The GKA Kite World Tour, like almost every sporting event on the planet was put on hold due to the worldwide pandemic, but that didn’t mean the fun had to stop.
The GKA created the Distance Battle, a video-based competition.
A selection of the world’s best strapless and twin-tip freestyle riders from around the world were invited to compete from their home sports, filming themselves during 5-minute heats. These unedited videos were sent to and judged by the official GKA judges in a live-streamed video event format, with live scoring, live judges and live commentary.
North Team Rider, Camille Delannoy, originally from France but has lived in Brazil for most of his life was up against Jan Marcos Riveras from the Dominican Republic in the Men’s Strapless Semi-Finals on Tuesday 29th September.
It was the second heat of the competition and Camille absolutely smashed it, scoring a whopping 28.27 versus’ his competitor’s 7.33. Camille was off to a flying start in the competition, scoring a 9.40 for his Triple Front Roll. He was straight through to semi-finals with the highest score of the competition.
“The conditions in Prea for strapless freestyle are just perfect. The wind is very strong, it’s very steady and always in the right direction. You have wind every day so can train a lot in a small period of time. Also, both my sister and I we are goofy, so we jump on the outside so we have the kickers, so that really helps. So yeah, it’s the perfect set up for strapless freestyle, I don’t think there is a better spot in the world.”
In the semi-finals on Thursday 1st October, Camille was up against his good friend James Carew from Australia. GKA commentator, Jo Ciastula described it as ‘the two gladiators out on the water’.
Riding his 9m Carve and Comp 5,2” Camille locks in a score of 9.17 early in the heat with a Double Frontroll Tic Tac followed by a Kiteloop Backloop Rodeo. Camille took the win with a 32.30, a four-point lead of his competitor.
In Heat 2 of the semi-finals, Pedro Matos from Brazil beat Mitu Monteiro from Cape Verde, meaning Pedro and Camille were up against in each other in the finals on 4th October.
Camille’s sister, Capuccine Delannoy took the win earlier in the day for the Women’s Strapless Freestyle final and Camille was up next. Pedro began the heat strong with a Kiteloop Rodeo whilst Camille landed a Double Frontroll ShoveIt 360 with a but check, he was deducted points. Camille caught up with a huge Triple Frontroll and was looking strong with a few minutes remaining. Pedro landed fin first after a SBack Roll 5 and scored a 9.43 for a Double Front ShoveIt and they were neck to neck, only a few points between them.
Both riders gave it everything they had. In the end, Pedro Matos took the win with a 31.80, with Camille Delannoy less than two points behind him with 29.50. What an incredible heat and close competition!
Camille says, “The GKA distance battle is done and I'm stoked with my 2nd place !
Being able to participate in this new competition format was fun and exciting !
All of the GKA kite-surf events got cancelled due to COVID-19 and it felt great to be able to compete again. It’s really motivating to finally be able to face other riders even if it's online.
The competition format was brand new as we could record the heats as many time as we wanted to . It allowed me to come close of doing the perfect heat.
I was riding the 9m carve 2021, comp 5’0 2021 and navigator bar. This is my go to setup for strapless freestyle and I couldn't imagine riding anything else.
I can really feel that I can rely on this board and kite, I can push it to the limit and it won’t let me down.
The new Carve has a better and increased depower which allows me to use bigger kites in stronger wind, which allows me to go way higher.
The Comp 5’0 is the board I use 90% of the time, I love this thing ! It feels like a little skateboard, super fun to ride, but you can also push it far in terms of speed and hard landings. The new version has a better pop and more stability, which means I can go faster, pop harder and go higher !
I’m really confident in my gear and this is a very important thing for me, being able to trust it no matter what the conditions are.
Anyway, thank you all for the support, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!”
Congratulations to Camille and all of the riders! It was a pleasure to watch.
Check out Camille's gear, the new 2021 Carve Kite, the 2021 Comp Surfboard and the 2021 Navigator Control System.
Find your local North Kiteboarding dealer to try or buy your strapless freestyle set up here.