Saturday March 15, 2014 Published in National
As local residents baton down the hatches against predicted high winds over the weekend – local kitesurfers will be airing out their kites and polishing up their boards for loads of fun.
Local kitesurfers are sure to revel in the high winds as they put in more hard training ahead of this year’s Manureva Kitesurfing and Aquafest competition scheduled to be held on Aitutaki from September 1-5.
Rarotonga kitesurfers have been improving their skills and the word is host island Aitutaki will also field a number of riders who have significantly improved their riding skills since last year.
Former two-time world kitesurfing champion and inaugural winner of the first Manureva comp in 2011 Jesse Richmond, who won the world crown for Red Bull’s “King of the Air 2013” is set to bring his talents back to the island festival.
Kitesurfing Association president Paka Worthington is excited at the prospect of the classy rider heading to the islands.
“He does triple backflips off the beach to start his kite sessions – something you have to see before you can believe it,” says Worthington.
He is also planning on bringing the Naish team (a big kite manufacturer from Hawaii) with him and having the Tahitian and Australian Naish teams meet him here.
Last year’s kitesurfing Aitutaki event also saw the first Aquafest run on the island with much success.
The event includes short 50 metre races on stand up paddle boards, vaka and fun freestyle swimming.
This event is open to everyone and all are encouraged to bring their ‘A game’.
The event also introduces the sport to the community through a kite-making competition for school kids as well as an island-wide night market at the conclusion of the five-day festival.
Rarotonga riders to watch out for will be the island’s top riders including Pauro Arnold, Eva Koteka, Ina Nooroa and Gordon Heather to name a few; while Titi Katangi is sure to be one of the standout riders from Araura along with the rising local riders on the Pa Enua.
Event organisers would like to say a big meitaki atupaka to event sponsors including the Edgewater Resort, Telecom Cook Islands, Tourism Cook Islands, Cook Islands Yacht Squadron and Air Rarotonga.