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IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER!

CARLA HERRERA ORIA PUSHES HARD FOR BRAZIL TO ROUND OFF HER FINEST YEAR YET ON THE GKA TOUR
Fresh from her podium finish at the Kite-Surf World Cup out in Dakhla, Morocco, Ocean Rodeo team rider and World-Champion-in-waiting Carla Herrera Oria spoke to us about her experience of the 2019 tour so far, and the upcoming game plan for Brazil…
Photos: Ydwer van der Heide / Svetlana Romantsova / GKA

Hey Carla. Firstly, we don’t want to jinx anything, but the result is a bit of a given, so we’ll just mention it once for now… early congratulations on your upcoming World Championship win!

Thank you! I still have Brazil in front of me and I really want to finish this season with a good result there. I go event by event, as I have been doing all season, so first I’ll focus on Brazil, and then we will have time to celebrate whatever comes next…

So tell us about your season up until now. How has it played out generally?

2019 has been a great season so far! The first event in Cape Verde was a big disappointment for me as I didn’t get the result I was hoping for… But after this I managed to get on a podium for all the events! It definitely wasn’t an easy season for me as I have faced really good and experienced riders, and I still have a lot to improve upon, mostly in the waves.

This year I learnt a lot about wave riding, and I hope this winter I’ll get the opportunity to train more for it and show my progression next season. But yeah, for sure, a season to remember!

What was the biggest highlight on the tour?

Personally, for me, my biggest accomplishment has been to get 3rd place at Mauritius and 2nd at Dakhla, as these were wave events and I wasn’t able to train for that this season as we didn’t get any decent conditions here at home.

So going in there and taking podiums made me super proud and happy. Also, my come back on the doubles in Dakhla after losing my first heat in the single eliminations. I had to climb all the way up to the final in the doubles… And with this I secured the world title!

Tell us about what you’re riding out there…

At the moment I’m using the Prodigy with the Shift Bar. I’m really happy with this kite as it is one of the lightest three strut kites out there, it adapts to all conditions, and has good hang-time which allows me to really perform in strapless freestyle, and it also has a great drift and is fast enough that I can also use it in wave riding. I’m looking forward to putting my hands on the new Crave… when I had the opportunity to try it, it felt amazing!

And what do you think are the benefits in the Prodigy that got you up to #1

Well I always used to hate kiting with anything bigger than a 9 or 10m, but with these new light kites I just love sessions on my 12s, as they are super light and move super fast.

We’ve also spoken with Reece about competition tactics following his performance in Dakhla. Do you head into the water with a solid game plan?

I always have a solid plan! If it is a freestyle event I always have a trick list to work through during the heat. Also, just before I start the heat I try to be in the right place to be able to make the first trick in the first seconds, as I like to have a score on the pocket fast. If it is a wave event, I always try to pick the right wave early to quickly secure some points.

Onto Brazil next then. You could sit back and relax, but we’re guessing you’re not going to…

 

No, not at all. It is gonna be a first for me, as it will be the first event where I won’t be under any pressure, but I really would like to do my best there, go as big as possible and show everyone how much I have been training. I’m going there to give it my all!

Watch Carla’s performance live at the upcoming GKA event in Brazil by heading to gkakiteworldtour.com/events/gka-kite-surf-world-cup-brazil-2019/

Check out Carla’s new website: carla-herrera.com/

RIDE LIKE A PRO

Learn more about the gear used by Carla throughout the 2019 GKA Wold Tour.

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