Larnaca’s Softades beach will be hosting the ‘King of Kite’ kitesurfing competition for the fifth consecutive year on July 15-16 in an event which has attracted over 120 athletes.
Cyprus’ best kitesurfers will have the opportunity to compete against the top athletes from Israel, Greece, Britain as well as Turkish Cypriot athletes.
Five-time world champion and Red Bull athlete, Briton, Aaron Hadlow will guest star at this year’s event taking on the role of judge and treating spectators to some world class surfing.
The competition is divided into two categories with the competitive category requiring competitors to collect as many points possible and it is expected that 90 athletes will compete while a further 32 athletes will compete in the Free Style category.
Male athletes compete in two groups depending on their weight while there is also a group for women.
Softades beach is the only beach on Cyprus which has the necessary licenses for kitesurfing which due to safety reasons cannot take place at designated swimming beaches.
Softades beach is also the base for Kahuna Surfhouse, kitesurfing school and organiser of the ‘King of Kite’
“With the advancement of technology and equipment, the sport can be enjoyed by people with small statures, women and even children,” said the head of Kahuna Surfhouse and kitesurfing instructor Elias Mantovani.
“Cyprus is an ideal kitesurfing destination and many athletes from abroad come here to kitesurf,” he said adding that investment in the sport could be beneficial to the economy and tourism of the country.
It isn’t a cheap sport either as a set of equipment will set you back at least €2,500.
“And an athlete isn’t limited to one set either,” he points out.
Mantovani hopes to develop the King of Kite competition into the most prestigious event of its kind in the Mediterranean and to compare with similar events staged in Asia.
Growing in popularity across the globe, kitesurfing is vying for a place in the Olympic Games while it already has found a place in many international regattas.