World title showdown at final stop in Brazil

Published 13th November 2023 by Ian MacKinnon


Fight in men’s and women’s championship races too close to call as tour closes out season in Cauipe

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil
Cauipe, 14-17 November, 2023

Everything is riding on the final, climactic stop of the season. The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil will see the men’s and women’s world titles decided in Cauipe.

After four Kite-Surf stops on the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour, the athletes topping the rankings are locked together at the head of the order. Any one of a number of riders could wear the sought-after crown.

The narrow margins separating the leaders in the title race make for the prospect of a thrilling finish as the 26 men and 12 women from 11 countries worldwide prepare to take to the waters of Cauipe, north-eastern Brazil.

The search for the world’s most complete Kite-Surf athletes is given added spice by the fact that the Cauipe showdown will probably be contested in a mixed format of waves and strapless-freestyle.

Three of the four Kite-Surf world cups this season were contested in the pure surfing, wave format, with the last stop in Dakhla, Morocco. Just one event was fought out in the strapless-freestyle format. But that stop in Sylt, Germany, reshuffled the pack.

Intriguing prospect

For the US’s Moona Whyte, who tops the women’s standings, the mixed format could prove tricky. Oahu-based Whyte won all three pure surfing, wave competitions, but skipped the German stop, as strapless-freestyle is not her strength.

A format mixing the two styles is an intriguing prospect. Whyte’s wave riding is peerless on the women’s side and she could score big, but it is unclear if that will get her over the line against rivals who have big strapless-freestyle tricks in their lockers.

To win the title, Whyte must take at least third place in Cauipe no matter what her key rivals can manage. France’s Capucine Delannoy, sits second overall, and Switzerland’s Camille Losserand, is ranked third.

Reigning Qatar Airways GKA Kite-Surf World Champion Delannoy, 17, recognises the threat Whyte poses in the waves, but hopes her strapless-freestyle repertoire of tricks could tip the balance in her favour to secure back-to-back titles.

The Swiss athlete Losserand, the current Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Surfboard Kite World Champion, also has a strong range of strapless-freestyle tricks to thrown down and could upset the order in Brazil.

Sublime wave riding

In the men’s draw, the leading contenders can all call up strapless-freestyle tricks to supplement their sublime wave riding. The Cape Verdeans Airton Cozzolino (ITA) and Matchu Lopes (ESP) are ranked first and second with only a few points separating them.

Former world champion Cozzolino has yet to win an event this season, but tops the order and is desperate to secure another crown after several tough years on the circuit.

Lopes defeated Cozzolino to take the win in the final at the tour’s second stop in Saquarema, Brazil, giving him two victories from two. But Cozzolino avenged the defeat when he sent Lopes packing in Morocco, leaving him with a second, ninth place finish.

The Brazilians Pedro Matos and Sebastian Ribeiro will be battling on home waters and will be eager to cause an upset. Matos is particular has upped his strapless-freestyle game and will be looking to build on his first career win at the previous stop in Morocco.

Join us here for all the action in Cauipe.

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Svetlana Romantsova

Spot Info

Cauipe offers small waves and constant winds outside the famed lagoon. It is perfect for the Kite-Surf discipline. Cauipe lagoon, outside Cumbuco village and 30kms from Fortaleza, forms at low tide. It is surrounded by sand dunes and palm trees, is separated from the sea by a low sandbar. Outside the sandbar, the wide beach is bathed by wind swell pushed by the 18 to 25 knots of north-easterly breeze. The waves and kickers are an ideal for the mixed format Kite-Surf discipline.

November is the driest month in Cumbuco. The air temperature during day can be between 32°C, the highest temperatures, and the lowest of 24°C. The water temperature of the sea is around 27°C, so nothing more than a summer shorty is required.  Sunrise is at about 05.30 and sunset is 17.30.

Easterly winds blow sideshore in Cauipe, between 15–25 knots. You can find the most accurate online wind forecasts on Windguru and Windy.

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