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Kenya Kite Cup 2019

The Kenya Kite Cup is an annual freestyle kitesurfing competition held every January by H2O Extreme and the Sands at Nomad. It is a spectacle not to be missed and promises to get Diani's exciting sporting calendar off to a flying start. The cup takes place on 18th, 19th and 20th January 2019.

Spectators can expect to be dazzled by the adrenalin-filled aerial antics of the competitors, and where better to enjoy this kitesurfing extravaganza than from Diani's famous white-sand beaches? This year the event is being sponsored by Base Titanium and is raising funds in aid of Diani Turtle Watch, a local ocean conservation charity.

The event is organised as a knock-out style competition, with the freestyle final taking place on the Saturday afternoon. A points- based system is used to judge the riders' tricks, with judging criteria based on difficulty, fluidity, style and kite position.

Sunday the 20th of January, the final day of this fun-packed event, is dedicated to downwind relay races. A maximum of 10 teams of 3 riders each will be competing. And if watching wasn't fun enough, each team will be 'auctioned' off, giving spectators the chance to bet on their favourite teams and support Diani Turtle Watch in the process.

Men and women compete separately with attractive cash prizes on offer for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category. Registration is open until the morning of the event, with last minute entries welcome from anyone who fancies their chances! Registration is just 2500 KES and is free for Kenyan citizens.

In addition to appreciating the skill on offer, there's plenty else to keep spectators entertained. One of the highlights of the event is the famous Hawaiian-themed fancy dress party hosted by Nomad Beach Bar. The team at Nomad put on a memorable night, complete with cool cocktails, groovy DJs and of course plenty of good vibes! The party kicks off at 8 pm and entry is free for all.

There will also be stalls on the beach selling local handicrafts and a raffle with amazing prizes, including a safari to the iconic Maasai Mara. Tickets will be on sale over the three days, with the draw taking place on the last day. All proceeds from raffle ticket sales will go to Diani Turtle Watch, in addition to registration fees and half of the money raised from the relay team auction. Diani Turtle Watch will have a stall at the event to promote the

work of their charity.

Kitesurfing is the best travel

The Kenya Kite Cup is now in its fifteenth year. In parallel to kitesurfing as a sport, the popularity of the event has continued to grow over the years. This is demonstrated by the consistent rise of the talent on show, to the delight of the event's spectators. Last year 35 riders took part in the competition, around 30% of them women.

Back in 2003, Boris Polo harnessed Diani's steady trade winds and his own passion for kitesurfing and founded H2O Extreme, Kenya's first South Coast kitesurfing school. Just a year later, in 2004, Boris came up with the perfect way to promote this emerging sport within Kenya and to showcase Diani as the ultimate kitesurfing destination: the Kenya Kite Cup was born.

H2O Extreme is one of the only kite schools in Kenya affiliated to the International Kiteboarding Organisation (IKO) and all its experienced instructors are IKO certified. The watersports centre caters for people of all ages and abilities and offers a variety of lesson packages for both kitesurfing and windsurfing. The centre also provides equipment rentals for independent riders and stand-up paddle boarders.

Kenya's leading watersports centre has already achieved its aims of promoting kitesurfing within the country and putting Diani firmly on the kitesurfing map. Going forward, they hope one day to become a regular stop on the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour. These

big dreams require big sponsors however, and the cup is always on the lookout for new sponsors to finance exciting opportunities.

In the meantime, though, their immediate goal is to encourage as many riders as possible to register for the competition and as many people as possible to come along to cheer them on and soak up all the cool beach vibes and party-like atmosphere.

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