It was just awesome to see the athletes back at competing, and so when the GKA Freestyle World Tour kicked off in Tarifa at the end of June, Valdevaqueros beach was electric: not just with its super cool summer vibe, but with wind speeds hitting up to 50 knots too! Hence, organisers were faced with the decision to change the competition’s format for the athletes’ safety. So gradually, everything went from Freestyle to Big Air and that was a huge relief for some, but other riders were taken quite by surprise. Still, the professionals that they are, everybody rose to the challenge ‘big time’, which was just jaw-dropping to watch from the comfort of dry land.
40 kite surfers traveled down to Europe’s wind capital from no less than 16 countries. Every single one of them was keen to get back to competing, so there was a precious moment during registration and when the show finally hit the road, there were great smiles and huge expectations all round. The men’s podium included Arthur Guillebert from France in 1st place, Jeremy Burlando riding for Italy in 2nd and the Australian Ewan Jaspan in 3rd position. The current reigning women’s world champion, Mikaili Sol, held on to her title in 1st place, followed closely by Pippa van Iersel from Holland in 2nd, whilst the UK’s Hannah Whiteley came 3rd.
Let’s hear it for the girls: we’ve got great interviews for you with the female winners, who portrayed real girl power out there on the water, mentally and physically. So watch out for our women’s podium special too, when Mika, Pippa & Hannah chat about their highlights and biggest challenges of this competition.
GKA KITE WORLD TOUR CALENDAR 2023:
- 31 Jan – 4 Feb: Fuwairit/Qatar – Freestyle
- 01 – 05 March: Atlantico/COL – Freestyle
- 17 – 25 March: Sal/CAP VERDE – Kite-Surf
- 01 – 30 April: Barcares/FRA – Big Air
- 21 May – 11 June: Tarifa/ESP – Big Air
- 23 – 30 June: Crossroads/MDV – Hydrofoil Freestyle
- 01 – 09 Aug: Rio de Janeiro/BRA – Kite-Surf
- 16 – 20 Aug: Dunkerque/FRA – Freestyle
- 23 – 29 Aug: Sylt/GER – Kite-Surf
- 02 – 09 Sept: Hvide Sande/DEN – Kite-Surf
- 19 – 24 Sept: Tunis/TUN – Freestyle & Hydrofoil Freestyle
- 04 – 08 Oct: El Gouna/EGY – Freestyle
- 01 – 05 Nov: Taiba/BRA – Freestyle
- 08 – 12 Nov: Taiba/BRA – Kite-Surf & Hydrofoil Freestyle
- 05 – 09 Dec: Fuwairit/Qatar – Freestyle