Kiteboard Tour Asia - Colourful start on Day 1

Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) 2014
Alexandru Baranescu
The Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA), kicked off its 2014 on Trikora Beach Km52, Bintan, with a colourful cultural opening ceremony with traditional Indonesian music and dancing.

It is the second successive year that the contest set to take place over five days has been hosted by Bintan, and Trikora Beach Km52 appears set for another exhilarating competition of formula kiteboard and twin-tip racing, and freestyle.

Some of the top athletes from around the world and across Asia have gathered to do battle in what will likely be challenging conditions if the first day’s winds of more than 20kts complimented by the reef-break and rolling swell are anything to go by.

The riders tested the conditions warming up with spectacular tricks as the kiteboard racers flashed across the bay in choppy and gusty conditions to the unalloyed delight of the Indonesian school children and officials who had attended the opening ceremony.

1 - Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) 2014
Alexandru Baranescu

The ceremony for the event, with Bintan Regency as the presenting sponsors supported by the Bintan Tourism Department and the Agro Beach Resort, was graced by traditional dancers and musicians in spectacular costumes.

David Chen, KTA’s event director, was invited to open the proceedings and proceeded to thank Bintan for supporting the event in the form of officials from the Regency, the tourism department and the resort, as well as representatives from the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

'This is our second time in this location; this time at Km52,' said Chen. 'As always here, we have the best weather, the best wind and the best location. After all the international media attention [last year] we are now seeing more and more riders coming to this location because they are realising just how beautiful it is.'

The KTA Indonesia was then formally opened by Mr. Ansar Ahmad the Vice-regent of Bintan by him personally launching a kite. Kiting has a long history in Indonesia and Mr. Ansar showed that this flying skill was in the blood of every Indonesian.

But the conditions and the environment threw up some unexpected challenges and a few minor injuries, with formula kiteboard racer Bitna Kim (KOR) hit by a flying-fish as she was practising and twin-tip racers Jay Ortiz (PHI) suffering a shredded kite and cuts when he was dragged over rocks near the reef after dropping his kite in a wind shift. The coming days’ competition promises to be intriguing.

IMRF Trustee Chairman Michael Vlasto of the RNLI, presents an IMRF commemorative plaque as a token of thanks to CBE Chairman John Cowan
Joanne Glassford

Event website: click here