THE view of multi-coloured kites along the coastline at Cannon Rocks is an awesome sight, and Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week saw the country’s best kiteboarders take to the air and the sea to compete in the Cannon Rocks Kiteboarding Classic.
Professionals and amateurs alike unfurled their kites and took to the water in order to show who was the best at the sport in terms of tricks and hangtime (the length of time the kiteboarder can stay in the air).
From Thursday the strong wind meant only the strongest competitors could take to the water, and, by Saturday, the organisers of the event decided not to hang around too long before declaring the competition finally over. However, those same strong winds led to some spectacular tricks.
Tricks include rolls, spins, regular jumps, front- and backside spins and much more. And, as a relatively new sport, it is constantly evolving, with new techniques and tricks appearing all the time. Added to this, there are speed races, termed waveriding, where the spectators get to watch kiteboarders race as fast as the wind will carry them toward the shore and, at the last moment and a twist of the kite handlebars, complete a right-angle turn, and then it’s back out to sea again for another ride.
“It was a great competition again this year,” said event organiser Cedric Vandenschrik following the prize giving and presentations on Saturday. “Still, because of the strong westerly wind we decided not to stay out all day Saturday but to finish a little earlier than usual.”
Ladies’ Hangtime: First Sjoukje Bredenkamp, second Mareike Brase, third Michelle Hayward and fourth Natasha Haller.
Men’s Amateurs Hangtime: First Bruce Hough, second Stefen Begere and third Darryn du Preez.
Men’s Pro Hangtime: First Joshua Emmanuel followed by Lanral Ruddock, Jason van der Spuy and Ross Dillon.
Men’s Pro Big Air: First Joshua Emmanuel, followed by Ross Dillon, Jason van der Spuy and Lanral Ruddock.
Men’s Amateurs Big Air: First Bruce Hough followed by Stefen Begere and Jovan Wright.
Ladies’ Waveriding: First Michelle Hayward followed by Mareike Brase and Natasha Haller.
Men’s Pro Waveriding: First Joshua Emmanuel followed by Anthony Berzack and Collin Heckroodt.
Ladies’ Pro Freestyle: First Sjoukje Bredenkamp followed by Michelle Hayward and Mareike Brase.
Men’s Amateur Freestyle: First Bruce Hough followed by Darryn du Preez, Jovan Wright and Dave Scott.
Men’s Pro Freestyle: First Jason van der Spuy followed by Joshua Emmanuel and Ross Dillon.