Hadlow tops kiteboard jam

PILI, Camarines Sur, Philippines – Five-time world kiteboarding champion Aaron Hadlow of the United Kingdom dominated a stellar field to rule the inaugural Wind or No Wind Kiteboard Jam at the Camsur Watersports Complex here yesterday. The 22-year-old Hadlow finished second in the wakeboarding division and then showed his mastery of the kiteboarding event to emerge the winner of this weeklong event that attracted the best of the kiteboarding competition, now beginning to get international recognition. “I’m a very competitive person so when I come up against like 20 of the best guys in the world, it just made me step up, I just went out there and want to impress everybody,” said Hadlow during the rain-drenched awards rites Saturday night. “There was nothing in particular, but just me being myself wanting to ride and having the motivation to push it.” “The whole time I’ve been so motivated I’ve been looking forward to this event,” he added. The London-based Hadlow said he is looking forward to taking a break before plunging back into the waters for the Triple S, a strong international competition for kiteboarders, in June next year. “I’ll probably go back home in London and then spend the holidays with my parents who are living in South Africa,” he said. Brazilian Mauricio Abreau, who organized the event with help from host Camarines Sur Gov. L-Ray Villafuerte, said there was no doubt that Hadlow would win the event. “He (Aaron) didn’t have one session where he wasn’t the one of the main guys on the spotlight. If the wind was horrible or the sliders were off angle, he’ll draw a trick. He was always present on the top,” said Abreau. “He’s always been consistent. He’s five-time world champion not because he’s lucky. His consistency level is amazing,” he added. American Brandon Schied, who finished second overall after topping the wakeboarding challenge and finishing third in kiteboarding, and England’s Tom Light, who wound up third overall after ending up in the top three in both wake and kiteboarding events, also wowed the crowd, including Abreau, who gathered 22 other judges to vote for the winners. “Brandon impressed me a lot. He didn’t have much experience on cable. But he came here and felt right at home. He adapted so fast that I have yet to see somebody to step it up so fast. The tricks were pretty amazing,” said Abreau. “Sam stepped it up before he even got here. Everyone was saying he’s killing it. He actually stepped up above and beyond,” he added. Scheid and Light said they were just happy to be in the competition. “I’ve never been this side of the globe and just to get out here and experience it, it’s amazing, I was like a kid in the candy park. I don’t get a chance to ride cable very much. I’ve ridden six times before this,” said Scheid. “The best and the brightest of kiteboarding in the world are having a blast in the Wind or No Wind Kiteboard Jam at the CamSur Watersports Complex,” he added. “There’s not one particular highlight, it’s the whole event really,” Light said. Aside from Hadlow, Scheid and Light, the United States’ Davey Blair, Greg Norman, Jr., Chad Worrall and Jason Slezak, England’s Tom Court, Chris Burke and James Boulding, Dominican Republic’s Susi Mai, Tahiti’s Moehau Goold and the Netherland’s Ruben Lenten took part in the meet. Abreau said all 22 participants will sit together and judge for themselves the winner of this weeklong event backed by Camarines Sur Gov. L-Ray Villafuerte, CWC, Rupibl1c, O’Neill, Liquid Force, Skull Candy, Slingshot Sports, Rebootizer, Team Duke and Hinaho Tahiti. By Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) Updated December 13, 2010 12:00 AM philstar.com

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