On September 20, 2014, 50 kiwi kitesurfers headed to Muriwai Beach to compete in one of the biggest kite events ever held in New Zealand, the second annual Kitesurf for Kids Big Air Contest. The event successfully raised over $6,000 for the Starship Foundation, Auckland’s Children’s Hospital.
The early morning rain blew over and the sun broke through the clouds just before the contest got underway, providing ideal contest conditions, big waves and westerly winds gusting up to 30 knots. As the first event in the JC Kitesurf Auckland series, the Big Air Contest was broken into three divisions: Open Men, Women, and those with less than two years experience.
With a large field of 38 competitors, the Open Men’s division was broken into 8 heats, providing non-stop action for the spectators. Each heat lasted only seven minutes, forcing each competitor to go hard from the get-go, resulting in some big airs and some even bigger wipeouts. The two competitors from each heat with the highest airs advanced to the next round.
Antoine Jaubert secured the Open Men’s title with his stylish airs and double kite loop, despite a mishap in semi-finals involving a mid-air collision with a fellow competitor’s kite. Matt Sawyer took second place, and event organizer, Juan Cumar, finished 3rd.
Tanja Notting took the win for the Women’s division. All of the girls showed off their style, boosted big airs, and stomped their tricks, promising plenty of competition for the rest of the JC Kitesurf series.
Although the wind dropped briefly, local kitesurfer Mark De Beer made the best of the conditions and took 1st in the less than two years experience division.
At the end of the day, big airs, big fundraising, and big fun was had by all.
Kitesurf for Kids Big Air Organization is proud to support the Starship foundation. Donations can still be made online at www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/BigAirContest
For more information about Kitesurf for Kids check out their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KitesurfForKidsFundraiser