Thanks to the fact I dont compete on PKRA and I probably won’t do it in the future I wanted to give my opinion about the extraordinary end of tour stop in Pingtan. This is a real head scratcher and I think more of us should hear about what is going on at PKRA tour this year. As you might know there was an issue with girls devision. Last heat of doubles could decide if we have a world champion but after first final which Karolina has won and she was still able to come back from second place and take the title by winnig super final girls were informed that the super final is postponed to the next day. The following day another information from the head judge was that the super final will take place durring NEXT TOUR STOP in Hainan. In my opininon it is very unfair and strange to act that way if you talk about whole season of sport rivalry between Gisela and Karolina.
Here’s are some comments from Karolina and Gisela as well as a very interesting post from hanglos about that event.
Karolina after hearing the news:
There is a lot of drama happening here at the PKRA event. One of my best tricks (backmobe) wasn’t scored during the final and the decision was made to re-run the final heat today(that’s what they do in the men division when they miss a trick). However my opponent is claiming that she is not going to compete today because she is ‘injured’ now… The final decision is not made, but we might re-run the heat on the next event in Haikou. I don’t think is fair but I am going to stay strong and fight as much as possible to WIN THIS TOUR !!!
…and later on:
Thank you everybody for so much support. We all know that the decision made by the judging committiee was unjust and that postponig the Pingtan final to a different competition is just a joke. On my side I feel stronger than ever and I am going to do everything I can to show who is the BEST here ! K
Gisela had this to say:
We are leaving Pingtan without an official result of the event. Yesterday in the double elimination I lost the final against Karolina so we had to do the “superfinal” to break the tie. After announcing the result that I was the winner, they said they missed one of Karolina’s trick and that was a potential manoeuvre to change the result, so we would need to do a re-run. Unfortunately after I came out of the water I cut my foot pretty deep so I wasn’t in my 100% today. The PKRA committee decided to postpone the final to the next and final stop in Haikou, China.
All I do in life is because is my passion and it makes me happy. I just want to be honest with all of you guys. I’m over this. I don’t agree with any decision that has been made, the unfair judging during the whole year, and specially here in Pingtan, re-running the final heat, postponing it to the next competition. I’m tired of all the politics in the sport; it takes all the good fun out of it. The situation went to far that I lost all the motivation I had after my training in Brazil. I just feel like going home. Still I’m one of the luckiest person in the world to have such a support from my family and sponsors in Spain and my friends that are here in China. That leaves me a little bit of energy to go to Haikou and finish the year. Because of the respect they deserve I’m going to fight the situation and give my best.
there is also a bigger issue about unfair scoring throughout the whole year. there were many upsets both in men and girls division. here’s a short video and comment from Gisela about the heat in Pingtan:
Today I was checking the footage from the final heat in Pingtan and comparing the scores. What do you guys think?
lastly read this text from a spectator who watched competition in Pingtan. pretty interesting facts in there:
After the recent event of the PKRA world kiteboarding tour in Pingtan China a lot of rumors and stories have been circling the internet. As an outside person I witnessed these events unfold and I think it’s important for everyone to just look at the facts. For me the PKRA always stood for the up-most progression of the sport and I feel the decisions made at this event are far from a progressive or fair approach to take. I only hope with this information made public, changes will be made in the future to keep the tour progressing.
This is my recount of what I witnessed there:
Pingtan was like any other event, with a panel of judges and crew that moves to different locations around the world.
Both Men and Womens world titles were able to be won in Pingtan and it was a matter of either Christophe Tack placing higher than Liam Whaley in the Mens or Karolina Winkowska placing higher than Gisela Pulido in the womens to do so. Both Whaley and Pulido would have to win both of the final stops in China (Pingtan and Haikou) to secure victory.
The mens competition ran as normal with the result of Christophe Tack in 2nd place in both Single and Double Elimination clinching victory for the World Title over Whaley.
The Single Elimination of the Womens division saw Pulido take the win over Winkowska.
(In this situation Pulido would have to be defeated twice in the Double Elimination to loose her 1st place, an outcome that has happened to both ladies this year.)
The Double elimination saw Winkowska win the first final and send both ladies into a “super final”, in which the winner would be the ultimate winner of the event. The super final was close with both girls throwing quite different tricks to each other, Pulido was undoubtedly in the lead the entire heat until the dying seconds where Winkowska produced 3 tricks in a very short space of time (two tacks) making the result uncertain to spectators.
The Women were hurried from the water and onto the podium where Pulido was awarded the first place.
It was after the podium that the riders could check their score sheets, at this point Winkowska noticed that the judges had missed scoring her second last trick (Backmobe). (This was a trick that would most likely be her highest scoring trick.)
The judges were called back to the tower and after video evidence was found that the trick actually occurred the judges were made to score the trick. This scoring was not to decide a winner but only to justify whether a re-run of the Super Final should be made. After scoring it was decided that the Backmobe could have likely changed the result and the fairest situation would be to re-run the heat the following day at 2’clock, as was told to both girls and was posted on the PKRA Press Release that night.
(This wasn’t the first time a situation like this has occurred on the PKRA with every other “missed trick” scenario being dealt with in the same way for the entire season.)
Pulido and Winkowska were obviously both upset by the situation, with neither happy with the outcome. Winkowska remained reserved whilst Pulido was heard saying more than once by various riders “This is bullshit, I’m not competing tomorrow”.
Pulido was later over-heard in the hotel talking on the phone to the head judge Sami Gali saying she had the investor of the tour “Javier” (majority investor of Best Kiteboarding.) on the other line and that he wanted to talk to him and he better sort this situation out.
(Although we have no proof (recording) of this phone call, when both Pulido and Gali were fronted by riders about the situation, they admitted that they had both talked on the phone to each other that night and had also both been in contact with the investor of the tour (Javier) more than once, although they did not disclose what they had talked about.)
Fast forward to the next morning and both girls (Pulido and Winkowka) were called to a meeting. In this meeting head judge Gali informed both riders that there would be no re-run today due to Pulido having a small cut on her foot. Furthermore Pulido would be given until 6:30pm that day to make a decision on whether she would like to;
a) Run the final again at the beginning of the next tour stop, or,
b) Make the final event of the year count for double the regular allocation of tour points.
No option for decision was given to Winkowska for any situation.
By lunchtime most riders had heard of the situation, with most confused as to how a decision to re-run the final at a different location could ever be made. The riders committee were not in agreement with the Head judge Gali and a meeting was made. The riders committee fought against re-running the final at a different event location as it would be;
a) Unfair for both riders in different ways, and,
b) Set precedence for events further a field that they did not agree with.
The riders did not over-turn the decision and the decision was upheld to;
Re-run the Womens Super Final at the next event location in Haikou (China) due to the fact that Pulido had a small cut on her foot and it would not be a fair situation to re-run the heat on the final day.
Things to Note*
- The final day of the event was sunny with perfect 22knot conditions from sun up to sun down with many riders including Winkowska free-riding for the majority of the day.
- No final (or heat) in the history of the sport or the PKRA has been postponed to accommodate an injured rider.
- No final (or heat) in the history of the sport or the PKRA has been moved to the following event for completion.
- Javier the majority investor of Best Kiteboarding is still the sole owner of the PKRA tour, with no proof available as of yet to whether Virgin (or anyone else) has invested in the tour.
Who could expect that this will bring such an outbreak of irritation.
…so yeah, SHAME ON YOU PKRA. I’ll keep fingers crossed for Karolina! Keep fighting!