SPORT

KITEBOARDERS READY TO WOW CROWDS

Southern Telegraph - - NEWS - Pierra Wil­lix

The Australian Kiteboarding Freestyle Na­tion­als will be held in Rock­ing­ham next month, with com­peti­tors from all over the coun­try ex­pected to descend on the area.

Af­ter be­ing held in Safety Bay last year, the na­tional event has re­turned, with the three- day Kite Kar­ni­val event set to fea­ture the best of Australian freestyle kiteboarding.

The event will kick off on Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 1 with the Australian Na­tion­als com­pe­ti­tion, with fi­nals the next day. The Sun­day will fea­ture a range of com­pe­ti­tions in­clud­ing Big Air and body- drag­ging events.

Kiteboarding WA pres­i­dent Drew Nor­ton said about 60 com­peti­tors would par­tic­i­pate dur­ing the week­end from all over the coun­try.

“Even though com­pet­ing at this level re­quires a high de­gree of skill and ded­i­ca­tion, some com­peti­tors are as young as 11, while the old­est com­peti­tor is ex­pected to be about 45,” he said.

“It’s great to have the event back at the pond be­cause it’s an­other op­por­tu­nity for Aus­tralia’s best freestylers to dis­play their skills at a world- class lo­ca­tion.” Nor­ton said peo­ple who at­tended the event would be able to see spins, flips and acro­batic moves while com­peti­tors used their kites to jump up to 10m in the air.

“Freestyle kit­ing is the most dy­namic, ex­cit­ing dis­ci­pline of the sport and some of the coun­try’s best will be there throw­ing down,” he said. “Kiteboarding is one of the fastest- grow­ing wind sports in the world and the num­bers in West Aus­tralia have steadily grown since its in­tro­duc­tion in the late 90s, although hav­ing some of the best con­di­tions in the world also helps.”

A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of ju­niors are ex­pected to en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion, with some now spon­sored af­ter the re­cent State Ti­tles in De­cem­ber, with an in­flux of younger peo­ple coming into the sport.

The events held on the Sun­day will be open to all na­tion­al­i­ties.

Spec­ta­tors want­ing to get great views of the event can also head to the Safety Bay Yacht Club, which will be open over the week­end, while the awards will also be held there on the Satur­day night.

The free fam­ily event will also in­clude demon­stra­tions, a have- ago section and food trucks, among other things. The Kite Kar­ni­val will be held at The Pond in Safety Bay from Fe­bru­ary 1- 3.

West Oz Kiteboarding own­ers Ja­son and Sonya Lewis will be run­ning kiteboarding classes dur­ing the Kite Kar­ni­val. INSET: Some of the coun­try’s best freestyle kiters will at­tend the event.

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