KSWT Sotavento Begins


Report: Jim Gaunt

The pumping thermals that this southern corner of Fuerteventura island in the Canaries is famous for were in effect from early this morning. By the afternoon, the 24 registered riders (including two women) for this fifth event in what is now a seven event 2018 World Tour season, hit the water for a demonstration to show the Hotel Melia Gorriones / Rene Egli Kitesurfing Centre crowds, a little of what’s to come over the next five days.

Grandstand Sotavento at Rene Egli

Mini grandstand for the best seat in the house at the Fuerteventura Kitesurfing and Windsurfing World Cup! / Photo: Jim Gaunt

This is the third year that the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour has visited Sotavento and is part of the Fuerteventura Windsurfing and Kitesurfing World Cup – a two week extravaganza run by Rene Egli and the Hotel Meliá Fuerteventura.



Airton Cozzolino is undefeated here and shooting for his hat trick in Sotavento, which would give him four wins from five events this season, and a dominant lead heading into the last two events, which have recently been announced as Prea in Brazil in November, and Torquay in Australia in December. Both of those will be mixed events though, and as we’ve seen in the past Airton is ‘beatable’ in waves, so he’ll be determined to claim maximum points here.

Check out the 24 registered riders here

Find the full 2018 GKA KSWT World Tour rankings here.

Matchu Lopes GKA Sotavento warm-up

Matchu Lopes floats by Tom Brendt’s lens during the warm-up / Photo: Tom Brendt / Tillmanns

All the riders put on a superb afternoon warm-up show as they really enjoy riding here because the Sotavento crowds love to get involved and cheer their heroes on to go higher and higher.

We expect many more people to the beach tomorrow and the performances to shift up a gear as the main event begins.

Click the images below to flick through an gallery from today:

Image for Wildcard Athlete Announcement

Wildcard Athlete Announcement

The votes are in and have been counted. Find out who will be battling against the GKA's top athletes in the worlds first online and interactive kitesurfing competition.

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Image for The GKA Distance Battle – Wildcard Voting

The GKA Distance Battle – Wildcard Voting

Wildcard Voting for the GKA Distance Battle is about to start!

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Image for The Watermen Are Watching

The Watermen Are Watching

Meet the Team Episode 4 - the freestyle judges with their eyes on the athletes.

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Image for The GKA Distance Battle

The GKA Distance Battle

Online and interactive. A live and global battle from the best athletes in the world! Vote for your favourite wildcard now!

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