From the 24th of November until the 1st of December the Kite Mansion Open, the final stop of the Kite Park League took place in Icapui, Brazil. Cabrinha team riders Alex Maes and Annelous Lammerts organized this first ever KPL event in Brazil with 25 riders of 11 nations competing. Annelous killed it during the competition and managed to win the first Kite Mansion Open. We talked to her about how her experience being a rider and organizer at the same time.
Hi Annelous, huge congratulations on winning the first Kite Mansion Open! How did the competition go for you?
Thanks a lot, I couldn’t be more happy! This place has turned into my second home and I learned to ride park on the rails that we built here. Over the years we have put so much effort in building the whole park and it has also done a lot for our riding. My main goal was to have my best hits on all the features and I am really happy I managed to do that. I have been working hard to improve my kicker game and also get better and cleaner rail hits, and it was a great feeling to be able to show my best riding during the final. Alex also has been killing it this event and he has shown that he is a contender for that top spot. He absolutely killed it during round 1 scoring the highest score of the event, 58.05 points. In the final it didn’t really come together on the left foot line but he still ended up 5th which gave him a 4th spot on the 2018 overall KPL ranking! It was also great to see the progression of our team mate Lucas from Canada. He has been really improving his park riding and scored an 8 with a super clean rewind on the left foot kicker. I’m sure he’s going to come with a banger of a Triple S wildcard video!
How was it to organize your first KPL event?
It has been a great experience organizing a tour stop of the KPL together with Alex here at our favorite spot in Brazil. I came here for the first time together with Alex 3 years ago and it pretty much turned into our second home. This year I spend 3 months here, actually more time than at home! When we came here 3 years ago we were just getting into park riding and we built our first rails and kicker. It has been Alex’ dream to organize an KPL event here since it is such a unique place for park riding. The shape of the lagoon works perfectly for lines for both left and right foot forward. Organizing your first event is definitely a lot of work and pretty stressful but we learned so much and all the work we did will help us for the next events we will organize. The second stop of the KPL is the Hood Jam and is also organized by a rider, Colleen Carroll, and that really inspired us to do this event. The KPL has been growing a lot and if all the riders help and do some effort we can keep growing and pushing this side of the sport.
How was it to be event organizer and competitor at the same time?
It was like working two jobs at the same time. In the run up to the event we were really busy with getting everything ready and making sure everything will go fine during the event. Luckily we had a lot of help from Sam and Nico, owners of the pousada Kite Mansion that hosted the event. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible! Normally when you go to an event you only focus on the competition and your own social media. When you are an event organizer you have to wake up super early, make the plan, make sure everyone knows their job and know what they have to do for the day. Then when the competition is about to start and I put on the competition jersey my role changed and I would just be like any other rider. During the competition it was the head judge Alexander Lewis-Hughes who made the calls and decided what happens. When the competition was finished for the day all the riders would go back to the pousada, take some rest and post some photos of the day. Alex and me would still be helping on the beach, putting the kicker away and then when we got back make sure all the media and event recaps would be published asap. Luckily some of KPL riders would still give us a hand and help us where they could.
You were speaking about the lines, was there a different format at this event than other KPL events?
Yes, exactly! As we said this spot is perfect for lines and together with the head judge we decided to change the format a bit to make it more interesting and more challenging. I think changes like this are really important for the progression of the sport. Normally we just have 1 rail that we have to hit 3 times with the best score from 0-10 counting. This event we put two rails after each other and you had to hit the two rails in one go. On both rails you would get a score from 0-10 and there was an extra 5 points for the ‘flow’. The flow is all about how good the line looks and you would loose points by hooking back in, switching your stance, changing your leash or by doing speed pumps with your board. During the competition we have see some insane lines, and Alex won the best line contest together with Ewan Jaspan both scoring 22 points!
What are your plans now?
Sleep! Haha, actually not, we are still really busy with finishing up everything from the event and getting all the media out there. We also have to pack up the park in the next week and we started working on some things for next year’s Kite Mansion Open. This year it took a bit of time to get the official permissions for the event, but with this year’s event and the massive beach clean-up and the planting of new mangroves trees we showed the local community that our main goal is to make a positive impact on this beautiful place. The local government already announced that they can’t wait for next years event! In 10 days I will go back home and spend some quality time with my family after being away for so long.
Thanks for the recap, Annelous and also to Alex Maes and the Kite Mansion for this fantastic event!
KITE MANSION OPEN RECAP
PHOTOS: André Magarao, Nik Ganderton, Alexander Lewis-Hughes