The Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships are set to kick-off in Tarifa, Spain, on Friday, with the high-octane Surfboard and Hydrofoil disciplines first up after the tour director flashed the “green” warning signal ahead of a promising wind forecast.
With just one day of moderately strong Levante winds predicted, the organisers decided to call only riders in the compact Surfboard and Hydrofoil divisions to Tarifa’s Balneario beach to open the biggest kiteboarding event of the season.
The event will feature three adrenaline-pumping Big Air disciplines—Twin-Tip, Surfboard and Hydrofoil. But as the GKA team scopes out the best conditions for the action, the decision was taken that the blue ribband Twin-Tip event would revert to a “red” light, “hold” status, awaiting the strongest Levante winds.
Women’s Twin-Tip title holder, 18-year-old Mikaili Sol (USA), has already opened her account and kept the defence on her crown on track with a stunning win in the first round at the Lords of Tram GKA Big Air Kite World Cup in France.
Spain’s Liam Whaley, a past freestyle world champion, is seeded top in the Twin-Tip class after he won at Lords of Tram in Barcarès at the beginning of April with a standout display.
Whaley turned the tables to defeat Italy’s Andrea Principi, 18, in the final at Lords of Tram. Principi had won the coveted Twin-Tip world title at the maiden Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships in Tarifa last year, when he overhauled Whaley in the final.