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Leucate Kiteboarding Grand Slam - Day Three

Day three kicked off with a false start, both riders and crew were down the beach before sunrise only to find the conditions weren’t as per the forecast. There was practically no wind, although locals reassured everyone it would pick up some still remained skeptic. By ten o’clock however the wind did pick up and things got underway at ten forty five. There was lots of ground to cover, with a pretty terrible looking forecast for the rest of the week, the plan was to get as much finished today as possible. Riders and crew spent until eight o’clock on the beach in one of the longest days on tour record!


Round one saw the first stacked heat of the day with the returning Whaley up against Neto and Spiessberger. Any doubts about Whaleys fitness were quickly put aside as Whaley dealt out a technically solid heat with one of the largest Crowmobe 540s of the day, sending him straight to the third round.

On the Womens side newcomer and local rider Valesa had a difficult round one match up with Novotna. Valesa was going big and riding powered however Novotna had the experience in this situation and took her out with a nice Heart Attack at the end of the heat.

Round two saw the Garat brothers and local Frenchman winning both of their heats respectively. First it was Seb Garat coming through with a consistent heat to take out Van De Kop and a couple of heats later it was be Val Garat using the very same tactic to take out Corniel. It’s obvious when you see these two ride that they are brothers and train quite a lot together. It’s great to see two brothers competing at such a high level and sharing the same passion.

Tour rookie Coccoluto had a great run through the trials and was only narrowly defeated in his round two match up against veteran Spiessberger. No doubt we will see more of him in the future.

On the Womens side it was Coccolutos girlfriend Bagnoli narrowly getting the upperhand on Taabbel. Whilst Vieira only just took out the local Jaubert with a nice 313 on the buzzer.


Round Three saw some equally tight matchups, it seemed as though no heat today wasn’t down to the wire! Zoon took out Cloetens whilst Pastor had one of the heats of the day against Garat S with one of the best KGB5s and Double Heart Attacks seen this comp so far. Hadlow had a rough heat losing against Tonijuan, whilst Mario only narrowly defeated Spiessberger by less than a single point.

For the Women round three saw what could be argued as the best heat of the competition between Kajiya and Vieira. Both girls were giving it everything they had, having almost the exact same tricks landing big Front Mobes and Backmobes to finish. Kajiya eventually taking out Vieira.

Round four saw Cloetens, Smith, Hadlow and Spiessberger all progress respectively in what were probably the most challenging conditions of the day. Very shifty winds and a large chop made it a struggle for all and depending on who landed their tricks most of these heats could have gone either way.

Round four for the women was the last round for the day and the last chance to progress into the finals. Local French rider Valesa rode a solid heat against Bagnoli, using her power to her advantage and deservedly earning a spot in the finals. Vieira once again had what could be considered the hardest heat with both herself and Whitely fighting for a place. Both girls went big having what would was considered the second best heat of the day (after Vieiras previous match up against Kajiya). It would be Whitely who would narrowly tip out Vieira in the end though taking a spot in the finals.


Round five was the last round for the men and what could be considered as the most important round. Round five is the super round where three men compete in each heat for only one spot into the final rounds. To say the heats in this round were stacked would be an understatement!

In the first heat it was Zoon vs Martinez and Smith, Zoon however totally crushed this heat, landing huge backside and frontside 317s showing that he’s going to be hard to beat in the finals.

Pastor had a similar heat to Zoon, coming calm and collected against both Serin and Cloetens. Pastor landed a Backside 315 and a KGB 540 to seal his ticket forwards.

Heat three saw Spiessberger have a great heat over Tonijuan and Racca. Usually Spiessberger doesn’t have his best results here in France so it no doubt meant a lot to him to see his way into the finals here this time.

The fourth heat was by far the most interesting however and no doubt the most stacked. Three world champs all in one heat, Whaley, Mario and Hadlow all pushing it as hard as they could to get to the finals. The draw ended up like this due to Hadlows losses early on and Whaleys absence from the first event of the year, these things are impossible to predict but they sure make for interesting viewing! It seemed as though Hadlow never really got off to the solid start he had hoped for, stringing together some good tricks but falling behind both Whaley and Mario throughout the heat. It was Whaley who came out strongest with a massive grabbed Front Blind Mobe to start the heat which really impressed the judges. Whaleys consistency throughout the heat made it seem like he would be the one to advance. Mario didn’t get off to the best start but he was still in the game, landing some solid tricks but not the kind of stuff he is usually known for. Mario and Whaley were super tight right up until the last seconds of the heat when Mario produced a Massive Nose Grabbed Backmobe 540 narrowly putting him in front of Whaley and sending him off to the finals!


The forecast for tomorrow isn’t looking good, but with some better days forecasted later in the week make sure you tune in to catch all the results from the finals!

For full results and heat-by-heat tricks and scores please see the complete freestyle elimination ladder at

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