Moona Whyte doubles up with perfect tens

Published 19th February 2024 by Ian MacKinnon


Hawaii-based world champion blows away the field with stunning riding to win season opener in Cape Verde

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cape Verde 2024
16-25 February, Ponta Preta, Sal

Current world champion, the US’s Moona Whyte, dominated the final of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cape Verde to take a convincing win at the first stop of the season in perfect conditions.

The Hawaii-based athlete, who won Cape Verde tour stop last year, sealed the deal with two perfect 10-point rides for her closing waves of the heat, which was fought out in double head-high bombs breaking on the rocky point.

“I’m so happy right now,” said four-time world champion, Whyte. “I’m really stoked to take the win with two 10s, which I really can’t believe. Perfect conditions; big waves. I was feeling pretty comfortable. It was a little bit offshore. A little bit tricky. Nice to make it work.”

The fourth day of the 2024 season opener on the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour was all about the eight remaining women who had Ponta Preta’s iconic right-hand break to themselves.

But the huge faces and tricky offshore breeze proved to be a handful for some of the early riders. Both Camille Losserand (SUI) and Kesiane Rodrigues (BRA) lost their boards when they ejected from a wave and their leashes broke.

Almost robbed

For Losserand it did not prove fatal as she had already done enough to advance to the semi-final, where she faced her old rival, Capucine Delannoy (FRA). Delannoy was almost robbed of her place in the final by Losserand’s last wave which took her heat total to within 0.05 of the French teenager.

Charlotte Carpentier (FRA) has been training in Cape Verde and it showed in her wave riding. But in the second semi-final she came up against Moona Whyte who was in her element.

Whyte earned the biggest score of the competition to that point, a 9.40 wave, and was discarding eight-point plus scores. The American was untouchable as she forged her way to the final in the rare conditions, the women riding 9m and 10m kites in the light 15 knots breezes.

The mini-final between Charlotte Carpentier and Camille Losserand was a cliffhanger. The women were locked together on the scoreboard, but Carpentier was in front by a hair’s breadth. But Losserand’s last wave got her in front by a fraction of a point and gave her the win and third place overall.

Banging final

“It was the first event of the year, we were lucky because we had good conditions,” said Losserand. “Not easy, for sure, big waves and gusty wind; a lot of variables to manage, so it was complicated.  But I’m very happy to finish third. The girls’ level was super, they were riding the best they could. It’s true that it was not easy, but a first podium of the year is always nice, so I’m happy.”

The final was a banger. Capucine Delannoy went wave-for-wave with Moona Whyte in the intimidating conditions and put some good scores on the board. But Whyte’s wave selection, ability to link the sections and flowing open face hacks were peerless, earning her a healthy lead.

By the close of the heat Whyte had the conditions dialled and cut loose with perfect 10-point rides, a remarkable feat that had defied the best men in the world a day earlier. It sealed the fate of Delannoy who took second.

“That was really fun,” said Delannoy. “The waves were pretty challenging. It was fun to have another final with Moona [Whyte]. I’m happy about the riding I did. It was actually tricky with the wind and the super-big waves. There was so much adrenaline and it was scary, but so nice at the same time.”

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Lukas K Stiller

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cape Verde 2024 results

1 Moona Whyte (USA)
2 Capucine Delannoy (FRA)
3 Camille Losserand (SUI)
4 Charlotte Carpentier (FRA)

Spot Info

The idyllic island of Sal is gearing up to host the second GWA Wingfoil World Cup, set to showcase the exhilarating Wave discipline. Against the stunning backdrop of this picturesque paradise, this eagerly-anticipated repeat stop will offer two potential event locations, with both Ponta Preta and Kite Beach in the mix, depending on the conditions.

Ponta Preta
For those seeking the ultimate wave-riding experience, look no further than the legendary Ponta Preta, in Cape Verde. This picturesque spot offers big, powerful, and glassy waves, accompanied by the most favourable cross-offshore winds. Considered a playground for expert-level riders, the waves can soar up to 6m high, making for an adrenaline-pumping experience like no other. While the beach is rocky in places, it’s also dotted with pockets of sand, making it an ideal location for side-offshore kitesurfing when the north-easterly winds kick in.

Kite Beach
As one of Sal’s most versatile kiting spots, Kite Beach welcomes riders of all levels with open arms. The beach’s consistent onshore and cross-onshore winds make it a top choice for kiteboarding enthusiasts, ensuring riders always have a smooth return to the sandy shoreline.

While it may be the busiest kitesurfing location on Sal, the vast 3kms stretch of sandy beach ensures ample space for both seasoned riders and kite schools alike, even during peak months. Those closer to the beach can expect a mild wind-blown chop and the occasional shore break, while further out on the reef, you’ll find waves perfect for shredding.

Cabo Verde offers fantastic wind conditions with consistent north-easterly Trade Winds blowing 15-25kts almost daily from November to June. The wind tends to be strong throughout the day, with the most powerful gusts occurring from 9am to 3pm. Kite Beach is the primary kitesurfing spot on Sal, as it faces east and provides less turbulent, onshore wind compared to other south or west facing locations.

The winter months offer pleasant temperatures of around 22ºC, and the water temperature is only slightly cooler. Most kiteboarders will find a 3/2mm shorty wetsuit suitable for full-day kiting sessions, while board shorts may enough on warmer days later in the season. Regardless of the time of year, it’s essential to apply sunscreen.

Wind directions include NNE, NE, and E, and the windiest months are November, December, January, February, March, April, and June.

Event information

  • Location: Ponta Preta
  • Dates: 16-25 March
  • The official Race Notice and event schedule can be found here.
  • All event information is here.

Here’s how to stay up-to-date with all the event happenings

  • Follow all action on live event page: livestream, liveticker, live scoring.
  • Follow our Instagram and our new TikTok account for behind-the-scenes action and event updates.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter for end of day reporting
  • Check out our youtube channel for highlight video.

Liveticker will be updated throughout the day. Event highlight video will be published next morning. Written reports will be posted to the website at the end of each competition day.

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
Image for Big Air battle poised for epic showdown

Big Air battle poised for epic showdown

Lords of Tram GKA men set to vie for crown after opening day saw favourites advance smoothly in tricky conditions

Read this article
Image for Big Air riders under starters orders

Big Air riders under starters orders

Eagerly-awaited world championship title race opener gets 'green' light at Lords of Tram GKA World Cup in Barcarès

Read this article
Image for Big Air ‘young guns’ just got younger

Big Air ‘young guns’ just got younger

Fiercely competitive line-up for Lords of Tram GKA Big Air season opener features clutch of young teenaged debutants

Read this article