2009 PKRA Fuerteventura 

For eight years in a row, the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) – the world’s leading professional kiteboarding organization –  is bringing the events back to Fuerteventura soil.

The event dubbed “Fuerteventura PKRA Kiteboarding Grand Slam 2009,” will be a five-day event of extreme kiteboarding action. The highlights will include Freestyle and Kite-Loop Competition to be participated in by professional riders from more than 18 different countries.

Organized by Pro Center René Egli through its owner René Egli, featuring €33,000 in total prize money, the Fuerteventura event is well-known as the most extreme PKRA Kiteboarding World Tour event be cause of guaranteed strong winds.

The kick-off games will start on July 17, 2009 with the Inscription & the Welcome Party and will run until July 22. Expect to see some of the best freestyle kiteboarders live in action performing their biggest jumps and difficult tricks, push ing themselves in the extreme conditions. In addition to the freestyle this year will feature a kite-loop competition which guarantee spectacular extremely high jumps as the riders get that extra lift created as they loop their kite while in mid-air.

The venue will be Playa Sotavento, without a doubt the best beach in Fuerteventura and a paradise of immense ecological prosperity. The area abounds with sunny weather condition and strong winds blowing at an average of 18 to 35 knots. These, combined with an average water temperature of 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and a general wind direction of side offshore to side shore makes the beaches of Sotavento a perfect and spectacular setting for the PKRA Grand Slam event.

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Cabarete is a kitesurfing paradise 

The first annual Luciano Gonzalez Kitesurfing Pro Open kicks off today, but on a much smaller scale than originally hoped for.

But Gonzales, professional kitesurfer and founder of the charity organization, The Wishspring Foundation, remains optimistic, “Our goal is to be bigger next year, with more international bands and a tour of kitesurfing professionals from around the world.  The global economy is just too bad this year.”

Which is too bad, indeed. Though the competition still goes on, with a small pot of prize money as well as donated prizes from local stores and restaurants for the surfers, it will not be the grand event that Gonzales himself is used to participating in.

Gonzales, a Cabarete local, has traveled the world as a professional kitesurfer for the last eight years, so he knows how expensive it can get to put this type of event on, “Professional kitesurfers charge around 50,000 Euros to travel to an event.”  He hopes to bring in several of these pros next year.

Most of the monetary proceeds of this year’s competition will go to the Centro de Enseñanza Coral, a struggling school in Cabarete.

The goal of the Wishspring Foundation is to raise money for different schools from the area each year.  The parent company of Wishspring and Gonzales’s baby, LG Cabarete, aims to fundraise year-round to assist local schools in having more modern and higher quality levels of education.

Registration for this year’s kitesurfing event begins today, July 8th, at the hotel/resort Paradiso del Sol and continues through Thursday morning, the 9th.  The cost of registration is 500 pesos and opens to all.

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 Kiteboard For Cancer in Australia

South Australia – Kiteboard for Cancer is a great initiative kicked off by SA kiter Ben Howlett. Bens request for WAKSA support was received just as we were planning to begin an ongoing charity sponsorship program of our own. Coincidentally the cancer charities had already been considered the most appropriate given the support offered to WAKSA by Healthways.

NB: If you havent already heard Healthways contributed an extremely healthy $5000 to Kitestock 08 which we put to very good, very appropriate and very much appreciated use by purchasing the two instant shades which were set up, centre stage at the Kitesock event. These shades will continue to provide protection and spread the Healthways/SunSmart message at future WAKSA events.

Whilst Ben has elected to support the Cancer Council SA with his event the WAKSA committee has resolved to begin seeking out an appropriate charity before committing to what we envisage will be an ongoing sponsorship program of our own. REDKITE is one such charity which has approached us in the past. It was also the charity independently selected by Graham Baker as the recipient of funds raised at last years Course Racing event at South Beach Fremantle. Given this background; the obvious common link of the name ‘Redkite’ and that Redkite is involved with projects related to kids with cancer (pretty apro for us youthful kiters!) it seems obvious our investigation should start there.

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