Please select your home edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cape Verde: World title holders set to open defence of crowns

by Ian MacKinnon, GKA Kite World Tour 15 Mar 11:36 GMT 17-27 March 2023

The men's and women's Qatar Airways GKA Kite-Surf World Champions, James Carew and 16-year-old Capucine Delannoy, are set to begin the defence of their crowns at the legendary Ponta Preta break on the Cape Verde island of Sal.

Hard-charging Australian, Carew, is seeking to land a third successive world title after lifting last year's crown with decisive victories at the two world tour stops in tricky conditions in Dakhla, Morocco, and Taiba, Brazil.

French teenager Delannoy also claimed a win at the opening stop of 2022 season in Morocco and did enough to take the world championship crown by reaching the semi-final in Brazil. It was her year's second title after she won the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite-Surf World Championship in Tarifa, Spain.

Big stellar field

Both are rostered to take to the water in the 2023 tour's first stop at the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cape Verde. It is one of the globe-trotting tour's five scheduled stops that span Africa, South America and Europe.

The pair are among a starry field of 41 men and women, from 14 nations and five continents, who have been drawn by the promise of epic conditions and tough battles.

All the men's and women's top seeds are due to fight for glory. The victors in the storied 2019 barrel-fest, Cape Verdean Mitu Monteiro and the US's Moona Whyte, are also set to return to the iconic African surf-break.

Hotbed of talent

The mouth-watering 2023 contest will be staged at two possible Sal locations. Ponta Preta, with its big, glassy waves and cross-offshore winds, is to be the primary spot. Kite Beach on the south-east of the island is the back-up if Ponta Preta is not working.

Ten islands make up the archipelago of Cape Verde which lies a two hours' flight south of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic. Due to their geographical location the islands are frequented by pumping swells and reliable trade winds.

It is those conditions that make Cape Verde a hotbed of internationally-renowned kite-surfing talent. Aside from Monteiro, the highly-seeded Hendrick Lopes is among a clutch of Cape Verdeans with home break advantage, who are up for the fight.

Brazilians are coming

But for reigning champion, Carew, one of the biggest threats may come from Spain's Matchu Lopes, who also calls Cape Verde home. The Brazilian trio of Pedro Matos, Sebastian Ribeiro and Gabriel Benetton have also at times pushed Carew hard.

French title holder Delannoy will also have her work cut out for her if she is to keep the crown. Brazil's Kesiane Rodigues exploded onto the kite-surf scene to take the tour stop win on home waters in Taiba last year, just ahead of three-time freestyle world champion, Bruna Kajiya. Both are slated to show up in Cape Verde.

None of those minimise the threat posed by highly-ranked rivals, like Canadian, Frances Kelly, Camille Losserand (SUI), Charlotte Carpentier (FRA) and compatriot Zoe Bazile. Each have shown themselves capable of upsetting the form books and it promises to be an enthralling contest.

The official Race Notice and event schedule is here

Related Articles

Formula Kite Youth European & Masters Worlds day 4
Torregrande breeze and Sardinian sunshine deliver picture-perfect conditions Four wins out of five races from Saturday's session will give Qibin Huang a lot of confidence going into Sunday's Medal Series in the Formula Kite Youth European Championship. Posted on 27 May
Formula Kite Youth European & Masters Worlds day 3
Three wins from four shows Damasiewicz means business Julia Damasiewicz promised herself she could do better, and on day 4 in Torregrande, Sardinia, the Polish rider delivered. Posted on 26 May
GKA Big Air Kite Worlds Tarifa preview
The waiting game begins in Andalusia The planet's best kiteboarders are pumped and ready for action as the competition window for the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships in Tarifa, Spain, opens today. Posted on 26 May
Formula Kite Youth European & Masters Worlds day 2
Threat of thunder and lightning brought fleet ashore early Thunder and lightning in the Sardinian sky brought an early close to competition on day two in Torregrande. Posted on 26 May
Formula Kite Youth European & Masters Worlds day 1
Warm winds of 8 to 16 knots in Torregrande, Sardinia After four races in warm winds of 8 to 16 knots, some clear patterns are already beginning to emerge in the three world-class kitefoiling contests taking place in Torregrande, Sardinia. Posted on 25 May
Kitefoil Youths and Masters ready to race
At the Marina di Torregrande in Oristano, Sardinia An international group of talented riders are getting ready to contest the Formula Kite Youth European Championship and the Kitefoil Open Masters World Championship in the Marina di Torregrande in Oristano, Sardinia. Posted on 23 May
Sail Canada introduces 2023-24 Sailing Team
28 squad members were selected based on the Canadian Sailing Team Sport Canada Carding Criteria Sail Canada is pleased to announce the list of sailors who will be part of the 2023-2024 Canadian Sailing Team and Canadian Sailing Development Squad. Posted on 18 May
Registration opens for IKA major events
Additional places awarded for Formula Kite Europeans and Youth Worlds The 2023 Formula Kite European Championships will be held in Portsmouth, UK and will serve as the continental qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Posted on 15 May
A Silver medal at French Olympic Week 2023
Daniela Moroz brought home a silver medal for the USA after Hyères test From French Mistral winds in the 30s to bobbing around in postponement and everything in between, Hyères tested competitors with a wide range of challenges during the 54th edition of Semaine Olympique Française. Posted on 2 May
French Olympic Week: Kiwis fall short in Hyères
Isaac McHardie and Will McKenzie have come agonisingly close to a medal Isaac McHardie and Will McKenzie have come agonisingly close to a second medal in as many European regattas, but the 49er duo still return to New Zealand with plenty of gains. Posted on 30 Apr