Posts Tagged ‘Big Air’

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Final Day

Posted: 11th September 2021 by Gemma Hamaini in Allgemein
Original Post:
Tags: , ,

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller / Video: Mintautas Grigas

The competition in Hvide Sande concluded today, unfortunately with no wind, but with an overall fantastic experience of everything that this wonderful location offers.

It was an earlier start than usual today, with the skipper’s meeting taking place at 7am, with the intention of taking advantage of any possible wind that would allow us to complete the event.

The wind forecast changed constantly throughout the week, but finally it was just not enough to get the event underway. Hvide Sande is an amazing location, which usually offers fantastic kiting conditions. It has been unlucky to not be able to showcase these amazing conditions with our competitors and live-stream, but everyone who has been present for this event leaves with a feeling of appreciation for this area, and for the wonderful people who worked hard to make this event happen.


Watch our event highlights!

What happens now?

It’s not often that an event cannot start due to lack of wind for the full duration, but unfortunately when you depend on nature, these things happen.

Each rider who attended the event, received 30 points towards their ranking. Focus now shifts to our next event, in Dakhla, Morocco, where Peri Roberts and James Carew will be looking to maintain their leads, but the other riders will try to close in on them.

“So unfortunately the suitable conditions did not materialise this week,” says head judge Mallory de la Villemarque. “This means that the title-race now moves to Dakhla. This gives both James and Peri an even better possibility of becoming World Champions, which would be the first time for both. Nothing is certain, but we know that the fight in Dakhla will be very exciting. Dakhla usually consists of a mixed format event, so we are hoping for a good swell to provide a great event and exciting battle for the top spots.”

Next event on the horizon

The GKA riders will have just a short break now, and will then head to Dakhla, Morocco from the 27th to the 31st of October for the next kite-surf event. Expect to see some amazing action at this classic spot, along with a live-stream to bring you all of the action directly as it happens.

Famed as one of the world’s hotspots for kitesurfing, there are good ground swells that hit this coast and wrap around the points which makes it perfect for a combo wave and strapless freestyle event with cross-onshore winds. 

Be sure to follow all of the event online!

We would like to thank all of the riders, fans, local organisers and crew for making this event in Denmark happen. 

Watch our "In the bag" tech-talk series

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Final Day appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Five

Posted: 10th September 2021 by Gemma Hamaini in Allgemein
Original Post:
Tags: , ,

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller 

The competition remained on hold for Day 5, but the riders were kept occupied with a beach clean, fishing excursion and a host of other beach activities here at the spot in Hvide Sande.

Keeping the spot clean

It’s important for the GKA Kite World Tour to encourage positive habits when it comes to our environment and ocean. Today, GKA riders participated in a beach clean-up organized by The ocean is our playground, it’s our source of inspiration, thrill, and home to millions of Earth’s plants and animals. Without the oceans, we wouldn’t exist.

Wherever you live, the easiest and most direct way that you can get started is by reducing your own use of single-use plastics. Single-use plastics include plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, take-out containers, and any other plastic items that are used once and then discarded. We only have one planet Earth. Let’s take care of it.

We also visited a local recycling studio called Omhu. They organise regular beach clean-ups. Here, they collect the plastic fishing crates which are often washed up on the shore after falling off fishing boats. These are taken to their recycling studio where they are shredded, melted, and moulded into surf fins are other objects. These are then sold in their shop as souvenirs from the area. 

“Spending time in the outdoors and in nature is so much more enjoyable when there is no trash, “explained Katrine, co-founder of Omhu. “I realised this after spending time outside walking my dog each day, and so we decided to do something about it. Using trash as a resource, and making something amazing with it is what it’s all about for us.”


Fishing Trip 

Whilst the event was still on hold several riders decided to take a local fishing trip to discover some of the more traditional activities that Hvide Sande offers.

Matchu Lopes, Capucine Delannoy and Francesco Cappuzzo ventured out with a local fishing crew to see what they could catch! 

“It was really nice to go on this fishing excursion,” said Francesco. “We went through some really beautiful areas, and stopped to fish at several different spots. I caught one fish, but Capucine did even better and caught four! We released them all. We spent a nice couple of hours in total, and it was great to see a different side of Hvide Sande.”

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

Tomorrow will be the final day of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark.

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 6.30am tomorrow morning.

Tune in to our website to follow all the action!

Live-Stream Show Denmark Day Five

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Five appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Four

Posted: 9th September 2021 by Gemma Hamaini in Allgemein
Original Post:
Tags: , ,

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller 

The competition did not commence today due to the lack of wind, but we launched our new  “In the bag” series during the morning live-stream show, that highlights the gear each rider is currently using. We also sat down with Susi Schwarztrauber to discuss working while on tour, cosmetics, and women supporting women.

“In the Bag”

An athlete has to be prepared for all conditions when coming into competition, that’s why we’ve created the “In the bag” series, where riders empty out their boardbags and show us what they travel with. A technical talk that goes through all their favourite set-ups, you can re-watch it all right here. Today we dug into the board bags of Reece Myerscough, Camille Delannoy and Catharina Edin

Hvide Sande Destination

Today was a great opportunity to visit some of the well known sights of Hvide Sande. Several riders made a trip to the lighthouse, which was built in 1906, and made their way up the 228 steps to the top, which offers stunning views across the area. 

Another popular activity in Hvide Sande is the cable park, which is a great full-size cable with good modules and offers a perfect activity for windless days. The riders managed to get out there and enjoy several hours of riding.


Conversations with Susi

During the down-time today, we took a moment to talk to one of our female athletes on tour, Susi Schwarztrauber. This week, as we have been patiently waiting for the wind, we noticed Susi always glued to her laptop, working away in a corner. It turns out that the life of this female athlete is much more than just riding and competing, and she is a super entrepreneur on the side. 

“I’m actually a pharmacist, and somehow I ended up competing on the GKA Kite World Tour at the sametime,” explained Susi. “Back in 2019, I just decided to try one of the competitions. I wanted to see how I could face up alongside some of the best in the world. I ended up in Punta Preta in 5 metre waves for my first competition. It was super tough, but I just really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I just got hooked, and now it’s 2021 and here I am. The downside, of course, is that you have to fund yourself, and as a pharmacist it was so hard to find a job that allowed me the flexibility I needed to continue travelling,but I didn’t want money to keep me from my biggest passion, which was wanting to compete.”

It’s often difficult for athletes to find the funding and support that they need to be able to compete full time, and for Susi, it was about finding a balance between her work life, and her passion for kiteboarding.

“I’m really lucky to have Core who really support and help me. Finding sponsors and support takes a lot of effort and work. I put a massive effort into being here where I am.”

Susi was very fortunate to eventually land a perfect remote job, developing food supplements, which allowed her to continue travelling whilst working in her chosen industry. During events, you will see her focused and concentrated on her work until the wind kicks in, which is when she switches from work-mode to competition-mode.

Susi manages to do even more than a full time job whilst competing on the World Tour, she is also an entrepreneur, and is currently creating her own line of cosmetics for active women. 

“We are badass women. We like to play in the dust, yet we are still feminine. We are not perfect,that’s not our reality. When it comes to cosmetics, there is something really missing for women who are exposed to outdoor conditions, and that is what I have been working on,” she explains. “As I’m a pharmacist and a water sports lover, I really wanted to tackle the needs of women similar to myself. I have vitiligo, which is a pigmentation disorder. That’s why sun protection has always been so important to me. It’s taken us one and a half years to develop so far. We’ve tested it a lot, the texture, the perfume, everything. At this point now we are working on the branding and packaging, and being environmentally conscious is very important to us. We hope to be able to launch next spring.”

How does a competitive athlete with a full-time job find the time to do all of this? “It can be crazy. I was at the last event in Sylt, and I was in my wetsuit taking a work call right before my heat. It takes a lot of dedication. For now, I still have the energy for it, and I’m motivated,” she says. “I really believe that women need to support other women, and not always see each other as competition. If we don’t support each other then who will? Here on tour, I’m just surrounded by badass women. I’m so proud to be here with them. You have to realise that the girl next to you is not your opponent. So now I’m proud to be developing a brand that is by women, for women, and this is really important to me.”

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark is taking place from the 6th -11th of September. 

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 9am tomorrow morning.

We will be LIVE with our event show tomorrow from 10am to 11am CET with our new tech-talk series – “In the bag”. Tune in to our website to follow all the action!

Live-Stream Show Denmark Day Four

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Four appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Three

Posted: 8th September 2021 by Gemma Hamaini in Allgemein
Original Post:
Tags: , ,

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller 

The waiting game continued today as Hvide Sande teased us with another windless day. The tension amongst the riders was high as they anxiously awaited the start of competition.

The race director, Juan Antonio Aragon, held the skipper’s meeting at 9am on Day 3 of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup in Denmark. As he explained, although the forecast for the day was not particularly optimistic, anything can happen at this location, and it’s important to be ready in case the wind suddenly picks up.   

Today’s Live-Stream Show

The live-stream show was on from 10am to 11am with Jo Ciastula and Gemma Hamaini. Today they were joined live by Peri Roberts, Pedro Matos and Capucine Delannoy, who discussed life on tour, the past event in Sylt, and what it takes to be a champion. You can re-watch the full show on Youtube.

“In The Bag” Coming Tomorrow

Whilst the wait for wind was on, we took a little time to chat with several riders about what equipment they were planning on using here in Denmark, and we went into details about their preferences, equipment tuning, and preferred set-up.

“So I’m about to go through all of my boardbag with Jo,” said Reece Myerscough. “We will go through all my boards and my kites, and talk about what I’m working on in terms of new shapes. It’s going to be interesting, so you will definitely want to watch this on the show tomorrow!”

“I normally travel with about 16 kilos of gear, which is not too bad,“ explained Kiko Roig Torres. “7 to 14m Lift kites and 6, 8 and 10m Session kites for wave-riding. I always have one kite that I use for freestyle, and one kite for wave-riding.” 

To get a full view of all current gear that everyone is using, tune in tomorrow morning at 10am for the live-stream show.

Catch-up with Karolina

Legendary rider Karolina Winkowska has been one of the biggest names in freestyle and park kiteboarding for the last ten years, so some may find it unusual to see her name pop up here as a registered competitor on the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour. Karolina has three Freestyle World Champion titles under her belt, and two Triple-S wins. After a few years out of the competitive kite scene, we spent some time with the legend herself to find out what has motivated her to come back to the World Tour, and become involved in the Kite-Surf discipline. 

“At the end of 2019, I was feeling really worn out. After competing non-stop for so many years, I just needed a break. I was in Australia looking at my calendar for the upcoming year, and was just like, I can’t do this. It’s so much travelling, “ explained Karolina. “Then the pandemic happened. I was stuck in Australia thinking, what do I do now? So I just embraced it, and focused on surfing. I surfed as much as possible.”

Karolina ended up spending most of the pandemic in Australia, mainly surfing, but also kiting. There were no flights home to Poland, and with all travel and competitions cancelled for the foreseeable future, her plans for the year changed in an instant.

After the break due to the pandemic, Karolina finally started to feel the yearning for competition return. She has competed in various sports since she was a little girl, including skiing and snowboarding, and really felt a need to return to competition.

“My competitive career was put on hold due to the pandemic. Park events were pretty much cancelled. Competition is my skill. Some people are good at painting, or solving jigsaw puzzles, but for me, competing is in my nature. I needed that feeling again. I love going to events and meeting people. So I just wanted to go to an event, ride with the best female riders in the world, and get that extra motivation for my riding again.”

As someone who has mainly focused on freestyle and park riding, the transition to wave-riding or strapless freestyle hasn’t been so easy. 

“I’m definitely stronger in wave-riding than in strapless freestyle, but coming to this event gives me an extra test to push myself. Strapless riding is definitely new to me, but I enjoy it. It takes a lot of time, and it’s very technical. I need to spend more time on this, but I have the motivation.”

Karolina has been a pioneer in freestyle riding, constantly pushing the boundaries and laying the groundwork that we see in women’s competition today.

“The level is increasing from event to event in women’s competitions now. The women are all pushing it, and it feels great to join them, but my goal this time is different. I used to compete to win, and that really dragged me down psychologically. I didn’t want to come 2nd, 3rd or last. I had to win or I would feel bad. But now my mindset is so different. I want to get my ass kicked, I want to have fun, ride with other girls, so I figured it would be fun to come to these events, and it’s been great.”

So what lies in her competitive plans for the rest of the year?

“I’m thinking about going to Brazil for the freestyle competition. I’ll see first how things evolve with the pandemic.”

No matter what Karolina decides to do next, it’s an honour to have her back on tour. The more women we have competing and pushing the boundaries of the sport, the better.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark will be taking place from the 6th -11th of September. 

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 9am tomorrow morning.

We will be LIVE with our event show from 10am to 11am with interviews, tech talks and much more. Tune in to our website to follow all the action!

Live-Stream Show Denmark Day Three

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Three appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Two

Posted: 7th September 2021 by Gemma Hamaini in Allgemein
Original Post:
Tags: , ,

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller / Video: Mintautas Grigas

For the second day running, athletes and crew were on standby awaiting the suitable conditions for the start of competition.

It was an early start for the crew and riders at Hvide Sande today with the skipper’s meeting taking place at 8am. The wind forecast had been looking optimistic, however upon arrival at the beach, the weather was overcast and the wind was not yet suitable. 

Juan Antonio Aragon, the GKA race director, kept everyone on half hour calls, but by 6pm, when the wind failed to materialise, the competition was called off for the day. The riders remain positive, knowing how this location can change fast, and when the conditions are good it is a true paradise.

With four days of competition remaining, the focus is firmly on the upcoming forecast, which will allow us to run the contest as soon as there is a suitable window.


The Live-Stream Show

Whilst the athletes were waiting to spring into action, the live-stream crew were busy preparing the LIVE news show which took place from 10am to 11am. Today they were joined by Matchu Lopes and Francesco Cappuzzo for live interviews where they discussed the local spot, travelling challenges during the pandemic, tour life and much more. 

Matchu Lopes gave a great insight during his live interview, on what keeps him motivated after so many years on tour. The competitive spirit and drive between the top competitors is a key element.

“I’m one of the few riders who has been on the GKA tour since the very beginning,” said Matchu. “Seeing the progression, and now being here in Denmark, seeing this battle for the title between James, Airton, Pedro and myself also in the mix, is really impressive. After almost 14 years competing it really keeps me motivated. Seeing the focus these guys have, like James, the way he trains, the way he prepares himself, how he looks at the other guys in the water, it’s motivating and intriguing. It keeps me motivated now when I’m at home, it helps me push myself, and improve the things I’m not so good at, such as power, height, and now I’m really pushing for that. Thanks to these guys, we are all pushing each other’s progression.  We’ve gone from front rolls to board offs and now kiteloops with multiple rotations, more height, power, tough landings, breaking a board per session, it’s tough and you’re taking risks in every session.”

For Francesco Capuzzo, he explained to us how he has already been at the spot here in Hvide Sande for 10 days, and has had some amazing kite sessions.

“This is my second time here in Denmark. I first came here two years ago to Klitmøller for a windsurf event,“ explained Francesco. “I’ve been here for ten days now training with James Carew and Airton Cozzolino. We had some really good days with 1.5 metre waves and side-shore wind. The spot is amazing and I know I can do really well here. Hopefully we will be able to score these kinds of conditions later in the week.”

The focus now shifts to the coming days, particularly from Friday onwards where the forecast is looking more promising. The skipper’s meeting has been called for tomorrow at 9am.


Be sure to tune in once again tomorrow morning to the LIVE show at 10am CET.


GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark will be taking place from the 6th -11th of September. 

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 8am tomorrow morning.

We will be LIVE with our event show from 10am to 11am with interviews, tech talks and much more. Tune in to our website to follow all the action!


Live-Stream Show Denmark Day Two

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Two appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Registration Day

Posted: 6th September 2021 by Gemma Hamaini in Allgemein
Original Post:
Tags: , ,

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller / Video: Mintautas Grigas

Day One at the charming location of Hvide Sande in Denmark saw the top kitesurfers in the world descend upon the sleepy beachside town to register and prepare for the upcoming week of competition. 

Hvide Sande, which translates to White Sands, is a small Danish town located right in the middle of a narrow headland, in western Denmark. It separates the North Sea from the Ringkøbing Fjord, and this week plays host to the much-anticipated GKA Kite-Surf World Cup. This location truly comes to life with north-westerly wind, where the spot showcases the very best conditions it offers. The competition is taking place at the South Pier, a breakwater that produces a legendary wave in the region, with clean waves coming through with a northwest wind. 



There are 26 Men and 14 Women of 19 different nationalities registered to compete this week at Hvide Sande. After a short break since the previous GKA Kite-Surf World Tour event in Sylt, the riders are feeling refreshed and ready to focus once again on competition.

All of the top competitors are present here in Denmark and ready to defend their positions. The Australians are currently top of the leaderboard, in both the female and male divisions. Peri Roberts and James Carew will be looking to maintain their leads, but it won’t be that simple as they have a troop of riders hot on their heels ready to fight for the top spots. As  the World Titles creep closer with every event, each move counts and there is no room for error.

“I’m nervous and excited coming into this event on top,” explained current female leader Peri Roberts. “However I also feel a bit of pressure. I’m excited to push my level, and try to get my first event win here in Denmark. A win is something I’ve strived for since starting. The surf here can be really good. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for those conditions.”

She will have to contend with Capucine Delannoy, our Sylt event winner, coming into the event with her eye on the prize once again. The talented young french rider looked unstoppable at our last event, and we’re looking forward to seeing a repeat performance. The battle for the top in the female division is still an open race for all top four ranked females, Peri Roberts, Charlotte Carpentier, Johanna-Catharina Edin and Capucine Delannoy.

As for James Carew, he is holding the advantage of having two event wins to his name, but there is still the possibility of Pedro Matos, Airton Cozzolino, Matchu Lopes or Reece Myerscough knocking him from his top spot. With more events still set to take place, there is room for movement in the title race. 

The wind forecast for the week is constantly changing, although it looks as though the competition will take place towards the end of the week where the wind will be stronger. The weather can change extremely fast here at Hvide Sande, so nothing is set in stone just yet.


The Live-Stream

As we wait for the conditions to improve, we will have a live-stream show each morning from 10am to 11am CET to offer a chance to discuss the  event, current rankings, athlete interviews and much more. The live-stream will be on Youtube, Facebook and on the GKA website.

Since the start of the Covid pandemic, it has been more of a challenge to be able to offer a live-stream at our GKA events, due to difficulties with travel restrictions, budget constraints, and general challenges. For this reason we are delighted to be able offer a live-stream at this event in Denmark.

“As we wait for the good forecast to arrive, we’re looking forward to showing the ins and outs of the event on the livestream each morning, with tech-talks, interviews and a catch up with the riders so that the public can feel as though they are here on the beach with us,” explains GKA commentator Jo Ciastula. “It’s great for us to be able to have a live-stream again at this event, so that the fans can really follow all of the action from home. We hope to put together a great show.” 


GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark will be taking place from the 6th -11th of September. 

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 8am tomorrow morning.

We will be LIVE with our event show from 10am to 11am CET with interviews, tech talks and much more. Tune in to our website to follow all the action!


The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Registration Day appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2021 | THE AFTERMATH

Posted: 23rd August 2021 by Holly Keenan in Allgemein
Original Post:
Tags: , ,

All photos: Lukas Stiller / Video: Mintautas Grigas

After almost two years of no competition, it has been great to have all the competitors back on the water sharing their stoke and pushing the limits of what is possible with a surfboard and a kite. In terms of the conditions, it was a week of two halves, with some hardcore wind and waves for the beginning of the competition, then with brighter and lighter conditions over the second half. It was perfect for the competition where we were able to finish the main event and crown the winners within the first two days and then had a chance to kick back and follow up with some expression sessions. On the last day of the event, we held the official prize-giving and everyone was in high spirits and able to let their hair down after a great week of riding.

So, as the event winds down, and having not seen a lot of these riders in action for a while, what did we learn from the event here in Sylt?


There were certainly a few unexpected turns at this event with one, in particular, being former world champion Airton Cozzolino (ITA) being knocked out in the semi-finals by young gun Brazilian, Pedro Matos (BRA). Airton is one of the most decorated riders we have on the tour, with four world titles under his belt, so it was a shock for the esteemed rider and a sign of how hard the new guard of wave riders are pushing. Will we find that, as in the surfing world, the Brazilian riders will be the ones to watch over the next few events? It will certainly be interesting to see how Airton comes back in Denmark.

Another upset in the men’s competition was veteran Matchu Lopes (SPA) being knocked out on the second day of the competition by the talented Canadian rider, Reece Myerscough (CAN). Reece put on a remarkable performance here in Sylt and continues to evolve into one of the most complete riders on tour, with super-solid riding in both the surf and the strapless games. 

However, it was the performances of the two winners which have undoubtedly stolen the show in Sylt. James Carew (AUS) stood out above the other male competitors and was the only rider to score over 30 points in all of his heats. We are looking forward to seeing where James goes from here and what else he can add to his repertoire for the next event. 

In the women’s division, fifteen-year-old Capucine Delannoy (FRE) made those signature double front rolls look too easy, and her entire performance was well-rounded and showed a mature attitude to competition beyond her years. It is great to see such a young female rider pushing the limits of strapless freestyle into a whole other stratosphere.


The judges have decided that the overall rankings for 2021 will be determined by using the results from the 2020 GKA Kite-Surf World Cup in Cape Verde, combined with the results from all the GKA Kite-Surf events held in 2021. 

Due to the pandemic, many events got cancelled last year, meaning we could not crown our champions for 2020 and have an overall result. The judges have therefore decided to combine the results from both years. If all goes to plan and the pandemic does not interfere, then there will be two more GKA Kite-Surf World Cup events; the next event being in Denmark in two weeks and after that Morocco.

All riders will also have a discard. If they have missed one event (such as the event in Cape Verde) or, had a bad result in one of the events this year, this will not count towards their overall ranking for 2021.  Only the riders three best results will count towards the overall ranking. 

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Hvide Sande 2021

Next up, the GKA Kite World Tour is excited to be hosting the next event in Hvide Sande, Denmark. Hvide Sande is located in the middle of a narrow headland on the Holmsland Klit which separates the North Sea and Ringköbing Fjord. The event will take place at “south mole”, a breakwater that produces what is regarded as a legendary wave in the region, with clean waves coming through on days with a northwest wind. The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Hvide Sande will be a part of Waterz Festival – a multi-water sports festival that attracts spectators from all around the region, and we’re stoked to be showcasing the best wave riders in the world at the event.  The event will be between the 6th -11th of September so make sure to stay tuned as lots of action will be coming your way! You can find out more about the event on our website.

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2021 | THE AFTERMATH appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

We had a light breeze of around 12-13 kts which was enough wind for the organisers to run a wing and foil exhibition, and to showcase the latest toys.
The light winds also provided us with the opportunity to catch up with the riders and find out how they spent their time and kept fresh during the pandemic.


First on our list was the top dog and champion of the competition here in Sylt, James Carew (AUS). James managed to escape his home country and go chasing waves and wind around South America and Europe.

‘At the beginning of the pandemic, I decided not to stay in Australia because the rules were so strict and it would have been nearly impossible for me to travel out of Australia to train somewhere else. Instead, I decided to travel to the south of Brazil in search of some great swell so I would be able to focus on surfing for a change. After Brazil, I headed to Tarifa for a few months. In Tarifa, I was able to push my level in strapless freestyle as I was training with Airton who is one of the riders I truly admire. He was throwing down huge Boogie Loops and Board-Offs, really pushing the big air side of strapless freestyle. Seeing Airton doing all these crazy manoeuvres motivated me to try them too. By the end of Tarifa I felt pleased with my riding and I felt prepared to finally get back into competition.

Whilst I am very happy to take 1st place here in Sylt, winning is not everything for me. What I care about most when I compete is that I go out there and put on the best possible performance I am humanly capable of. Coming back off the water and knowing that I have done this is what matters to me most, regardless of whether I win or lose.’


The new queen of strapless freestyle Capucine Delannoy (FRA) has truly managed to set herself apart from the other girls here in Sylt. So, what’s her secret?

‘My brother Camille is my real inspiration and is the reason my level has improved so much. Training with him everyday is the main reason I have improved so quickly. I would often be watching him on the water landing triple front rolls whilst I was only landing one and I was thinking to myself  “I can’t be doing just one front roll when he is doing three”, so I decided to go for the double and I landed it.

My dad is also very supportive. He comes to every competition with us and he films us on the beach a lot so we can then go home and watch our tricks back. This can be extremely useful as it helps me to improve, by putting my kite a little higher or bending my knees more for example. Without this support from my father and my brother I really would not be at the level I am riding today.’

Capucine has been spending at least three hours on the water everyday, which is why her level in strapless freestyle has gone up exponentially. In Cape Verde last year Capucine placed 5th and now, in Sylt, she seems to be the strongest female rider we have on the GKA Kite-Surf Tour.


Reece Myerscough (CAN) is another impressive rider we have been keen to catch up with as he did exceedingly well in the competition here in Sylt, making it to the semi finals. Reece spent his lockdown in the surf town of Torfino in Canada.

I liked the competition here in Sylt as these are the kind of conditions I am used to. The water is also warmer here than it is in Canada so you won’t hear me complaining about the cold! I was stoked on my performance at this competition, particularly because in the first round of my heat I broke my finger when the board smashed into it. Nevertheless, I carried on riding and still managed to make it to the final rounds.

Reece’s journey into kiteboarding was not the typical route. ‘My family owns Ocean Rodeo so I have been flying kites my whole life. I started competing when I was around 19 years old and honestly it has been such a crazy experience for me. It was a little intimidating when I first joined as I’ve only ever seen the top riders in videos but once you take that leap of faith and get into competition mode it’s worth it and all the riders are very welcoming.’


In contrast to other riders who have been jetting round the world the Swedish sensation, Catharina Edin (SWE), took another approach to the pandemic and decided this was the perfect opportunity to go back to her roots in Sweden and move to Holland for training.

‘After I came back from the Cape Verde competition last year Tarifa, where I had been living, had gone into a complete lockdown, so I packed my bags and headed to safer grounds in Sweden. It was like the pandemic didn’t exist in Sweden as we could go wherever we wanted with no restrictions. I was making full use of this and staying active outside by either cycling or kiting every day. Cycling has been a great alternative to kiting for me as I have had two or three bad knee injuries in the past and cycling has helped speed up the healing process.

My first trip after nearly four months in Sweden was to Holland. The kite scene in Holland is really good as you have riders like Jalou Langeree and Ruben Lenten shredding on the water. When Jalou told me there was a space free in her house I jumped at the opportunity and packed my bags and moved to Holland!

Now I am training with Jalou regularly and I am already starting to see a big improvement in my riding. It was great to have a few months of downtime in Sweden but the kite scene is small and there are not many girls to share the sport with. However, in Holland, I can train with some of the best kiters in the world and enjoy the stoke of the sport with other female riders.’


Another audacious Aussie who has proven themselves this competition is Peri Roberts (AUS). Peri was lucky enough to escape the lockdowns in Australia and spend the winter months training in the picturesque location of Maui.

‘I originally went to Maui to shoot the product launch for Naish but then I decided to stay there as it was too hard to get back to Australia. For the first month in Maui I was busy shooting but once that had finished I could simply relax and embrace the Island lifestyle. I was living the dream. Kiting, training, and exploring all that the beautiful Island has to offer. 

It was a struggle to stay in Maui for too long as my visa only lasted three months. So to solve this problem I headed over to Mexico and chased some insane 20ft swell’s which completely pushed me out of my comfort zone. After being in Mexico for a few weeks I started to feel extremely sick and was hospitalised as I had a picked up a viral stomach infection. Luckily, just after a day of being in the hospital, I was able to leave Mexico city and head back to more familiar grounds.

After returning to Maui they announced that they would be holding a GKA Kite-Surf event here in Sylt. This meant I had six weeks to go into full, beast mode and learn some new strapless freestyle tricks.’

Growing up in the surfers’ paradise of Newcastle, Peri has only ever trained wave riding and proved her exceptional skills in Cape Verde where she took home second place. Nevertheless, Peri did not fail to impress in Sylt as she had an impressive repertoire of freestyle moves showing that all her training in Maui had payed off.

210714 KSWC 2021 KeyVisual Website 1920x417px RZ

The post Riders Approach to the Pandemic | Day Four of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2021 appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2021 – Best Trick Competition

Posted: 19th August 2021 by Holly Keenan in Allgemein
Original Post:
Tags: , ,

Only good vibes here in Sylt, where the maelstrom of the last few days has been replaced with summer sunshine. Having crowned our champions of the main event, the riders could now relax and have fun on the water. 

With clear skies and a lighter breeze, it was perfect for the Best Trick competition to be held. But first the expression session provided the riders with a chance to showcase the crazy maneuvers they have been working on during the off season and for the riders to see what tricks they might need to add to their repertoire to get onto the top spot of the podium next time round.

For the Best Trick comp the judges decided to run fifteen minute heats, with one best trick counting… The ultimate strapless showdown. As the wind was looking lighter than previous days the judges were looking at technicality in tricks rather than height.

First up in the men’s heat we had Airton Cozzolino (ITA), Kiko Torres (ESP), Elvis Nunes (CPV) and Hendrick Lopez (CHE). Airton was back with vengeance after his big loss yesterday in the semi finals; he skyrocketed into this first heat smashing out a massive Flat 3 off a wave scoring a 9.

Then – when we thought we had seen the best he had on offer – he attempted a Flat 7 off a wave! Everyone on the beach held their breath, but unfortunately he couldn’t quite stick the landing. Considering this is a trick that top twintip riders struggle to land though, he was forgiven… And hopefully, we’ll see him pull it off in Denmark.

In the second heat of the men’s round we had Camille Delannoy putting on a great show, landing a very clean double Front Roll and a spectacular Kiteloop Tic Tac taking him through to the finals.

In the finals of the men’s expression session we saw Matchu Lopes really upping his game after his disappointment yesterday… He was going for some huge Flat 3s showing that he is more than capable of taking on the legendary Cozzolino.

“I landed a flat 3 many years ago but I hadn’t attempted it in a while as I have been working on other maneuvers. The expression session was the perfect time to try it though as we had light wind with small kickers! After a few attempts the muscle memory started to come back to me and I was stoked to land one.”

It was a close call between the two shredders but Airton was hungry for the win and, in the ongoing battle between the two groundbreaking riders, came out on top this time around 

Final Standings in the mens division:

  1. Airton Cozzolino (ITA)
  2. Matchu Lopes (ESP)
  3. Camile Delannoy (FRA)

In the women’s best trick competition we had Clemence Derrien (FRA) pull off some impressive maneuvers with a super stylish front roll board off.

But it was Capucine Delannoy (FRA) who was showing us why she is the worthy winner of this event as she landed a flawless frontroll one foot. Capucine has clearly been training hard over the previous months as she has completely dominated here in Sylt. 

Final standings in the women’s division:

  1. Capucine Delannoy (FRA)
  2. Clemence Derrien (FRA)
  3. Catharina Edin (SWE)

With the bar raised once again, and the progression of the strapless side of the sport continuing to blow minds! Tomorrow will be a well earned rest day for the riders and on Saturday the forecast is looking good to run a surf competition.

 Make sure to check out the highlight video from today’s best trick competition below!

210714 KSWC 2021 KeyVisual Website 1920x417px RZ

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2021 – Best Trick Competition appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2021 – The Grand Finale

Posted: 18th August 2021 by Rasa in Allgemein
Original Post:
Tags: , ,

It was another insane day of intense action on the water as stormy Sylt continued to deliver the goods. The competition started bright and early, with the women’s heats straight on the water and back into the North Sea. 

With the waves bigger and better lined up, the judges elected to change the format slightly from the previous day, with the two best strapless freestyle tricks and two best waves counting towards the riders final scores. 

The conditions started off around 25 knots with the wind forecast to increase throughout the day: perfect conditions for the finals of the GKA Kitesurf World Cup to go down. So, how did it go down? 

First up, in the women’s division, we had the Aussie shredder Peri Roberts (AUS) versus the female star of the competition so far, Capucine Delannoy (FRA).

In previous events, we have seen Peri Roberts claiming some high scores in the wave category,  whilst Capucine is more renowned for her repertoire of strapless wizardry. With both two best waves and the two best strapless freestyle tricks counting, it was anyone’s game. 

The women had their competition faces on and were ready to battle it out for the top spot on the podium. Capucine was off to a flying start, nailing her signature double frontroll, the first of these maneuvers to be landed in the women’s competition, a legit NBD. Was she done with this? Of course not… She followed this by sticking a huge front roll board off and scoring a 9.5!

Meanwhile, Peri Roberts was focusing her attention on the waves, seeking out the cleaner waves and linking some nice turns and kicking up plenty of spray, ultimately there weren’t the waves for her to match Capucine prowess in the air, and Capucine was unstoppable and claimed 1st place with a total score of 25.8. 

Final Standings in the Women’s division:

  1. Capucine Delannoy (FRA)
  2. Peri Roberts (AUS)
  3. Charlotte Carpentier (FRA)
  4. Catharina Eden (SWE)

Onto the men’s semi-finals and we had an intense heat between x3 times World Champion, Airton Cozzolino (ITA), and Brazilian shredder, Pedro Matos (BRA).

Both men faced off with their next-level strapless games and were going stratospheric with a similar repertoire of tricks. However, it was Airton who was sticking to the landings, with Pedro not always connecting as he came down.

Pedro knew he needed to switch things up a gear and thankfully the North Sea played ball; one of the sweetest right-handers of the day came through and Pedro launched a huge air off the lip. You could really see Matos’s surfing knowledge coming into play at the most critical point in the heat, and this wave saw the Brazilian rider managed to edge the win over Cozzolino Airlines by a small margin. Pedro Matos would now be advancing through to the finals to face the Aussie powerhouse, James Carew (AUS).

The spectators were eager and waiting for the ultimate showdown to begin, with Carew and Matos head-to-head in the final.

Carew commenced the heat by reaching new heights and landing a spectacular Kiteloop Rodeo Board-off, leaving the crowd on the beach awestruck! Matos then proceeded to make the most out of the mushy waves here in Sylt and seemed to have the local conditions truly dialed in, landing some impressive airs off the waves and throwing buckets on his rides. It looked like he might have taken the edge, until Carew landed a Kiteloop Rodeo Board Off and a Kiteloop Rodeo Frontroll, both scoring in the high 8s to put the pressure back onto Matos.
It was setting up to be a truly Grand Finale, and Carew stepped up and delivered the killer blow, with one of the highest wave scores of the entire event, which saw the Australian tear apart an onshore runner and demonstrate once again that he has become the complete package. He was the only rider who scored above 30 in all of his heats, and was truly a deserving winner of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2021.

Final standings in the Men’s division: 

  1. James Carew (AUS) 
  2. Pedro Matos (BRA)
  3. Airton Cozzolino (ITA)
  4.  Reece Myerscough (CAN)

After two days of non-stop action, we have crowned our champions of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup in Sylt. The forecast is looking windy for tomorrow so we are hoping to run the best trick competition. Make sure to tune into the social media pages tomorrow as more action will be coming your way!

210714 KSWC 2021 KeyVisual Website 1920x417px RZ

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2021 – The Grand Finale appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.