KiteBoarding Race Competition Takes Off in San Francisco USA

The Crissy Field beach looked like a psychedelic tent city, with dozens of colorful kite-boarding kites strung along the shore. Seventy-five kite boarders representing 22 countries slipped into white and blue jerseys as an air horn summoned them to the ready.

The scene was part of the Northern American Kite Board Racing Championships, a four-day kite board course race which originally began at the St. Francis Yacht Club five years ago.

KiteBoarding Competition Takes Off in San Francisco USA

KiteBoarding Competition Takes Off in San Francisco USA

“Our group here, the local fleet and the St. Francis Yacht Club figured out how to get these boards to begin to sail upwind,” said regatta chairman Jim Kiriakis, “and then sail in a classic upwind downwind sailing, yachting format.”

Just a month before the America’s Cup Yacht Race begins in the frigid bay waters, dozens of riders were zipping along just as fast – strapped to kites and boards instead of million-dollar yachts.

“You’re basically standing on this board, harnessing the power of the wind,” said racer Sky Solbach, who traveled from Hawaii for the competition. “Flying around the water, it’s a blast.”

The competition began this week with two days of qualifying heats, with finals on Thursday and Friday.

The colorful sails looked like gnats hovering around Alcatraz as the heat of 40 racers began bearing down on a course of buoys stretching out to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The home court advantage in the competition may go to Larkspur’s Erika and Johnny Heineken, the brother-and-sister racers who currently wear the titles of men’s and women’s kite boarding world champions.

“We go out almost every day and sail against each other in summer,” said Erika Heineken. “So we’ve got a ton of local knowledge and support.”

In the first of the days qualifying heats, Johnny Heineken demonstrated the difference between a world champion and everyone else, blasting past the field of riders and smoothly gliding into shore well in front of the closest competitor.

“It’s super fun to have everybody come to us for once,” he said. “It’s the one time in the year we get the little bit of advantage.”

The sport of kite boarding has evolved since the early days when the big thrill for riders was launching into the air, carried by a floating kite. Now riders travel the world racing on highly competitive courses.

But the sport was dealt a recent setback when it was denied a slot in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Kiriakis believes kite boarding’s day will come sometime soon.

“We believe by 2020, there will be kite boarding Olympic sailing class,” Kiriakis said. “There’s a high probability that happens.”

For now, the racers will have to be content zipping along at the same speed as the America’s Cup Racing Yachts, hoping the winds of progress will help the young sport finally catch air.

Source: nbcbayarea.com

IKA Kiteboard Course Race World Championships 2013

18th – 24th of November 2013 – The only 6 Star event this year

IKA Kiteboard Course Race World Championships 2013

IKA Kiteboard Course Race World Championships 2013

Click HERE to register

We are very excited to announce that the online registration is now open for the IKA Kiteboard Course Race World Championship 2013.

We have been working on this event for well over a year now and it will truly be a 6 star event. Organised by KTA and hosted by Kingbay in Boao, Hainan Island, China (biggest property development company in Boao)

Kingbay will be offering free food and accommodation in their newly opened 5 Star Hotel, as well as free airport transfers from Haikou. Please check out the event website for all the relevant information. King Bay have also kindly agreed to offer all riders one weeks free warm up time, including all of the above mentioned benefits and 2 days after the event to relax.

This will be an amazing event and one for sure not to be missed.

Your local organizer for this event will be Kite Surf China, who you can contact for any information you require.

David Chen
Kite Surf China
www.kitesurfchina.com
Email: worlds2013@kiteboardtour.asia
Phone: +86 139 764 73374

Looking forward to seeing you all here.

For Full Event info and details on the area please click HERE!