Louis Tapper

Louis Tapper could not complete the 260 km kitesurfing trip from Auckland to the Bay of Islands because wind dropped dramatically just 13 km from the finish line.

The 35-year-old Wellington kitesurfer spent 6 hours waiting for the wind to help him reach his goal, but the conditions were not by his side.

Tapper started his race in the 2009 Coastal Classic, just minutes before the other yachts, in order to raise funds for the people of Samoa which has been devastated by the recent tsunami and earthquakes.

Kiteboarders Louis Tapper and Alistair Quinn had already successfully crossed the Cook Strait, in New Zealand.


The KPWT are proud to announce its new international school for judging. The course will give a thorough Beginners-to-Senior level review and tutorial of How to Judge.

The role of a judge in a kiteboarding contest is to decide which rider performs the closest to the judging criteria in any heat. It is essential, therefore, that judges have experience and knowledge to give them confidence to obtain the correct results.

The improvement made in the sport over last few years cannot be only attributed to improvements in equipment but as well in increased level of riders tricks performance and innovation. Every year increasing new tricks with different ways of performance need to be recognized and classified during competitions.

Any competitive system is only as good as the people who are charged with the responsibility of determining the outcome of the competition.

KPWT Judging course offers a reliable and professional training program. All courses are designed to give you theoretical and practical knowledge by which means you will be able to work as a judge for Freestyle, Waves and Course Race in most national and international competitions.

During the course you will learn: how to recognize differences in freestyle tricks and manoeuvres, judging criteria for wave competitions, course race rules, how to set up competition areas according to disciplines and conditions, work with judging sheets, point systems and judging criteria, flag signals etc.

After you pass the judging course and final exam, you will be qualified as a KPWT judge equipped with enough knowledge to judge your first event. This is the next step in the constant improvement within the sport of Kiteboarding and we are all very proud of this.

Sebastien Cattelan

The third annual Lüderitz Speed Challenge will begin in less than two weeks.  This time last year, speed sailors shattered the previously unbeatable 50knot barrier (93kph), setting a string of world and national records in this “Formula One of Sailing”.

Throughout the month of November many of the world’s top kitesurfers will once again descend on the remote Namibian town of Lüderitz to compete against each other and the clock to prove what is the world’s fastest wind-powered craft.

Last year’s challenge saw the kitesurfers take over many of the top slots in the international rankings for speed sailing, contested by sailboats, windsurfers and kitesurfers. Alex Caizergues of France set a new outright world record of 50.57knots (93.6kph) over 500m, with Rob Douglas of the U.S.A. and Sebastien Cattelan of France, also breaking the 50 knot barrier, recording times of 50.54 and 50.52 knots respectively.

Speed sailing is becoming incredibly hotly contested in the past year – not only because the technology is allowing previously undreamed of speeds to be reached, but also because with the recent focus on climate change and new, alternative energy sources, wind-power is very much in fashion.

The greatest battle is between two very different worlds – the skill, strength and sheer bravery of the kitesurfers and windsurfers on their tiny boards, set against well-funded sailboat teams making use of the latest computer and materials technology to design ever more outlandish sailboats. Last year the kitesurfers beat the windsurfers, who had before beaten the sailboats. This year the sailboats have come back roaring. 

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