Oman basks in suc­cess of Kite Speed World Cham­pi­onship

It will host the For­mula Kite World Cham­pi­onships in Novem­ber

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Oman has strength­ened its claim to be a must-go kite­board des­ti­na­tion with the suc­cess of the Kite Speed World Cham­pi­onship held on Masirah Is­land.

The event at­tracted some of the world’s best known kite board­ers who gave the Masirah Beach Camp venue an un­con­di­tional vote of ap­proval. “The whole crew came to dis­cover that Masirah is an amaz­ing par­adise, and a very, very fast spot,” said Alex Caiz­er­gues, the event win­ner and new Kite Speed World Cham­pion.

“The feel­ing of speed is amaz­ing be­cause here you have very set to be­come an an­nual fix­ture in the kite­board­ing cal­en­dar, cater­ing to one of the fastest grow­ing sports around the globe.

Oman is ready to host the For­mula Kite World Cham­pi­onships in Novem­ber for the first time, which is ex­pected to at­tract more than 100 male and fe­male rid­ers to the crys­tal clear wa­ters off Mus­cat.

Markus Sch­wendt­ner, CEO of the In­ter­na­tional Kite­board­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, said Oman had been a revelation to the Kite Speed com­peti­tors. “Ev­ery­one was blown away by the con­di­tions, by the friend­li­ness of the peo­ple, by the land­scape, just ev­ery­thing,” he said. “The event has been amaz­ing. Bring­ing ev­ery­one down from Mus­cat and then find­ing a kite­board­ing par­adise. You have wind ev­ery day here, it is un­be­liev­ably good. The test has been a huge suc­cess and I hope we can come back next year with more rid­ers and a big­ger event - ev­ery­one will be happy.”

The ex­tra­or­di­nary feed­back from the event was wel­comed by Salma al Hashmi, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer at Oman Sail. “We are de­lighted with the suc­cess of the Kite Speed World Cham­pi­onship event,” she said. “Kite­board­ing is rapidly grow­ing around the world and we want to high­light the fact that Oman of­fers per­fect con­di­tions for this ex­cit­ing and in­no­va­tive sport.

“The aim of Oman Sail is to di­rectly ben­e­fit the econ­omy of Oman by es­tab­lish­ing the coun­try as the re­gion’s lead­ing sports tourism des­ti­na­tion, and events like th­ese di­rectly ben­e­fit the Omani peo­ple and the wider econ­omy.

“At the same time com­peti­tors get the ben­e­fit of fan­tas­tic con­di­tions and world fa­mous Omani hos­pi­tal­ity.

“We are host­ing the For­mula Kite World Cham­pi­onships later this year, and we look for­ward to wel­com­ing even more kite­board rid­ers to Oman.”

The Kite Speed World Cham­pi­onship at­tracted en­tries from among from France, Bri­tain, Swe­den and New Zealand.

Caiz­er­gues topped the leader­board, hold­ing off the chal­lenge of fel­low French­man Syl­vain Ho­ceini and Bri­ton Dave Wil­liams. High-pro­file kite­boarder Han­nah White­ley from the UK dom­i­nated the women’s stand­ings.

The For­mula Kite World Cham­pi­onships will run from Novem­ber 19 to 24. The high­per­for­mance class is the new­est dis­ci­pline in kite­board­ing, with com­peti­tors us­ing hy­dro­foils fit­ted to their boards to skim above the waves.

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