followed by one wave score that sees him go to tomorrow’s quarter-finals.

Flying the flag for Brazil

Fifteen of the 28 men are competing in their home country. With this comes bags of local knowledge that most of the Brazilian riders displayed during Rounds 4 and 5. When it came to Round 5, 10 riders were from Brazil with four advancing further in the competition. Joining Matos were compatriots Leonardo Grangeiro, Gabriel Benetton  and Sebastian Ribeiro.