Visit Qatar GKA Freestyle Kite World Cup Finals Qatar 2023
05 – 09 December
Spot: Fuwairit Kite Beach
Discipline: Freestyle Kite
Format: 6 trick attempts, 3 tricks counting
DAY 5 – Saturday 9 December 2023 (GMT+3)
Big thanks to the organisers, sponsors, media, and fans for supporting our record-breaking GKA Kite World Tour season with a historic ten events throughout 2023. After a thrilling year, we’re taking a few months off before diving into the 2024 season. Grateful for the support, we reflect on the highs and lows, gearing up for another exciting year. Join us for more exhilarating kiteboarding action and fierce competition ahead.
See you next year! Stay tuned via our 2024 event schedule
12:05 – We can officially confirm the new world champions and congratulate Brazilians Bruna Kajiya and Carlos Mario for becoming the Qatar Airways GKA Freestyle Kite World Champions 2023. We welcome the finalists to the podium where we will be officially crowing the winners at the event closing and finals ceremony.
12:00 – Concluding the competition here in Fuwairit Kite Beach, race director Rui Meira has now closed the heats window. Despite it usually being a windy time of year, the conditions haven’t been on our side this week, unfortunately.
11:05 – The race director’s final announcement for the week will be at 12:00 with a first possible start of 12:30. This will be our last opportunity to run the heats for the event.
10:35 – The athletes are prepared and the first possible start will be 11:30 commencing with the women’s final.
09:35 – Today we crown the new world champions as it’s the final day of the competition and the last event of the season. The riders will be briefed at 10:00, so stay tuned for updates on the action.
DAY 4 – Friday 8 December 2023 (GMT+3)
15:35 – We have been carefully assessing the conditions and due to the low tide, the competition is now on hold until tomorrow.
If you missed the action from day one, check out the highlight video
14:05 – The music is pumping and the breeze is increasing. Weekend spectators have arrived at Fuwairit Kite Beach hoping for a first possible start at 15:00.
13:05 – The judges are in position on the sandbar for the anticipated start of the heats. The next announcement will be at 14:00 where we hope to run the women’s final and crown this year’s world champion.
12:05 – The crew are moving the competition location to a deeper water spot and the next announcement will be at 13:00.
11:05 – The wind is still building and we’ll wait for the next announcement at 12:00 with a first possible start at 12:30.
10:15 – The riders and crew have been briefed, and Race Director Rui Meira has planned the competition logistics to maximise the tides today. The breeze is expected to build, and the next announcement will be at 11:00 with a first possible start of 11:30.
DAY 3 – Thursday 7 December 2023 (GMT+3)
12:35 – Despite the usually reliable wind at Fuwairit, we are unlucky today. The competition is now on hold until tomorrow when we hope to continue with the women’s final.
10:45 – Event briefings have taken place, and the riders are in position with a first possible start at 12:30.
DAY 2 – Wednesday 6 December 2023 (GMT+3)
15:35 – Unfortunately, we do not have the conditions to run the competition today and we stay on hold and will re-assess tomorrow morning. Scroll down to catch up on the action from day one.
14:35 – The wind has yet to build enough to start the heats. The final call of the day will be at 15:30.
14:15 – We are waiting for optimum conditions and will review again at 14:30 with a first possible start at 15:00.
13:50 – The palm trees are moving and we’re on standby waiting for the next announcement.
12:15 – The next announcement will be at 13:00 with a first possible start at 14:00.
11:30 – The athletes are ready and have been briefed at the skipper’s meeting. We are on standby assessing the wind conditions with the next update at 12:00.
If you missed day one, check out the action in the highlight video
DAY 1 – Tuesday 5 December 2023 (GMT+3)
17:00 – The day concluded with everyone gathering at the Fuwairit Kite Beach resort joining together for the opening ceremony.
16:20 – Unfortunately, the wind has disappeared and the competition has finished for the day. Tune in tomorrow for the next updates.
16:15 – We are on standby and the AP flag is currently in place. The next update will be at 16:20.
16:05 – Nathalie Lambrecht and Therese Taabbel advance to the women’s final. Now, only Bruna Kajiya or Mikaili Sol can become the world champion. If Kajiya places third or higher, then she is automatically crowned world champion. Sol still has a chance to win the title, but for that to happen Kajiya needs to place fourth.
15:55 – The semi-final continues with Nathalie Lambrecht currently in the lead with a heat score of 12.13, followed by Therese Taabbel with 9.64 and Alexandra Torres with 9.67. There are just two trick attempts left for the final heat to be decided.
15:50 – Nathalie Lambrecht lands the highest score from the women’s first tricks with a 5.13 S-Bend to Blind, but Therese Taabbel is close on her tail.
15:40 – The green flag is up and Alexandra Torres, Nathalie Lambrecht and Therese Taabbel commence their battle in the women’s semi-final.
15:35 – Bruna Kajiya advances to the final. Next up is the women’s semi-final.
15:30 – Bruna Kajiya lands her highest trick score of 7.10 for a Back Mobe, placing her comfortably in the lead.
15:20 – Therese Taabbel and Bruna Kajiya have started throwing down in R1 H2 with Kajiya in the lead after two trick attempts.
15:15 – Discussions are taking place regarding the conditions in view of commencing R1 H2.
15:05 – Mikaili Sol wins R1 H1 with a score of 19.10 and advances straight to the final. Nathalie Lambrecht and Alexandra Torres will compete again in the semi-final.
15:00 – The final round of tricks are in play for R1 H1, and riders Therese Taabbel and Bruna Kajiya are getting ready to start the following heat.
14:55 – We are now in sequence. Each rider will take it in turns to perform six trick attempts with three of them counting towards their overall heat score. Nathalie Lambrecht is currently in the lead with a score of 9.37.
14:45 – R1 H1 – The yellow flag is up for the first women’s heat between Mikaili Sol, Nathalie Lambrecht and Alexandra Torres.
14:30 – Women’s R1 H1 will start at 14:45.
14:20 – The judges and athletes are getting into position with a potential start of 14:45.
13:50 – Finn Flügel is out on the water and the conditions are improving so we hope to commence the women’s heats shortly. The first possible start will be 14:15.
13:35 – Everything is set up ready but we are still waiting for an improvement in the wind. The next announcement will be at 13:45.
13:05 – The wind is still being assessed with the next update at 13:15.
12:30 – Next call 12:45 with a first possible start of 13:00.
12:05 – We’re still on standby but with hope of a sea breeze kicking in soon. More news expected at 12:30.
11:05 – Unfortunately the conditions haven’t improved enough so far. As the lagoon tide is going down, we will strategically move to a new location with deeper waters and better wind potential. The next update will be at 12:00 midday.
10:35 – The wind has now switched direction and is starting to build. Stay tuned for the next announcement at 11:00.
10:05 – We’re still on standby with the next call at 10:30.
09:35 – The competition is on hold. The next announcement will be at 10:00 with a first possible start at 10:15.
08:45 – Registration is complete and the riders have been briefed and are ready to go. Twenty athletes are competing and the heat is on to see who will be crowned the 2023 world champions.
“We started the year in Qatar and we had really good wind that felt really nice, so that makes me very excited for the final as I have such great memories. I’m feeling super happy as after my home spot in Brazil, Qatar is my favourite stop.” – Bruna Kajiya
“I have just come from Red Bull King of the Air in Cape Town so I’ve switched disciplines and my mind is now focused on freestyle. The wind is looking lighter so we need to be more technically focused and with less power. The competition is on and for sure I will try my best.” – Arthur Guillebert
Next announcement at 09:30 with a first possible start at 09:45.
Preparation day – Monday 4 December 2023 (GMT+3)
17:00 – Welcome to the final stop of the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour. The fifth freestyle event of the year will take place at the lagoon resort of Fuwairit Kite Beach, Qatar where both the men’s and women’s 2023 champions will be crowned.
Rider registration is already taking place and the battle for the titles will commence with the first possible start at 09:00 on 5 December 2023.