It turned out to be a ‘whitsunny’ weekend, during Hollands biggest kitesurf event on Notorious Beach in Noordwijk. This year, all the elements were right for the Kite Board Open (KBO). Professional kitesurfers, rookies and amateurs joined together with sun admirers and party people. And there was wind…
On Sunday may 31st the event started early in the morning, when kiters from all over Europe crawled out of their vans to get the gear on the beach and a big up of coffee in the sun. Although the wind started out offshore, the forecast predicted a change of direction in the afternoon.
It just gave everyone enough time to wake up and walk around the festival area, where the newest gear was ready to be tested, free surf- and kayak clinics were offered, breakfast was served and DJ’s were getting in the mood. And obviously, also the pros need some time to show up.
National and international professionals usually never tend to skip the KBO. It’s a party guaranteed, all about the sport and has a totally relaxed atmosphere. This year the event unfortunately missed out on some big pros because of the Triple S event on the US east coast. Nevertheless, there were enough pros around to watch and enjoy.
‘Legend’ Marc Shinn showed off, as well as UK champ Jo Wilson, Dominican hunk Jan Marcos Riveras (whose skills really came through during the beachparty, red.), Dutch homie and champ Jalou Langeree and Ania Grzelinska and many others. But funnily enough, the most important people during this event are not the pros, but always the rookies. It gives them the opportunity to present them selves and hopefully attract enough attention to get a sponsorship.
At the end of a mellow Sunday, the wind did change a bit more to side shore and so the first heat could finally start. It was great to finally see the kites up, but the wind was still a bit gusty. After two hours, the competition was completed and everyone just came in for the beach party, which was absolutely rocking the tables!
On Monday, the weather gods decided that everyone deserved a little wind. And so, in the afternoon, the wind changed turned side shore and with 17 knots it delivered all the ingredients a kitesurf event needs. Because of the great temperature, ever shining sun and a huge crowd on the beach, the vibes could not have been better. The rookies,’ Chicks Only’ and the Pro’s all got a chance to complete their freestyle competition and the visitors were treated with a spectacular show.
At the end of a long and exhausting weekend, you could say that this year’s KBO was an absolutely perfect one!
[Photos: Ian Edmondson / expix.co.uk]