Taking over, and it won’t be long.
Jamie Overbeek is a weapon. In round one, he beat Andrea Principi (reigning World Champion) and the reigning King, Marc Jacobs. He returned to the riders’ tent to a standing ovation. He had just kicked the door down, coming from last place, and had effectively overtaken the pole sitter at the first corner. His Doobie Board Off was 25m+ and gave an old woman an asthma attack.
Andrea Principi. This is the 17 year old that took out the GKA World Championships earlier this year. He’s kiteboarding’s Rafael Nadal – he has come into the sport with a fresh style, and if you watch him before his heats, he is bouncing off the walls. He’s like a caged bull that’s just been let loose, screaming ‘Let’s GO’ in Italian with the sort of oration that requires every muscle in your body. His riding riffs off Janek Gzregorzewski’s board offs, but with less float, more raw power and an ability to fly the kite in shapes that we’ve never seen before. He’s the rider that looked at everything that everyone else was doing, combined it all, and performed all the iterations all-at-once. Double kiteloops with a double front rotation with a board-off. All at the same time. When the kite is at its lowest.
What’s most impressive about his KOTA debut is that at some point during the day, his rib broke. It had been teetering on a fracture in the weeks leading up to the big day. He was spotted riding at 20%, wearing a seat harness just days before. Usually when someone has a rib problem they pull out. It’s the most common Big Air injury. But here was a kid that knew the opportunity in front of him and decided to ride through the pain. No one has done this before. He crashed his first four moves in the final. It must have been excruciating. After the competition, he said that “sometimes, you have to be happy for other people. My friend, my brother, Lorenzo”.