GKA Kitesurf World Cup Mauritius 2019
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that kitesurfing is one of the hottest water sports in Mauritius right now. Need any proof? The 2019 International Kite Surfing Competition in Mauritius will turn you into a believer.
It’s got it all: boards and sails stretching over the ocean as far as the eye can see, the biggest names in the sport, and the incredible weather conditions that the south of the island has to offer… Yes, Kitesurfing in Mauritius is definitely hot right now.
Organised by the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) in collaboration with Heritage Resorts, the event sees some of the sport’s best pros impress the crowds with incredible freestyle skills on twin tips, as well as the more explosive wave riding style. From the 6-15 of September 2019, amateurs, locals, tourists, and professionals flocked to the small coastal town of Bel Ombre to watch the show, some even flying down to Mauritius just for the event. Combining an international kitesurfing competition with a holiday in the tropics? That’s a winning combo in our books.
The event is the GKA’s third on the island. In fact, the organisation’s first international competition was held right here in Mauritius and had one of our very own talents, Jeremy Chan give international favourite, Airton Cozzolino, a run for his money, eventually eliminating him from the competition. In the end, it was Machu Lopes who won the 2016 event thanks to one of his best performances of the year. The waters of Mauritius would once again prove unlucky for Airton Cozzolino in 2017: The Italian suffered a string of defeats, was eventually eliminated ahead of the finals, and gifted Australian Keahi de Aboitiz with first place.
Kitesurfing and the island of Mauritius are a match made in heaven. As soon as there’s mention of an International Kitesurfing competition, all the pros have one destination on their minds: Mauritius. The island is home to some of the best kitesurfing spots in the world, particularly Le Morne, La Gaulette, and Bel Ombre, found in the South West of the island. Favourable south-easterly winds (of about 15-25 knots) make the waves here ideal for the sport, especially in winter. Add to that, temperatures which rarely drop below 20°C, crystalline waters, and a picture-perfect tropical landscape, and you’ve got yourself a kitesurfer’s paradise.
Not that you’ll know that by reading the travel guides of this world. The South West of Mauritius is overlooked as a tourist destination, and it’s a wonder why.
This area of the island remains resolutely untamed. Here windswept tropical landscapes rule supreme. Towering mountains cradle the coastline, traditional villages dot the land, and carefully preserved landmarks offer countless opportunities for a sense of escape. Just jump in a car and drive by the sleepy coastal villages of La Gaulette and Bel Ombre, passing by the UNESCO heritage protected site of Le Morne, and you’ll feel like you’re in another world. And of course, the pleasure of kitesurfing on a twin-tip surrounded by all this beauty is an experience second to none.
It’s on this little slice of paradise that the Heritage Resorts, located on the Domaine de Bel Ombre, had the privilege of hosting the GKA Kite World Cup Mauritius 2019.
Pros around the world see Bel Ombre as a top kitesurfing spot thanks to its calm lagoon and well-preserved marine eco-system protected by the local NGO, Reef Conservation. But it’s not just the natural beauty and favourable weather conditions which made the competition a success. The Heritage Resorts, so close to this exceptional kitesurfing spot, played a big part in that too.
One of the hotels of the Heritage portfolio, Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness, welcomed the participants, event organisers, and spectators in an intimate tropical garden seeped in an aura of zen. The Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort, served as an all-inclusive home- away- from-home for kitesurfing fans during the competition, and at the Heritage Villas, friends and family of the competitors made the most of the event by staying in private villas only a stone’s throw away from the main venue of the competition.
At the Islandian offices, we’ve always been fans of kitesurfing, and one of our favourite local riders is Simon Lamusse. At only 20 years old, Simon has been kitesurfing for more than 9 years, and it’s no surprise. As an avid swimmer, lover of the ocean, and a bonafide daredevil, the young man matches all the criteria that a good kite surfer needs.
The sense of freedom it provides, and the connection to the natural elements one gets when on a board are some of the other reasons that Simon practices Kitesurfing. And, surprisingly, even though Simon loves all the Mauritian kitesurfing spots, in his books, it’s the lagoons of Rodrigues which provide the best conditions for the sport.
After years of training and rubbing shoulders with some of the best riders in the world, Simon managed to hone and perfect his technique. The dedication paid off as he was able to tour the world for 2 years practicing kitesurfing professionally before going to Toulouse to complete an osteopathy course. Taken up by his studies, Simon doesn’t kitesurf as much as before but saw the first leg of the freestyle competition as the perfect opportunity to meet other young pros and practice his favourite sport “on home turf”. Freed up from any stress and with having as much fun as possible as main objective, Simon competed with complete peace of mind. “Representing our island in the competition is something I am extremely proud of,” he says.
After nine days of spectacular performances and thrills, the 2019 GKA Kite World Cup Mauritius 2019 ended in style with the traditional closing ceremony at the Heritage C-Beach Club. One of the highlights of this year’s tournament was the return of favorite Airton Cozzolino to the top of the men's category thanks to a scintillating performance, which earned him the victory.
The Heritage Resorts were superb hosts for the competitors and helped prove that Mauritius is a fantastic kite surfing destination for more reasons than the waves and wind. So kitesurfers, whether you’re experienced, a rookie, young or old, grab your board, a wetsuit, and your sail and hop on the next plane for a tailor-made dream kitesurfing holiday in Mauritius.
See you soon!