For windsurfers and kiteboarders, Fuerteventura is the Hawaii of Europe. As well as white sand beaches, blue skies and summer temperatures, the island also has all the wind a windsurfer or kiteboarder could wish for. The wind-powered acrobats fly distances of up to 70 metres, reaching heights of up to 15 metres.
by Christian Tillmanns
From 17th July to 1st August 2009, windsurfing and kiteboarding world championship events will be held on Fuerteventura. The windsurfing programme includes slalom and freestyle disciplines. The kiteboarders will compete in the freestyle discipline and there also will be a kiteloop competition.
Slalom is the Formula 1 of windsurfing. The event consists of a high-speed race around a course marked by buoys, with tense tussles for position and spectacular overtaking manoeuvres. Both windsurfers and kiteboarders will compete in freestyle events in which a jury of judges awards points for spectacular leaps and breathtaking manoeuvres.
With no exhaust fumes or engine noise, the competition for world championship points shows just how congenial and in harmony with nature top level sport can be. Once they’re out on the water, the competitors really give it some juice – using the latest equipment, they utilise the wind so effectively that they can accelerate faster than the fastest sports car.
The competitions are held at a spectator and camera-friendly proximity to the beach. Direct contact between competitors and spectators is encouraged. The extreme sportsmen and women are more than happy to have spectators looking over their shoulders whilst preparing for the off.
There is also a wide-ranging programme of events and plenty to help you keep body and soul together. Spectators can chill on the beach with drinks, snacks and music whilst watching the events in the 1,000 m² lounge area. At night, thousands of visitors and locals groove together at the legendary World Cup Parties in the 2,000 m² party tent. At the award ceremony, the competitors will also join the fans in painting the town red.
Organiser information: The world cup on Fuerteventura is sponsored by the town of Pájara (Fuerteventura) and the Spanish Government. The event will, as it has for the last 24 years, once again be organised by René Egli and his team.
Fuerteventura has a very special relationship with the wind. The island is in the vanguard of wind energy. The town of Pájara (pop: 20,000) has been home to 45 wind turbines generating more than 10 MW of electricity since 1996. Programme:
17.07.-22.07.2009 - Kiteboarding PKRA Freestyle Grand Slam + Kiteloop
Freestyle: Scores are given for the most spectacular manoeuvres and leaps, which can cover distances of up to 70 metres and reach heights of up to 15 metres. The competition takes the form of a series of knockout rounds (rider vs. rider).
Kiteloop Competition: A kiteloop is a technically very demanding manoeuvre. During a jump, the kite rotates through a number of 360 degree circles. The pressure this produces generates even more lift, with the result that the jumps are very high and cover huge distances. Points are awarded for the most spectacular execution.
22.07.-27.07.2009 - Windsurfing PWA Slalom Grand Slam
The windsurfing freestyle event is characterised by spectacular, very rapid manoeuvres and extreme jumps. The competition takes the form of a series of knockout rounds (rider vs. rider).
The competitions take place daily between 10 am and around 6 pm. The evening events and parties start from 9 pm. www.fuerteventura-worldcup.org
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11:28 AM Mon 29 Jun 2009 GMT
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