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GKA Kite World Cup Mauritius Starts This Friday

We catch up with one of the key organisers of the GKA Kite World Cup Mauritius, Kathrin Ernest of KiteGlobing, who fills us in on some finer details of the event and spot. Look out for the first day of the competition on Friday 6th September. Not long now! 

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: KATHRIN ERNEST  

 

How did you come to develop the spot at Bel Ombre? 
Like most other kitesurfing businesses here, we started with two separate schools in Le Morne, but soon got the opportunity to get a permit for a school in Bel Ombre. After having started to teach there we realised how good the spot is and soon enough decided to fully operate from there. We’ve been at Bel Ombre almost ten years and have a big centre within the C Beach Club, providing all kinds of kitesurf services with an excellent team.

What is the set-up going to be like for the riders? 
There will be a kitesurf village for riders and visitors just next to the C Beach Club, so the locals, tourists and riders can come together to enjoy this unique event. Everyone will enjoy Bel Ombre, the surroundings are unique and if you want to use the C Beach Club facilities there’s just a small extra fee.

What’s the village of Bel Ombre itself like? 
It’s a traditional Mauritian village where the locals go fishing, work on the sugar cane or in the hotels. There’s an extraordinary mix between a simple village life with typical creole food alongside luxury hotels, like the Heritage Resort with its high-end service and hospitality. Riders and visitors can enjoy both. Bel Ombre is most famous for its sugar cane industry but there’s also lots of history to be found in the Chateau de Bel Ombre as well as the natural surroundings, such as Frederica Nature Reservat and Macondé. Particularly beautiful is the scenery on the road to Chamarel. For sport lovers there’s trail running, mountain biking, fishing and of course kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUP, snorkelling and the best golf course on the island is also in Bel Ombre.

Okay, now to real business, please tell us about the spot! 
The big advantage of Bel Ombre is that we can ride three different wind directions, for example south, south-east and easterly wind. As KiteGlobing is the only kitesurf center in Bel Ombre, the spot is never overcrowded and conditions on the lagoon can be great because there’s lots of space. Strong south and south-east winds are excellent, while easterly wind can be gusty.

What about the waves? Which section will the riders be competing in? 
The competitors will ride a left hand wave, which is situated to the left of the KiteGlobing center, on the upwind side of Saint Martin pass. The size can be anything from huge to moderate. If the wind is from the south-east or east the wave runs well and the wind is usually stronger. It’s not as good in a southerly and in that direction you’ll often need a bigger kite. The wave at Saint Martin can have different sections, featuring bigger ones out the back and smaller ones in front.

A few of the competitors are already out training in Mauritius. Have you seen anyone that really impressed you? 
Yes, there are quite a few here training already. Just today we had five men and women from the tour on the water. James Carew from Australia really stood out for me, in the waves and flat water!

The reef is quite a way out offshore, so tell us about the platform being built for the judges and media teams. 
It is a challenge to acquire a permit as we need to preserve the reef. We had several meetings to discuss how we can get the green light for this project and finally outsourced to a company who is building the special platform. It won’t damage the reef and has been accepted by the government. Yes, a platform is the best way to judge and also to shoot images. It is a unique idea and we are excited to see it.

What are you most looking forward to about the event? 
People gathering together, discovering a completely new spot for competition and to also see new faces. Let’s go kiting together, talk, laugh, have sundowners and just a good mood all event!

 

The GKA Kite World Cup Mauritius is the second double event of the season. Click here to visit the Freestyle competition page / and here for the Kite-Surf competition page. 

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