During the last weekend I got the opportunity, finally, to participate in a kitesurfing competition in 2020, and probably the biggest kitesurfing event amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. From November 5th to November 7th, Makani Beach Club hosted El Gouna Kite Mania 2020 competition in El Gouna. The competition was full of excitement and fun, with over 50 riders coming from all different spots in Egypt and different countries.
The event was well organized and the wind worked to make it fun for the riders and the spectators. The competition was on five different categories of which three categories in Big-air and two categories in racing. The Big-air competition was based on 60% for the height of the rider jump, and 40% on style and technique, and the categories were divided into women, men expert, and men advanced riders. While the racing categories were in Slalom and Speed races.
The first day of the Kite Mania, the Big Air Style competition took place for women and men experts. The day started with early morning with a brief from the judges on the rules and competition agenda. The wind started building up slowly during the day from 15 knots to 20 knots, riders were on 9m to 14m kites. The local Gouni rider Noussa Denkler pulled some real big-air style in the women competition that earned her the first place. On the second part of the day, the men’s Expert Big-Air competition started, and it was a great show and fascinating performance by the pro riders and champions on the water. On the final, the young and rising riders Ahmed Kite and Abdu Eid where competiting with the big-air champions Mostafa Abbas and Hussain Ali Eldien. Indeed all the riders have put a great show, and Abdu Eid from Dahab was able to take the first place for the men’s expert big-air.
The second day of the event, the wind started to pick up by 10:30 am. The day started with the two races, where the Flysurfer rider Lucas Vogeltanz from the Czech Republic finished in the first place on both races. Following the races, the wind started to reach 20 knots and the men’s advanced big-air competition started. I was anticipating this category of the competition as I sign-up for it. I got to perform well on my first heat and to qualify to the second round. The heats were ten minutes and consisted of four rider that are performing high jump simultaneously. Riding during those ten minutes could more intense as it requires coordination between the riders in timing the jumps while keeping focus on performance during the same time. The advanced big-air competition had 24 riders, and the heats continued till sunset. Abdo Alnos from Ras Sidr pulled the best big-air style in the advanced category for men and won the first place.
The event concluded on the third day with barbeque for riders and participants followed by a ceremony celebrating the competition’s champions. Overall, the three days of the event were full of excitement and experience. The event organizers, Makani team, the riders, and the pleasant weather all made the event a great success. I look forward for the next edition of El Gouna Kite Mania.