Ponta Preta teases athletes on a tricky day

Published 17th February 2024 by Ian MacKinnon


Forecast swell failed to materialise allowing only one heat late in the session after a day of waiting

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

Brazil’s Pedro Matos showed his hunger for the world title on the second day of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cape Verde as he took every opportunity to slay the small waves on offer in Ponta Preta.

But even after the young Brazilian had put a couple of decent scores on the board, including a 4.90 wave from a possible 10, the race director cancelled the heat when he judged the swells were too small and infrequent.

Matos was up against France’s Clément Roseyro, who had failed to chalk up any numbers while the Brazilian was busy. The backhand rider, Roseyro, who was runner-up to Matos in the final in Dakhla, Morocco, last year, may have been glad of the reprieve as the heat loser was going home.

Day 2 of the Kite-Surf discipline on the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour had dawned with the promise of a big swell and good breezes. But after a long day of waiting for the 24 men and 12 women from 12 nations who had journeyed to compete, only one heat was completed.

‘Barrelling sections’

Earlier in the session, one of the GKA judges, Rui Meira, explained the hopes for the day’s competition and the potential the forecast conditions would offer the athletes in the renowned right-hand point-break of Ponta Preta, on Cape Verde’s Sal island.

“Day 2 and we are waiting for the swell to pick up,” said Meira. “This should be an epic afternoon for the riders to compete. With the swell building, hopefully we should see barrelling sections of Ponta Preta coming to life. We are looking for the most fluid, connecting riders, taking it to the barrel, to the air, and big round-house turns.

“Hopefully the swell will be big enough that the wave potential is full on and the wave becomes a little bit longer and bigger than [Day 1]. The wind is here, so we are just waiting for the conditions to come to life.”

With the cross-offshore breeze of 18 to 20 knots, the race director called the first heat of the day to the water late in the afternoon. Cape Verde-based Hendrick Lopes (SUI) was up against wildcard Pablo Amores (ESP), who had got into the competition after another athlete dropped out.

Struggled to find sets

The heat duration had been extended to 25 minutes to find two good waves from a possible 10 rides. But Lopes and Amores struggled to find the sets that were small and few and far between.

Lopes’ local knowledge seemed to pay off and he eventually chose a couple of decent waves that he worked well, netting himself a 5.70 and a 4.83 that were enough to give him convincing win over the Spaniard and move to the quarter finals.

With swells of more than two metres predicted and already being felt on the neighbouring island of Boa Vista, the contest is being reset for an early start on Day 3. Join us then.

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Lukas K Stiller

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 daily 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.

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