As winds hovered around 10 to 12 knots and 3- to 4-meter swell detonated on the reef during the morning and early afternoon of day two of the KSP One Eye Pro, competitors stayed on call for the wind to ramp up just a bit more. “The wind hasn’t come up quite enough yet, but this is the best conditions I’ve ever seen,” commented KSP Event Photographer John Bilderback. “It’s retarded.”
As the wind slowly increased, event organizers ran 30 minute Expression Sessions for the men and women in order to see if the wind would hold and to set the judging scale for the massive waves, groomed to perfection by the side-offshore winds. The wind remained a bit light at the start of the men’s heat, making it challenging for some of the 24 competitors to ride One Eye top to bottom. Nevertheless, the athletes put on an incredible show, catching waves up to triple overhead. With his fluid, powerful riding, 2008 Kite Surfing World Champion Mitu Monteiro (Cabo Verde) won the Men’s Expression Session with some seriously committed turns and barrels. And Mauritian resident Ninja Bichler (originally from Germany) — who caught some incredible waves and used her local knowledge to ride better than some of the men — won the Women’s Expression Session.
The first three heats of Men’s Round 1 followed, comprised of three competitors per 15-minute heat. Strapped riders Max Bonieux (Mauritius) and Mauricio Pedreira (Brazil) won the first two heats, respectively. Pedreira had the highest scoring wave of the day, amidst the most action-packed heat of the three. 2010 Kite Surf World Champion Guilly Brandao, who rode in heat two, pulled into a deep tube on a massive closeout set, resulting in the most spectacular wipe out of the day and a shredded kite. With his fluid unstrapped riding, tight in the pocket, Airton Cozzolino (Cabo Verde) won heat three, the closest heat of the day. Juan Pabloo Diban (Chile) also put on a great show, linking a lot of turns and exhibiting wise wave selection.
Today marked the official start of the competition and the forecast looks incredible for the week ahead. Men’s Round 1 heats will resume tomorrow morning (conditions permitting), along with the start of Women’s Round 1.
The Mauritius One Eye Pro 2011 is sponsored by the Indian Resort & Spa, MTPA (Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority), Air Mauritius, Mauritours, Le Gall, Habit, Club Mistral and Silent Partners. The KSP World Tour is supported by ION and Vitamizzer.