Oman basks in success of Kite Speed World Championship
It will host the Formula Kite World Championships in November
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.