Mike Schitzhofers column: First days in Panama / Alex Pastor injured

It’s time for my second column and it’s again from Panama to get you the latest infos about the PKRA Kitesurf Worldcup to start tomorrow.

Today all the riders had to do the registration for the event in order to be able to participate. 39 men and 11 women did so which means that there will be no trials for girls but there are for the men.

Let me explain how the system works: 12 guys are already pre seated due to their ranking on last year’s overall ranking. 2 guys are getting a wildcard from the organizer.

So 14 guys are in the main event, which leaves the rest to fight for their spot in the main event. 25 men will start in the trials but only 10 can go through which will assure lots of action on the water. The riding level of all the competitors is very high and everybody who makes it to the main event can be proud.

Here in Panama one of the guys with a wildcard is Eric Reinstra from the U.S. who is participating for the first time at a PKRA Event, however he is well known for his wakestyle riding and his videos.

The skippers meeting will happen at 6:30 in the morning with a first possible start at 7am. An early start but necessary as the wind drops over midday every day which shortens the possible time for a competition. If the wind allows it we will also see the first heats of the main event after a lunch break.

In the girls division we have two comebacks with Karolina Winkovska, who didn’t compete in the final event last season due to a small injury in the knee. Also Bruna Kajiya made here way back to the PKRA after she has had torn her ACL during the competition in St. Peter Ording / Germany last summer.

In the men’s division the news aren’t too good at all as Alex Pastor, current world-champion, dislocated his shoulder during a training session this morning. He was transported to the nearest hospital to get the shoulder back in but off course, for him, the competition is over before it really started. All the best and a fast recovery to him on this way.

So with Liam Whaley and Alex Pastor there are two favorites out which lets the door wide open for other guys such as Christophe Tack, Marc Jacobs, Carlos Mario or Robinson Hilario to take the win here in Panama.

Let’s see how the competition turns out. I’ll keep you up to date.

Mike Schitzhofer