• The fifth edition of the largest kitesurf and wingfoil festival kicks off, featuring athletes from around the world who will compete on the sandy shores of Las Burras in Gran Canaria from December 6 to 10. The competition aims to qualify for the GWA World Tour and the Open Kitesurfing Championship of the Canary Islands.
• The official presentation counted on Ancor Sosa (Fuerteventura), the current top 10 in the world for Wingfoil Race and Freestyle, Daniela Moreno (Gran Canaria), ranked in the top 10 worldwide in kitesurfing Waves, Noah Nicolas (Tarifa), youth kitesurfing world champion, among other riders.
The sandy shores of Las Burras in Gran Canaria set the stage for the unveiling of the fifth edition of the Gran Canaria Air Battle Festival this Wednesday. Although the festival is holding its first edition in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, around a hundred athletes from over 5 different countries, including Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Morocco, and Spain, will compete from December 7 to 10 for the last chance to qualify for the Global Wingsports Association (GWA) World Circuit and the Open Kitesurfing Championship of the Canary Islands across various classes.
According to the head judge of the competition, Javier Hipólito, "it is the national kiteboarding event with the most participants I have seen, just like what happened in the last edition where we also exceeded a hundred athletes." In the words of organizer Manuel Martínez, during the official presentation, there are also many registered for the fan race scheduled for this Saturday and the free initiation courses in kitesurfing and wingfoil.
The festival, organized by the Canakite Experiences Sports Club in collaboration with the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation and with the institutional sponsorship from the Sports and Tourism departments of the Gran Canaria Council, also featured the participation of some local rider favorites during the inaugural event, such as Ancor Sosa from Fuerteventura, who has just returned from the GWA Wingfoil Freestyle tour in Brasil. "I am ready for this event; we are ready to hit the water," commented the current world number 10 in Wingfoil Freestyle and Race.
Making a mark on the global kitesurf scene, Gran Canaria's Daniela Moreno, already in the top 10 worldwide in the Waves category, was also present. "I am currently competing in the world tour in Waves with a kite, but in this event, I will compete in everything I can. I think I'm going to have a great time. I would also like to invite more girls to come and participate; let's support each other," encouraged the athlete from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Among the riders present during the inaugural event was also the youth kitesurfing world champion (sub19 Strapless), Noah Nicolas from Tarifa, who expressed his eagerness to start the festival and the favorable conditions on the island for kiteboarding. Another prominent kitesurfer during the presentation was the veteran Klaus Fietz, who, at 80 years old, has been participating since the first edition of the festival.
Representing the municipality hosting the festival, the councilor for Tourism, Festivals, and Events, Yilenia Vega, welcomed the riders with a few words along with other representatives of the municipal corporation, such as the Sports Councilor, Marcelino Ramón. "We are pleased to host so many young promises and professionals. Although this festival is open to everyone, not just of any age but of any level, so we encourage participation," expressed Vega. In her words, this event is a "boost to the leisure and sports offerings that the municipality sorely needs."
In addition to hosting the qualifying test for wingfoil in the Surf-Freestyle and Freefly-Slalom categories, the Gran Canaria Air Battle will also host the Open Kitesurfing Championship of the Canary Islands in the Big Air (high jumps) and Strapless Freestyle (freestyle tricks in the air) classes. "If conditions permit, we will also try to include the Waves category in both disciplines," clarified Martínez.
The Gran Canaria Air Battle Kite & Wingfoil Festival continues to maintain its essence as an event open to all ages and levels. "This festival is a meeting point for riders who have honed their skills in competitions like this, where they can participate regardless of their level. Many who have been with us since the first edition are now among the world's best," added Martínez.
Free courses, equipment giveaways, and water fun for all participants
Simultaneously with the competition, free initiation courses in kitesurfing and wingfoil will be offered on December 6 and 7 by Pozo Winds, Lpws Pozo Izquierdo, Siroco Kitesurf, and Gran Canaria Wingfoil Academy. Additionally, Noah Nicolas, the youth kitesurfing world champion (sub19 Strapless), will conduct a free workshop in this category for those looking to enhance their skills, especially in Strapless Freestyle technique, scheduled for Friday, December 8.
In addition to activities focused on development and training, the festival's program includes a beach cleanup on Saturday, December 9, and promises entertainment with AquaSports Gran Canaria. Throughout the festival, there will be giveaways of equipment from brands such as CORE, North Kiteboarding, and Duotone, among others. Alongside these entities, Ahembo, with its 7up brand, and SPAR Gran Canaria stand out as private sponsors.