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Everything you need to know about the upcoming event in Qatar

Published 25th January 2023 by Jim Gaunt

 

A NEW HOME FOR KITEBOARDING!
FUWAIRIT KITE BEACH RESORT

Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour 2023
Round one: Visit Qatar Freestyle-Kite World Cup
31 January – 04 Feb 2023

An easy hour drive north of Doha or Hamad International airport you’ll find Fuwairit; once a small fishing town, now a premiere destination for kitesurfing.

Fuwairit Kite Beach Resort (FKB) is host to round one of the Qatar Aiways GKA Kite World Tour Freestyle division 2023 and enjoys one of the longest kitesurfing seasons in the world, running from November to July, with side-onshore wind speeds from 15-30 knots.

The Tour’s freestyle riders are sure to put on an exciting show of high-performance competition in this unique, natural set-up. A shallow water lagoon makes it perfect for freestyle competition, but also twin-tip kiters of any level will really enjoy these conditions, while kitefoilers and wingfoilers will also find the terrain to their liking.

Fuwairit Kite Beach Resort - FKB - host of GKA Kite World Tour in Qatar
FKB- Fuwairit Kite Beach is located on the north east coast of Qatar, approximately 100km from Hamad International Airport,1 hour 15 minutes north of Doha by road
Fuwairit Kite Beach Resort
The brand new purpose-built Fuwairit Kite Beach Resort is a paradise for kitesurfers, but is epic for everyone else too. Whether the wind is blowing or not, FKB is designed for a full day of activities on and off the water. On-site facilities include the kitesurfing school, rescue services, latest equipment rental, plus off the water activities that include a state-of-the-art gym to outdoor cinema, E-foils and Sublue underwater scooters, plus lots more!

FUWAIRIT KITE BEACH CONDITIONS

The strongest winds are in the north of Qatar, and range from 16-25 knots throughout the year. In June the ‘Shamal season’ produced the strongest winds, which can reach up to 35 knots.

Predominant wind directions are northerly which provide a side to side onshore direction from the left. The competition area is in a tidal landlocked lagoon which is relatively flat water with slight chop and expected winds for that week are 15-25 knots, just perfect for freestyle!

During the GKA event (31 Jan – 04 Feb) high tide is late morning, shifting to early afternoon as the event progresses.

Expected wind speeds 18-24 knots.

Sunset at 5.15pm.

The average temperature in Qatar during January and February ranges from a high of 71°F (22°C) and a low of 62°F (17°C).

Sea temperature ranges from 64 – 68°F (18 – 20°C). Summer wetsuit is recommended.

Find all information on the event, including livestream, live scoring, heat elimination ladders and much more during the competition on the live event page – here.

DOING DOHA AND QATAR IN GENERAL

Join us at the Visit Qatar GKA Freestyle Kite World Cup 2023
Benefit from special offers exclusively for you – click here

As Title Partner and Official Airline of the GKA Kite World Tour, Qatar Airways have a number of exclusive offers for kitesurfers, fans, families and friends:*

– Savings of up to 10% on flights
– 10 kg extra baggage allowance

Arrival at Doha is smooth with a huge amount of flight connections into one of the world’s leading airports, Hamad International, just 30 minutes from the city centre. 

The city of Doha is full of cultural attractions and sites of course, including the Cultural Museum, which is a must-see, as experienced by athletes on the GKA Kite World Tour when they visited for the Signature Ceremony, marking the start of the partnership between Qatar Airways and the GKA Kite World Tour.

Further north around Fuwairit there are also heritage sites as well as art installations, such as the abandoned fishing village of Al Jumail and the most important heritage being the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Zubara.

There is also the newly installed sculpture ‘Shadows Travelling on the Sea of the Day’ by artist Olafur Eliasson only a short drive away.

Visit Fkb.qa and Discoverqatar.qa for more info.

ESSENTIAL EVENT INFO

Visit Qatar Freestyle-Kite World Cup
31 January – 04 Feb 2023

FORMAT: 
Among some smaller technical adaptations to trick family structures that aim to increase competitive excitement, essentially the Freestyle-Kite competition format will still see the four highest scoring tricks counting to a rider’s heat score from a total allowance of seven trick attempts.

NEW! To add further overall excitement, a new variety score will be added at the end of the heat once the judges have assessed a rider’s all-round performance. Find full details on the 2023 Freestyle-Kite competition format in the official rulebook – here

REIGNING CHAMPIONS: COCCOLUTO AND SOL
Gianmaria Coccoluto and Mikaili Sol are the defending male and female Qatar Airways GKA Freestyle-Kite World Champions. See the full 2022 rankings here

For 2023 Freestyle-kite fleets sizes remain the same; limited to 28 or 14 competitors (men usually have 28 and women usually have 14). The fleet numbers for each event are realised as follows:

28 RIDERS
Riders 1 – 22: Top 22 ranked riders from previous season
Riders 23 – 24: GKA Wildcards
Riders 25 – 26: Video Entry Wildcards
Riders 27 – 28: Organizer Wildcards

14 RIDERS
Riders 1 – 11: Top 11 ranked riders from previous season
Rider 12: GKA Wildcard
Rider 13: Video Entry Wildcard
Rider 14: Organizer Wildcard

FOLLOW THE ACTION 
The live event page is your home to all action from the event, including the livestream, live scores, elimination ladders and more – find it here

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Of course you’ll get all the behind the scenes and up-to-the-minute updates and stories via our socials: 
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