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Kite Boarding World Series to create splash in Portland

Published:Wednesday | March 17, 2010 | 3:00 AM

Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer

THE NEW and exciting sport of kite boarding will be gracing the shores of Jamaica with a big splash between March 25 and April 3, with the hosting of the first leg of the 2010 Kite Boarding World Series.

The 10-day tournament will take place at Long Bay Beach in east Portland and features over 50 competitors, including the top 32 professional world kiteboarders.

The top male and female pro world kiteboarders from Spain, Brazil, Norway, France, Italy, United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) and Mexico will be challenging for top honours.

Competitors will be rippling the waves and doing battle in one or more of the six disciplines scheduled to be contested. These include wave master and junior, freestyle, and course racing, among others.

Spectators will also be treated to a world class display of Back Mobe, Wave Riding, Kite Loops, F16 and Whack stunts.

The field will be led by the 2009 World Wave Pro Champion, Jan Macros Rivers, out of Dominica Republic. Rivers is expected to face stiff competition from the UK's Will Bennett, who was crowned Wave Master in 2007; Oteniel Monteiro, 2008 Kite-board Pro World Tour (KPWT) Wave World Champion; Brazil's Gustavo Forester, who was third in 2009; and Antonie Auriol of France.

International rivalry and battle for supremacy will also reign supreme on the women's side as the 2009 KPWT overall Ladies World Champion, Kari Schibevaag of Norway, will face competition from the 2008/2009 KPWT Waves Master champion Kriste Jones of Wales and Poland's 2008 KPWT World Champion, Auria Grezlinska.

The competitors will be vying for a share of the €40,000 prize money.

The event, which is being sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board and JamRock Tours, among others, is expected to bring between 500-1000 visitors to the island and is expected to attract a wide array of international media coverage namely Sky Sports, Nova Sports, Sports TV, Fox Television, and Sailing Channel which in turn will expose Jamaica by extension to millions in TV land.

The Kiteboarding Pro World Tour will also host competitions in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, France, Turkey and Greece.