by Katja Zimmer
Adrenaline rushes, thrills and water splashes – the world’s kite idols let their dreams of winning fly as high as their kites when they return to Soma Bay to compete in the 2014 African Continental Course Racing Championships.
Between the dates of June 23 – 28, 2014, the race returns for the second consecutive year to the 7Bft Kite House in the Red Sea resort of Soma Bay. An additional event for the TwinTip:Racing Class will be held from June 27-28, 2014.
The African Formula Kite Championships are one of the largest kitesurfing competitions worldwide, bringing five days full of action and top-level high-speed kite racing to Soma Bay. International male and female riders kiting over the smooth waters and smooth winds of the bay will guarantee a thrilling challenge. A total of 20,000 Euro prize money are up for grabs for the men’s and women’s events, as well as important points for the world ranking in order to qualify for the 2014 Formula Kite World Championships.
Organized by the Egypt Sailing and Waterski Federation and the International Kiteboarding Association, the Formula Kite Class and the TwinTip:Racing invite kiteboard sailors to take part in the 2014 Formula Kite Course Racing African Championships under specified conditions laid down by the International Kiteboarding Class Association in co-operation with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
The event includes the following disciplines, divisions and grades:
• Fleet Racing Men
• Fleet Racing Women
• Fleet Racing U18 Men and Women (born 1997 or later)
• Fleet Racing U21 Men and Women (born 1994 or later)
• Fleet Racing Master Men and Women (born 1978 or before)
• Fleet Racing Grand Master Men and Women (born 1968 or before)
The Formula Kite Continental Championships will be graded as 100 point and the TwinTip:Racing event will be graded as 20 point event according to the IKA point system.
Entry fee continental Formula Kite Championships: 180 EUR
Entry fee for the TwinTip:Racing: 50 EUR
Entry numbers are limited as follows: 60 men, 30 women.
Entry and qualification restrictions Formula Kite event: Five wildcards for regional sailors subject to IKA approval, 5 wildcards are reserved by the IKA as 'injury wildcards', one respective starting place for any nations best ranked sailor in the world ranking, non-continental sailors, strictly by world ranking standing, and continental sailors with a world ranking position.
The entry application deadline is May 26th, 2014, 12.00 UTC.
Total prize purse for the Formula Kite event: 20,000 EUR, with 2-3 assigned to the men’s event and 1-3 assigned to the women’s event.
Quoting Stefan Reichl, general manager of both, the '7BFT Kite House' with a VDWS-licensed coaching team, and the kite hotel „The Breakers', and a passionate kitesurfer himself:
'We in Soma Bay are very excited to be the hosting location of the African Championships for the second consecutive year. At our spectacular bay with its pristine beaches, fantastic flat-water conditions, perfect off-shore and side-shore winds, the best elements of the sea and desert converge and thus make Soma Bay one of the best kite spots in the world. This spot is not only naturally beautiful, but is comprised of excellent conditions for world-class kitesurfing events.
Conditions to be expected are mainly cross offshore winds, 10-25 knots, a water temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and a pleasant air temperature of 30 to 35 degrees Celsius.
Kitesurfing is a very international sport which unites strong characters around the world. We are again looking forward to five days of racy artistry in the air and the chilled-out lifestyle of the international kite community in the framework of this mega-event .'
The Breakers accommodation offer:
Double room half board: 39 EUR per person-night
Single room half board: 47 EUR per person- night
Who of the world’s kite champions will be participating the event this time? Will last year’s winners, 2012 Course Racing World Champion Johnny Heineken (U.S.) and Steph Bridge (U.K.), line up again to defend their titles? Will last year’s runner-up, the young German talent Florian Gruber, try to seize the crown this time? Will Maxime Nocher (France), last year’s third and Riccardo Leccese (Colombia), last year’s fourth, surf out there again for the big win and will Erika Heineken push the British champion off the throne this year? More news shortly.