Please select your home edition

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cape Verde: World title holders set to open defence of crowns

by Ian MacKinnon, GKA Kite World Tour 15 Mar 04:36 PDT 17-27 March 2023

The men's and women's Qatar Airways GKA Kite-Surf World Champions, James Carew and 16-year-old Capucine Delannoy, are set to begin the defence of their crowns at the legendary Ponta Preta break on the Cape Verde island of Sal.

Hard-charging Australian, Carew, is seeking to land a third successive world title after lifting last year's crown with decisive victories at the two world tour stops in tricky conditions in Dakhla, Morocco, and Taiba, Brazil.

French teenager Delannoy also claimed a win at the opening stop of 2022 season in Morocco and did enough to take the world championship crown by reaching the semi-final in Brazil. It was her year's second title after she won the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite-Surf World Championship in Tarifa, Spain.

Big stellar field

Both are rostered to take to the water in the 2023 tour's first stop at the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cape Verde. It is one of the globe-trotting tour's five scheduled stops that span Africa, South America and Europe.

The pair are among a starry field of 41 men and women, from 14 nations and five continents, who have been drawn by the promise of epic conditions and tough battles.

All the men's and women's top seeds are due to fight for glory. The victors in the storied 2019 barrel-fest, Cape Verdean Mitu Monteiro and the US's Moona Whyte, are also set to return to the iconic African surf-break.

Hotbed of talent

The mouth-watering 2023 contest will be staged at two possible Sal locations. Ponta Preta, with its big, glassy waves and cross-offshore winds, is to be the primary spot. Kite Beach on the south-east of the island is the back-up if Ponta Preta is not working.

Ten islands make up the archipelago of Cape Verde which lies a two hours' flight south of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic. Due to their geographical location the islands are frequented by pumping swells and reliable trade winds.

It is those conditions that make Cape Verde a hotbed of internationally-renowned kite-surfing talent. Aside from Monteiro, the highly-seeded Hendrick Lopes is among a clutch of Cape Verdeans with home break advantage, who are up for the fight.

Brazilians are coming

But for reigning champion, Carew, one of the biggest threats may come from Spain's Matchu Lopes, who also calls Cape Verde home. The Brazilian trio of Pedro Matos, Sebastian Ribeiro and Gabriel Benetton have also at times pushed Carew hard.

French title holder Delannoy will also have her work cut out for her if she is to keep the crown. Brazil's Kesiane Rodigues exploded onto the kite-surf scene to take the tour stop win on home waters in Taiba last year, just ahead of three-time freestyle world champion, Bruna Kajiya. Both are slated to show up in Cape Verde.

None of those minimise the threat posed by highly-ranked rivals, like Canadian, Frances Kelly, Camille Losserand (SUI), Charlotte Carpentier (FRA) and compatriot Zoe Bazile. Each have shown themselves capable of upsetting the form books and it promises to be an enthralling contest.

The official Race Notice and event schedule is here

Related Articles

Qatar Airways GKA Awards
New awards celebrate kiteboarding's growing range and influence for second straight year The Qatar Airways GKA Awards night that pays tribute kiteboarding's greatest achievements and personalities has again shown its capacity to surprise and delight at a historic gala evening in the Spanish resort of Tarifa. Posted on 5 Jun
Allianz Regatta 2023 overall
Hosts Netherlands win four gold medals and France do the Formula Kite double Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken had 49er gold in the bag heading into the final day of the Allianz Regatta and were joined on the top step by Duko Bos (ILCA 7), Maxime Jonker (ILCA 6) and Luuc van Opzeeland (iQFOiL). Posted on 4 Jun
Winners crowned in GKA Big Air Kite Worlds
Untouchable Losserand rides out of her skin to land stunning victory Swiss rider Camille Losserand was the architect of a remarkable upset when she won the world title in the Surfboard division at the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships in Tarifa, Spain. Posted on 4 Jun
Allianz Regatta 2023 Day 4
Bainbridge and Spadoni prosper in dream conditions Italy's Alessio Spadoni and Great Britain's Connor Bainbridge were among the big movers on an idyllic penultimate day at the Allianz Regatta. Posted on 3 Jun
Allianz Regatta 2023 Day 3
Newland leads French charge in the kites Poema Newland and Jessie Kampman continued France's remarkable run in the Formula Kite Women on day three of the Allianz Regatta. Posted on 2 Jun
Allianz Regatta 2023 Day 2
All to play for after intriguing second day Day two of the Allianz Regatta saw lead changes in three classes with the ILCA 7 looking like the tightest of all as it stands. Posted on 1 Jun
Allianz Regatta 2023 Day 1
Strong start for Dutch on home waters The opening day of action of the Allianz Regatta was dominated by the Dutch on home waters as they led the way in four of the six classes in action. Posted on 31 May
British Sailing Team unveils line-up
For Olympic test event in Marseille this July Tokyo 2020 stars John Gimson, Anna Burnet and Emma Wilson will headline a stellar cast of athletes picked to represent Great Britain at the Paris 2024 test event. Posted on 31 May
Formula Kite Youth European & Worlds overall
Victories for Italy, France and Turkey in nailbiting finals Héloïse Pégourié overcame the odds to win a last-gasp gold in Torregrande. The French rider becomes the Formula Kite Youth European Champion alongside Italy's Riccardo Pianosi who won the boys' title in the under-21 fleet. Posted on 29 May
Formula Kite Youth European & Masters Worlds day 4
Torregrande breeze and Sardinian sunshine deliver picture-perfect conditions Four wins out of five races from Saturday's session will give Qibin Huang a lot of confidence going into Sunday's Medal Series in the Formula Kite Youth European Championship. Posted on 27 May
T Clewring J-class 728x90 BOTTOMHyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTERRooster 2023 - FOOTER