Wrap up of National Kitesurfing Wave Series in Torquay

Kiteboarding Australia kicked off the Cabrinha National Wave Series with the Wave Nationals, held between the 7-10thof December at Point Danger, Torquay. 36 of Australia's best kitersurfers gravitated to Torquay and in typical Melbourne style the mercury fell from 38 degrees on the first day of competition to 20 the next, but with this cool change brought a nice south-west wind pattern to kick of proceedings. A huge day on Saturday saw 2-3ft waves and 20-25 knot cross onshore wind on and off all day, allowed for results to be obtained for the Open Men and Open Women. Competition favourites Keahi de Aboitiz and James Carew both making it to the final in the Open Men, with local rider Jarrod Snow and Mike Walker rounding out the top four. In the final Keahi and James exchanged waves all heat with less than 1 point splitting the two at the completion of the competition, James Carew edging out Keahi to take out the National Title.
In the women's, defending champion Peri Roberts went up against Jennie Milton, Anna Williams and Frances Kelly in the final. In what was also an incredibly close heat Jennie Milton clenched the title with some seamless wave riding. With no wind on Sunday the Masters and Juniors competition resumed on Monday. While wind conditions were light competitors were graced with a SW groundswell which saw some nice waves forming in the bay, Brad Hampson taking the victory over local David Spink and Melbourne rider Ryk Berry. In the Juniors, Ashleigh Brunette our only Junior Girl competed alongside the Junior Boys, Aaron Kenny and Ben Savage. Ashleigh performed incredibly well in the final, pushing the Boys where she took 2ndin the final heat. Aaron Kenny took out the title over Ben Savage in the Junior Boys and Ashleigh taking out the Junior Girls title.
As the Wave Nationals wrapped up, competitors and event organisers for the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour began to arrive in Torquay, the event taking place between the 12thand 16thDecember.The top four male and four female riders from the Wave Nationals were given wildcard entry (excluding previously seeded riders) into the GKA event and having the opportunity to take on the world's best. With a low front setting in for the GKA event so too did the rain, however it didn't dampen the spirit in Torquay with a lot of anticipation to get heats underway. With conditions being unsuitable on the first day of competition at Point Danger the event was moved to 13thBeach where the women's competition got underway. Unfortunately luck wasn't on aussie rider Peri Roberts side, with her heat being abandoned due to lack of wind, Peri was looking awesome on the water in her initial heat and a win earlier in the competition would have seen her progress further through the draw. Jennie Milton rode with style and finesse through the draw, showing the pro riders what the Aussie spirit is all about, which saw her take a top 4 placing in the event!
In the men's, it was Australia's seasoned veteran 4x world champion Keahi de Aboitiz that dominated the first ever GKA event on home soil. With the rain clearing the men took to the water on Friday and Saturday, Pt Danger transformed into an epic cross offshore left hand reef break for the final. Keahi's stylish and fluid approach to wave riding allowed him to rise to the top and take victory over fellow competitors. In doing so Keahi also clinched vice world champion for the 2018 year on tour.
Our aussie contingent performed exceptionally well throughout the competition and in what was one of the heats of the competition, aussie wildcard Beau Piligrim was seconds away from taking out world champion Airton Cozzolino in their anticipated clash. It came down to the last minute where Airton's last wave gave the Italian rider the edge and the heat victory. Beau went on to take the event rookie of the competition award alongside female wildcard Jennie Milton. These events would not have been such a huge successful without the tireless effort of a number of dedicated volunteers. Kiteboarding Australia would like to thank the team at Kiteboarding Victoria, the event organising committees, the water safety team, beach marshals, the Brand Dimension and GKA teams, the judging panels and countless other volunteers for all their hard work and dedication throughout these last 10 days. Without their efforts these events would not have come together so smoothly and turned out to be such an amazing spectacle for spectators and competitors alike. KA would also like to thanks our dedicated sponsors; Cabrinha for supporting the National Wave Series as our major sponsor, Duotone, BWS, Ocean Rodeo, Adam at Snow Foto, Smook Boards, Kite Republic, SHQ Boardsports, CamelBak, Quobba Fins & the team at Brand Dimensions for their continual support of both KA and our National and State Titles events. Its greatly appreciated. We are in the process of editing the full recap of the event and look forward to sharing this with you soon! Have a windy Christmas! Kiteboarding Australia