North Sign the Champion
North have recently proudly introduced the new member of their kiteboarding team, the Kitesurfing Wave World champion, Kirsty Jones.
Here's what Kirsty has to say about her career achievements so far, and explains how she got to where she is today:
Kirsty Jones - My Personal Statement
'I've been passionately into water sports since I was 15 and by the age of 16 I had developed a dreams of becoming a professional windsurfer, whilst helping to heal the world, its people and animals!
'By the time I was 18 I had all my teaching qualifications in windsurfing, surfing and sailing and went on to run a water sports centre in Ireland. During the winter months I travelled to New Zealand and South Africa working and doing voluntary work whilst windsurfing and surfing at every free moment.
'My dedication and hours in the water were commended and when I returned to the UK I was picked for the Welsh surf team to compete in the European Championships. Being competitive and always wanting to push my limits in sport I also started competing on the Windsurf World Tour... but got distracted by a kite whilst out in Maui!
'I tried to deny the fact that I enjoyed getting dragged through the water by a kite and having to untangle a ball full of lines, but the possibilities of jumping way higher than a windsurfer, wave riding using a kite and being able to travel more easily with the gear made me realise that this sport was special and I could see a bright future with it.
'When I returned to the UK I started doing a few of the British kitesurf competitions and by the end of my first year kitesurfing I was crowned Ladies British Kitesurf Champion. To balance out the competitions I then did something on a kite that I had always wanted to do on a windsurfer - a long distance solo journey for charity from Ireland to Wales. I became the first person ever to kitesurf from Ireland to Wales and raised over ?6000 for charity.
'I went on to continue to win the British Championships, set up a kitesurfing school in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and got signed up on a promising sponsorship deal with Animal. In my first ever PKRA kitesurf world cup event I got second place before going on to win The Master of the Ocean event in Dominican Republic. Before I knew it I was travelling to some of the most amazing countries and living my dream.
'I kept yearning to do another solo long distance kitesurf though, linking two countries and helping a worthwhile charity. Instead of linking two countries though, I managed to link two continents by kitesurfing solo, unassisted from the Canary Islands, Spain to the Western Sahara, Africa setting a new long distance record of 140miles from shore-to-shore. The money I raised went to a disabled charity in the Sahara and helped establish a windsurf, surf and kite club for the local people in a special remote village.
'I love every aspect of kitesurfing and the opportunity it gives us all to express ourselves in whatever area, style and way we choose to kite. Over the past few years I have found my roots and real love that lies in wave riding and long distance kitesurfing ? areas that I dedicate much of my time on the water to. From the time, energy and commitment I put into wave riding and following the world tour came a world title when I recently become Kitesurf World Wave Champion.
'2009 is going to be a fresh and exciting new year as I am thrilled to announce I have joined the North and ION Kiteboarding Team! My plans are to continue to push my limits in the waves, exploring and discovering new spots and countries, re-conquering and getting humbled by bigger waves, challenges and competitions. I want to be able to use my skills to help others enjoy this incredible sport, ocean, and world by offering kite, surf and yoga experiences in some of my favourite countries, whilst raising awareness of how we can help protect our oceans, wildlife and coastline.
"An enormous thank you to North, ION and Animal."
KIRSTY'S GOT A RECORD AS LONG AS YOUR ARM...
2008 - Kitesurfing Wave World champion
2008 - 1st KPWT Wave Masters World Cup ? Brazil
2008 - KPWT World cup Wave Masters - Portugal joint 1st
2008 - 1st - KPWT World cup Wave Masters ? France
2007 - Ladies British Kitesurfing Wave Champion
2007 - 1st -Kitesurfing Wave masters World Cup ? Morocco
2007 - 1st Kitesurfing Wave Masters World Cup ? Portugal
2006 - 1st - KPWT Wave Masters World Cup ? Portugal
2006 - World First Solo Charity Kitesurf Crossing-Canary Islands to Morocco.
2006 - X-Fest Kitesurf Boarder Cross - 1st Lady
2006 - Ladies British Kitesurfing Wave Champion
2005 - 1st -Las Tres Islas (Three Island Challenge Quadratholon
2005 - Red Bull Master of the Ocean Champion-Dominican Republic
2005 - Mondial Du Vent ? Kitesurf International Air Competition ? 2nd Lady
2005 - Ladies Kitesurfing World Wave Champion -PKRA ? Brazil
2005 - PKRA Kiteboarding World Cup ? Belgium -2nd Lady
2004 - Kite Board British Tour ? 1st Lady
2004 - 1st Jinx Jam Competition ? Senegal Africa
2003 - Ladies British Kitesurfing Champion
2003 - Ladies British Kiteboard Tour Champion
2001 - Ladies British Kitesurfing Champion
2001 - Kiteboard Pro World Tour ? Cornwall ? 1st Lady
2001 - Animal Windfest Competition-Poole ? 1st Lady
Read our exclusive interview with Kirsty in issue #24 now for free in our online back issues collection by clicking here!
Find more on North at: www.northkites.com
And on Kirsty at: www.kirstyjones.com
Kirsty also features in our rider profiles section here
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