It is the long envisioned dream of many. For some a way to express themselves, a new brighter future, the spotlights or just the perfect antidote for the adrenaline junkies amongst ourselves. Being crowned champion of The World Kite League is the goal which fuels the passion of many athletes to push boundaries and bring sacrifices.
Luis Alberto Cruz is back home in Cabarete, sitting on the beach and recovering from his last tour stop in Egypt. “I had a lot of fun competing and traveling to these fascinating new places and meeting new people” as he reminisces while being distracted by other kiters on the water as he looks out over his home spot.
“I was very happy to travel to Europe again after the competition in France” The beautiful island of Texel, in the Netherlands, played host to the Kiteboarding World Cup. “Texel was wonderful and I gained some good results there in the qualifiers league! Enough to get me to the next tour stop in Turkey!”
The Qualifier League events are essential for any rider wishing to qualify for the 2018 Elite League. The battle holds some strong names in freestyle kiteboarding, all who are looking to secure their spot in the 2018 Elite League.
The winds on the island of Texel continued to tease the riders and organisation throughout the day. The inconsistent wind conditions caused some delays and the on-shore wind conditions made it difficult to perform tricks, with the riders landing very close to the shore. Luis Alberto Cruz was nevertheless on a mission to succeed, and stomped 5 high scoring tricks including a 317 and BS315, that placed him just above Youri Zoon.
“After my successful tourstop in Texel I immediately took a flight to Turkey to prepare and train to ride even better. The competition was held at the stunning bay of Gökova, an unique and beautiful town located in south western Turkey. The wind was much better compared to Texel!”
Heat 3 of the tour stop in Turkey saw the athletes taking solid advantage of the increasing wind conditions. Luis Alberto Cruz started with a huge 317 and rode a good heat, but it was unfortunately not enough to put him in the top two. Luis had been riding hard all day but he unfortunately injured himself in Heat 7, and was unable to complete the heat. “Even though I was injured I was still very happy to advance to the next event and once again traveled down to El Gouna, Egypt as fast as possible!”
Day one in the idyllic freestyle spot of El Gouna started with a bang, with the renowned Egyptian winds blowing from the start. Heat 1 of the Men’s Qualifier League saw Dominican rider Luis Alberto Cruz dominate from the start. He successfully landed all of his tricks, which included a 317 and KGB.
Daybreak in El Gouna was accompanied by ideal wind conditions once again, a treat for competitors and spectators alike. It is the perfect example of why this location in Egypt is so popular for kiteboarding, and remains a firm favourite particularly for freestylers. However the wind conditions dropped slightly during the morning and put the competition on hold.
First in sequence was the Men’s Small Final, which saw 6 participants battle it out on the water. The wind conditions were ideal for 9 metre kites. The riders each had 7 trick attempts during their heat, and each of them strived to make the most of each attempt, with every point counting. Luis, our former Cabarete event winner, who remained firmly in control throughout the 40 minute heat landed 6 tricks with solid scores and gained the advantage by landing an outstanding Backside 315, placing him just a fraction above French rider Arthur Guillebert, who also fought hard for a top position.
Luis Alberto Cruz was on fire throughout the his second heat in the means first round, performing several high-scoring tricks including a Backside 317, and he was ecstatic to be passing through to the Semi-finals ready to take on the established veteran riders.
The final day at the El Gouna Kiteboarding World Cup was nothing short of spectacular. With 7 heats back to back throughout the day, we saw perfect 10’s, boundaries being pushed, tears, unfortunate injuries,
Heat 14 was a Dominican affair, with three of the competitors originating from the Dominican Republic. Adeuri Corniel rode outstandingly well, with Luis Alberto Cruz hot on his heels throughout. Luis Alberto Cruz rode phenomenally well, and was sitting in 2nd place, when he had an unfortunate crash on his 5th trick attempt. He had to withdraw from the heat, and was taken to hospital to be treated for a suspected broken rib. He is now recovering well. Despite not being present for the remainder of the heat, his solid scores meant that he still managed to finish with a 3rd place podium finish, a bit of compensation for having given it his all and having to suffer the painful consequences.
“I got top 3rd place. I think i could have done better but as I had an accident I ended up 3rd but still this is my dream, I was sent to the hospital after the accident and I thought I lost my heat. But then my friends showed up in hospital with my 3rd place price and I couldn't believe it. I was so happy to hear that I made it.
I had a lot of fun together with my friends and everyone watching the competition from home that supported us the DR TEAM thanks to all of you friends and family.
Now I'm back to the Dominican Republic recovering from my injury and preparing for the next event which will be in Brazil. Thank you to my sponsor Peter Lynn kiteboarding for all the support.”
Luis Alberto Cruz is currently holding the 10th place in the ranking of the Freestyle elite league leaving veterans like Youri Zoon, Aaron Hadlow behind.
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