The Torch continued to collect more titles this past weekend as Naish’s Ewan Jaspan, Katie Potter and Leo Verrecchia topped the podium, winning their respective divisions at the Kiteboarding Australia Freestyle National Championships.
Making his return to the event, the 2019 Kite Park League Champ Ewan Jaspan showed he’s no slouch when kickers and sliders aren’t involved. Marching his way through the rounds, Ewan squared off against six of Australia’s best in the final held in the last moments of the day. As the sun sets, providing an epic backdrop, Ewan went to work with his Torch and Stomp, landing some of the contests best tricks including a Slim 7 and Front Mobe all with his signature clean and smooth style.
“After missing out on the 2019 event, I was stoked to be able to return to the Australian Freestyle Nationals for 2020 to catch up with old and new friends, ride with the best in Australia, support the community and fight to reclaim my title from 2018,” said Ewan.”
Over the last years, the competition scene has changed a lot in Australia, with a lot of new faces popping up at the events. I rode well in the first heats to secure a spot in the final. The other 5 riders who made the final were all throwing down technical mobe variations, so it was anyone’s game. In the final, it was perfect wind for my 14 m Torch, right at sunset we all made it to the water and with conditions prime and a great crowd on the beach we all put on a show. I rode my best ever freestyle heat landing my best tricks with execution I hadn’t put down in a comp run before. In the end, I took the win, but not without a challenge. Fellow Naish rider Leo Verrecchia (also in the junior division at 17) was hot on his heels in second place and Dan Sweeney, last year’s champion and a rider I have spent a lot of time with over the years, rounded out the podium in 3rd.”
Keeping the heat on Ewan was 17-year old Brisbane ripper Leo Verrecchia who is one of Naish’s top up and coming riders. After defending his Junior Freestyle Title earlier in the competition, Leo showed why the Men’s Open Class should be worried, putting together a flurry of tricks that placed him just behind Ewan in second place and beating defending champ Dan Sweeny in the process.
In the women’s division, Naish’s Katie Potter put the hammer down with the Alana in the final, landing Back Mobes and S-Bend to Blind’s to secure the top step of the podium. Stoke levels were high for the champ, not just for herself but the rest of the competitors and the sport. “It’s awesome to see the level of riding getting better and better every year, especially with the groms pushing each other all the time – the future of the sport is strong,” said Katie.
Undoubtedly the future of the sport is strong and is being led down under by Leo Verrecchia who went back-2-back as Junior Aussie Champ for 2019 and 2020 with the Dash and Stomp. Leo was not the only Verrecchia on the podium as he was joined by his younger brother Alex Verrecchia riding the Monarch, finishing in third place in the Junior Division.
Naish couldn’t be more stoked for our Australian team riders and want to give a big shoutout to Peri Roberts for reporting on the event as well as the event organizers and crew from Kiteboarding Australia for continuing to grow the sport.
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Photo Credit: Rick Pryce | Kiteboarding Australia