Portimao Kitemasters 2009
After the overwhelming success of the 2008 event, the alluring city of Portimao, Portugal will host again, two of the most electrifying and action-packed kiteboarding competitions of the year. The Kite Masters World Tour 2009 will showcase the world’s top freestylers competing with one another for a chance to be crowned this year’s Kite Master. Sixteen of the best progressive freestyle riders of the world (male and female) along with four top Portuguese riders will battle it out in challenging conditions to prove who is the greatest. The athletes will also have a chance at a generous amount of prize money, not to mention another day at the beach to challenge last year’s champions Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) and Susi Mai (Cabrinha, GER).
In conjunction with the freestyle event, the third annual Kiteboard Course Racing World Tour 2009 will feature the best of breed kiteboard racers in the world for a series of extreme racing events using different course formats. In 2008, two North riders dominated the racing events, grabbing the top two podium spots led by French racing champion Charles Deleau and teammate Sean Farley of Mexico who won the last two races in dramatic fashion.
Presented by The Gest Group under the leadership of Director General Erich Steffen and
Event Coordinator Eduardo Piloni, these premium kiteboarding events will run from June 24 – 28, 2009 at Praia de Alvor, Portimao. These events will be hosted by the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) – the globally recognized professional kiteboarding organization and sanctioned by the International Surfing Association (ISA).
Each year, the PKRA organizes the “PKRA World Tour” – a series of professional freestyle kiteboarding tournaments held in different countries from South America to Europe to determine the world ranking. Every competitor starts with zero points at the beginning of the World Tour. The rider who collects the most points at the end of the season is ranked World Number One.
For the Kite Masters, the top ten male and the top six female riders will be divided into groups and will compete in special round-robin matches each against the other competitors in the group. The riders with the best records in each group get to compete with each other in the semi-final round, with the semi-final winners meeting in the final round to determine the champion.
The PKRA World Tour typically runs from April to October. However, the 2009 season will mark the debut of a new host – the French “sui generis” collectivity of New Caledonia, located in the southwest Pacific, so the competition this year will run until November.
As the fastest growing water sports today, kiteboarding takes a lot of physical and mental discipline to master, not to mention a lot of dedication, training and love for the water. Only the proficient, skilled, and innovative in the art of kiteboarding has the right to be crowned the master of the sport. With the Kite Masters and ISA sanctioning, the PKRA is hopeful that kiteboarding will soon become an Olympic sport for the world to enjoy.