GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2021 | THE AFTERMATH

Published 23rd August 2021 by Andrea Susanne Opielka


All photos: Lukas Stiller / Video: Mintautas Grigas

After almost two years of no competition, it has been great to have all the competitors back on the water sharing their stoke and pushing the limits of what is possible with a surfboard and a kite. In terms of the conditions, it was a week of two halves, with some hardcore wind and waves for the beginning of the competition, then with brighter and lighter conditions over the second half. It was perfect for the competition where we were able to finish the main event and crown the winners within the first two days and then had a chance to kick back and follow up with some expression sessions. On the last day of the event, we held the official prize-giving and everyone was in high spirits and able to let their hair down after a great week of riding.

So, as the event winds down, and having not seen a lot of these riders in action for a while, what did we learn from the event here in Sylt?


There were certainly a few unexpected turns at this event with one, in particular, being former world champion Airton Cozzolino (ITA) being knocked out in the semi-finals by young gun Brazilian, Pedro Matos (BRA). Airton is one of the most decorated riders we have on the tour, with four world titles under his belt, so it was a shock for the esteemed rider and a sign of how hard the new guard of wave riders are pushing. Will we find that, as in the surfing world, the Brazilian riders will be the ones to watch over the next few events? It will certainly be interesting to see how Airton comes back in Denmark.

Another upset in the men’s competition was veteran Matchu Lopes (SPA) being knocked out on the second day of the competition by the talented Canadian rider, Reece Myerscough (CAN). Reece put on a remarkable performance here in Sylt and continues to evolve into one of the most complete riders on tour, with super-solid riding in both the surf and the strapless games. 

However, it was the performances of the two winners which have undoubtedly stolen the show in Sylt. James Carew (AUS) stood out above the other male competitors and was the only rider to score over 30 points in all of his heats. We are looking forward to seeing where James goes from here and what else he can add to his repertoire for the next event. 

In the women’s division, fifteen-year-old Capucine Delannoy (FRE) made those signature double front rolls look too easy, and her entire performance was well-rounded and showed a mature attitude to competition beyond her years. It is great to see such a young female rider pushing the limits of strapless freestyle into a whole other stratosphere.


The judges have decided that the overall rankings for 2021 will be determined by using the results from the 2020 GKA Kite-Surf World Cup in Cape Verde, combined with the results from all the GKA Kite-Surf events held in 2021. 

Due to the pandemic, many events got cancelled last year, meaning we could not crown our champions for 2020 and have an overall result. The judges have therefore decided to combine the results from both years. If all goes to plan and the pandemic does not interfere, then there will be two more GKA Kite-Surf World Cup events; the next event being in Denmark in two weeks and after that Morocco.

All riders will also have a discard. If they have missed one event (such as the event in Cape Verde) or, had a bad result in one of the events this year, this will not count towards their overall ranking for 2021.  Only the riders three best results will count towards the overall ranking. 

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Hvide Sande 2021

Next up, the GKA Kite World Tour is excited to be hosting the next event in Hvide Sande, Denmark. Hvide Sande is located in the middle of a narrow headland on the Holmsland Klit which separates the North Sea and Ringköbing Fjord. The event will take place at “south mole”, a breakwater that produces what is regarded as a legendary wave in the region, with clean waves coming through on days with a northwest wind. The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Hvide Sande will be a part of Waterz Festival – a multi-water sports festival that attracts spectators from all around the region, and we’re stoked to be showcasing the best wave riders in the world at the event.  The event will be between the 6th -11th of September so make sure to stay tuned as lots of action will be coming your way! You can find out more about the event on our website.

Image for Free agent Overbeek reflects on first major win

Free agent Overbeek reflects on first major win

Dutch rider believes his dedication to training in all conditions gave him vital leg-up in Big Air season opener at Barcarès

Read this article
Image for Focused Van Iersel in pole position for crown

Focused Van Iersel in pole position for crown

Unique team helped Dutch Big Air rider restore her mental focus to win first GKA Big Air tour stop after comeback from injury

Read this article
Image for GKA unveils ambitious new plan for kiting

GKA unveils ambitious new plan for kiting

Ground-breaking ProAm Race and Test Event seeks to return Dunkerque to its roots as a European kiteboarding hub

Read this article
Image for Double Dutch at Lords of Tram in France

Double Dutch at Lords of Tram in France

Van Iersel returns from two-year injury break to take third Lords of Tram title while Overbeek lands first Big Air world cup

Read this article