Strategy is required when travelling with kites

Airline baggage allowances are tight and getting tighter, but there’s not much value for you in spending $3K on an airfare and arriving with only 10kg of kites to fly. Paying for the excess isn't a solution either; just 10kg overweight can cost as much as another airfare. How then to take as many kites as possible without breaking the bank?

The first answer is that kite fliers who aren't yet doing so should learn to live out of their carry-on bag (typically 7kg). It's easy, here's the male version but there is a female equivalent: wear a jersey, jacket and other heavy items such as presentable shoes and trou.

Pack five shirts, five pairs of unders, a pair of rough trou for on-the-field, and Crocs for kite flying.With toothbrush, razor and one big cake of soap, this leaves 3kg out of the original 7kg for an extra pilot kite or two.

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PWA Windsurfing & PKRA Kiteboarding World Cup

For windsurfers and kiteboarders, Fuerteventura is the Hawaii of Europe. As well as white sand beaches, blue skies and summer temperatures, the island also has all the wind a windsurfer or kiteboarder could wish for.

The wind-powered acrobats fly distances of up to 70 metres, reaching heights of up to 15 metres. From 17th July to 1st August 2009, windsurfing and kiteboarding world championship events will be held on Fuerteventura.

The windsurfing programme includes slalom and freestyle disciplines. The kiteboarders will compete in the freestyle discipline and there also will be a kiteloop competition.

Slalom is the Formula 1 of windsurfing. The event consists of a high-speed race around a course marked by buoys, with tense tussles for position and spectacular overtaking manoeuvres. Both windsurfers and kiteboarders will compete in freestyle events in which a jury of judges awards points for spectacular leaps and breathtaking manoeuvres.

With no exhaust fumes or engine noise, the competition for world championship points shows just how congenial and in harmony with nature top level sport can be. Once they’re out on the water, the competitors really give it some juice – using the latest equipment, they utilise the wind so effectively that they can accelerate faster than the fastest sports car.

The competitions are held at a spectator and camera-friendly proximity to the beach. Direct contact between competitors and spectators is encouraged. The extreme sportsmen and women are more than happy to have spectators looking over their shoulders whilst preparing for the off.

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Bruno Sroka and Steph Bridge win the 2009 PKRA Portimao in Portugal

The day started out cloudy with a slight breeze but by mid day the skies cleared and the temperature soared so it was quite hot on the beach since there was little to no wind.

Competitors, who showed up to the beach, were recovering from last night’s party or relaxing while waiting for the wind. Race Director Olaf Van Tol set the riders meeting at 12:00 pm hoping that the wind would cooperate between 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

By the time the riders meeting got underway, bad news arrived regarding the engine of the boat being used for the event was stolen. With the wind seemingly uncooperative, plunging quickly to around 4 knots plus the unfortunate news, Van Tol decided to cancel the day by an hour early.

Instead of releasing the riders at 5:00 pm, the race director decided to call the day off by 4:00 pm to give everyone enough time to pack their gear before the awards ceremony at the beach.

Meanwhile, there was a nice swell for long board surfing so Kevin Langeree (Naish, NED) took the opportunity to find a surf board and with the assistance of the jetski operator, was towed into the incoming sets.  

Bruno Sroka (North, FRA) won the men’s racing event while Steph Bridge (North, GBR) won the women’s title. Our congratulations to all the winners!

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