Round two of the British Kitesurfing Association Grand Prix Series tour hit Walney Island over the weekend of 11-13 May.
Wind conditions were favourable for the press call on Thursday and provided opportunities for practise sessions for Lancashire rider Ali Barret (RRD) (17) and Robin Snuggs (Flexifoil) (17), from Weymouth. Members of the press also had the rare opportunity to interview three times & current kitesurf World Champion, Aaron Hadlow who originally hails from Cornwall.
Unfortunately, with only light winds on Friday, heats had to be postponed until Saturday. Competitors and spectators however were amused with the impromptu sumo wrestling display - a contingency plan of event organiser and sponsor, Gary Powell of Northwest Kitesurfing.
The competition went ahead as planned on Saturday morning starting with the Pro Men's heats and moving onto the Pro Women's and Juniors. Local residents and spectators were eager to see the riders in action and were amazed at the number of kites on the water and beach. With only nine local riders, Walney Island had never seen anything like it!
News had filtered through that the World Champion was on the island and interest remained high throughout the day. Spectators were not disappointed when Aaron took to the water. Unfortunately the wind dropped for the rest of the weekend and it was not possible to complete the competition. The event finished with the prize-giving ceremony on Sunday afternoon with prizes being presented by the Mayor of Barrow, Ken Williams
Special thanks must go to Gary Powell and Gillian Pearce who hand-made the magnificent trophies that were awarded to the Women's Pro and Junior winners who were the only ones to complete their competitions.
Helen Thompson (North) Tiree, Scotland
; Johara Sykes-Davis (Flexifoil) Llandudno, North Wales
Sjoukje Bredenkamp (Naish) South Africa
1 Dan James (North)
2 Tom Butler (F-One)
3 Toby Raw (Naish)
4 Rhys Langston (Flexifoil)
Chairman of the BKSA, Richard Gowers, thanked event organiser Gary Powell of Northwest Kitesurfing, Barrow Council and West Lake Renaissance and volunteers for all their hard work in making the event possible and said;
'Although we did not have perfect winds, the event was a great success, we had great riding, an awesome location, friendly people and great parties! We would definitely like to come back next year and are looking forward to working with Gary to achieve this.
For event images click on this link:
And for the BKSA's website, hit this one:
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