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Kitesurfing World Tour underway on Achill

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Kite Surfing

Kitesurfing World Tour gets under way on Achill


Anton McNulty

antonmcnulty@mayonews.ie

MORE wind please was the cry from the organisers of the Kitesurfing World Tour as the unusually placid conditions limited the amount of competition time over the opening weekend.
The Aer Lingus Kite Surf Pro competition was officially launched on Friday night as the world’s top kitesurfers descended on Achill Island for the penultimate leg of the prestigious KSP World Tour.
Unusually for this time of the year in Achill, the wind speed has not been kind to the riders who have only had one day of competition so far when they travelled to Belmullet on Sunday. However, the organisers are confident the weather will be favourable over the coming week.
“During a ten day holding period we always have some lay days, but we normally don’t need more than three or at the most four days to complete a competition,” explained KSP Tour Manager, Kristin Boese. “Having a few days free will actually be very nice because it will allow the riders time to recover. But we are very positive with the forecast.”
The launch of the competition took place in the Pure Magic Lodge in Slievemore with the Achill Pipe Band and traditional musicians playing to give the competitors a taste of Achill culture. Cllr Micheál McNamara officially opened the competition and welcomed the competitors and hoped they enjoyed their stay.
Kristin Boese told The Mayo News that holding the competition in Ireland was a logical step in the promotion of the sport because it has the perfect conditions.
“For the tour we always look for really good wind and wave destinations and we need both. If you look at the whole globe the selection is limited and Ireland is very well know for its good waves. We were a little hesitant at first because it is colder than the other destinations but Ireland has other features which makes up for that like the hospitality and the beautiful countryside,” she explained.
Kristin said the competitors were really looking forward to taking part in the competition and she said the initial reports from them were positive. The 2011 male and female world champions Airton Cozzolino from Italy and Portugal’s Ines Correira will be competing in Ireland for the first time and were looking forward to battling the conditions.
“This is my first time in Ireland and the conditions are good and the waves are very powerful with good wind direction,” explained Ines before adding that ‘it is super cold’.
For host Francois Colussi of Pure Magic, having the World Tour in Achill is a dream come true for him since he opened the kitesurfing centre on the island three years ago.
“We are expecting a celebration of our sport with a big show on the water and an amazing performance from the best riders in the world. It is an amazing privilege to have them here in Achill. They are all superstars in the sport and we want to give the riders a good experience.”
Updates and information on the competition are available on www.kspworldtour.com or www.puremagic.ie and on their Facebook pages.

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