Kite-Surf Finals | Copa Kitley GKA Kite-Surf World Cup 2023
Champions galore as Cozzolino, Delannoy, and Whyte all end years on a high
Published 17th November 2023 by Liam Dredge
Event and World Champions lift the trophies during a memorable day of competition in Brazil.
Copa Kitley GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cauipe
Cauipe, 14-17 November, 2023
Coming into Day three, we knew the event and the world champions would be crowned. With so much at stake for numerous competitors, the final day of the Qatar Airways GKA Kite-Surf 2023 calendar was set to provide drama, tension, and excitement for both riders and fans beachside but also, around the globe.
For the past two days, we’ve seen top riders struggle with conditions and turn it around when it’s mattered most. It hasn’t been an easy spot for everyone to find their groove, however, day three from the early hours looked promising with wind and waves.
The riders, crew, and spectators were more fired up than ever to witness greatness on this final day of competition.
Both Airton Cozzolino (ITA) and Moona Whyte (USA) will cast their names once again on the World Championship by concreating their victories in the semi-finals. With Matchu Lopes (ESP) missing out on a final spot after losing to Gabriel Benneton (BRA), all Airton had to do was beat his teammate and also World Title contender, Pedro Matos (BRA) in his semi-final.
Although Matos just edged it in the waves, Cozzolino threw down the hammer with a huge 8.60 Shifty Front Side 3 which was enough to cross the line and take the World Title. The Italian, coming out of Cabo Verde, had his game face on all day and had work to do, because, Pedro’s waves scored both a 7.33 and 6.20, whereas Airton had a 6.20 and 6.40. The big 8.60 for that freestyle maneuver was essential in snapping up the title.
Airton then went on to battle Gabriel Benneton (BRA) in the overall event final. Benneton, a rider that thrives in this format beat Sebastien Ribiero (BRA) in the quarters nailing two freestyle tricks. Experienced surfer Riberio, had the better waves but Benneton dominated in the freestyle with a 7.47 for a double front roll which was enough to then go on and also beat Matchu Lopes.
Airton does the double
Coming straight off his World Championship crown, Airton Cozzolino faced a tough battle against first-time finalist, Gabriel Benneton. The two riders were going blow for blow as the seesaw was swinging from one to the other. Airton opened up with a 5.70 wave with Gabriel answering back a 5.40. Following this Airton caught another good set and managed to have two wave scores counting, with the second a 6.57.
Benneton had other ideas. A 9.07 Double Front Shove it got the crowd screaming. From this, he now led the final and put pressure on the Italian. Airton’s competition experience then kicked as he obliterated a monster Shifty Frontside 3 which scored a near-perfect 9.50. Gabriel’s second score, a 6.60 Double Frontroll, was not enough to push back into the lead and as time ticked, the buzzer sounded giving Airton yet another win on what will be a memorable day for the champ.
Moona hits a home run
Moona Whyte once again showed why she’s a multiple World Champion. After a break from competition, 2023 saw her return to the tour with a bang. She needed a third-place finish or better to take the crown from the defending World Champ, Capucine Delannoy (FRA).
“I’m so happy, I can’t believe what just happened. It’s so hard out there but I’m so happy to make it through. I felt like I wasn’t doing very well but I found the best of what was out there”
In Moona’s way, none other than Camille Losserand (CHE) however, Whyte’s experience in the waves shined bright. She connected two glorious waves which both scored above the 7.00 leaving Losserand scrambling as she couldn’t quite find rhythm during her semi-final.
Camille then had to fight for third against Kesiane Rodriguez (BRA), who couldn’t keep up with Capucine Delannoy in their semi-final. Delannoy was on fire during that heat, scoring a 6.90 wave and a massive 8.83 for a Double Frontroll. Delannoy was then able to line up a vengeance with Moona Whyte later in the final but, Kesiane bounced back. Finishing in third she only just edged the mini-final win against Camille by 0.87 of a point.
Capucine turns the table
After losing to Moona in all her previous finals this year, Capucine was finally able to burn that bridge. Knowing the World Title was no longer hers she threw down her best heat of the competition beating Moona in the final to end her year on a high.
Once again, Moona scored better in the waves but Capucine’s freestyle skills prevailed. This included the best individual score of the competition, a 9.00 for a perfect Double Frontroll. A move that Delannoy has done time and time again, however when it mattered most the best came out.
The young French rider put the disappointment behind her as she knew that when it came to the World Championship, it was all out of her hands however now, ends her 2023 year with her second event win this year.
Copa Kitley GKA Kit-Surf World Cup Brazil 2023 results
1 Airton Cozzolino (ITA)
2 Gabriel Benneton (BRA)
3 Matchu Lopes (ESP)
4 Pedro Matos (BRA)
1 Capucine Delannoy (FRA)
2 Moona Whyte (USA)
3 Kesiane Rodriguez (BRA)
4 Camille Losserand (CHE)
GKA Kite-Surf World Tour World Champion Results
1 Airton Cozzolino (ITA)
2 Matchu Lopes (ESP)
3 Pedro Matos (BRA)
1 Moona Whyte (USA)
2 Capucine Delannoy (FRA)
3 Camille Losserand (CHE)