The fourth event of the now-classic summer “Crossing The Straits by Kite, Windsurf and Sail” is coming. An event organised by NewKiteZone of Punta Pellaro (RC) with the valued support of Reggio Calabria Sailing Club (CVR) and The Lega Navale of Reggio Calabria (Southern Section)
Starting from the heart of the city, Reggio’s beautiful Via Marina, from 3rd to 7th August 2011.
This is an extreme sport event, a challenge against the wind and sea.
Kitesurfers, windsurfers and sailors will all race together from the same start and finish point. This legendary stretch for racing can be tactically difficult to read given the changing wind conditions and differing aspects of the sea but it certainly makes for a fascinating spectacle. The Strait, with the imposing form of Etna, two coasts seeming so close and the views across the blue sea paints a perfect picture. The excitement of the event and the ease of which the race can be judged (the winner is simply the first back after touching Messina) instantly magnetises even the public who may be strangers to the sport. They are also attracted by the spectacular acrobatics of the “kiters” who are involved every day in training and exhibition events and speed trials over the water.
But the great innovation for this year’s Continent-Island event is the introduction of the GPS Android system that will accompany the athletes during the regatta. Thanks to this technology, for the first time in an event of this kind, the audience will be able to follow the movements of the competitors live over the course, on the surf-village screens. They will be able to watch all the stages of the race including position changes, individual performances, overtaking and loss of ground. Thanks to virtual coverage, through television or internet, even the audience at home can watch every detail of this summer’s challenge and, as always, there’s live betting: The Kite winners, the Windsurfers, the race odds, will the records be broken?....it’s all wide open!
In the words of the President of the Association of NewKiteZone and organiser of the “Crossing”, Agostino Martino: “ It’s a unique formula and experience that every Italian kiter dreams of, with each event bringing more excitement every time it’s held. This is because every year the challenge is new and almost makes it seem entirely different. However the scenery, unquestionably unique to the Straits, is always the same and always marvellous, retaining the essence of it all. From the point of view of the innovations, especially those of the GPS and improved safety among another things, this year will certainly be more spectacular but I can imagine nothing more wonderful, in terms of emotion, than the huge numbers that will start the race. It will be one of the greatest and most intense experiences of their lives.” He adds, “this is also the first year that the event raises the technical level by limiting to 36 the number of competitors for the blue ribbon RACE and devoting a soft edition RIDE open to everyone. It will therefore be a great celebration, not only for the participants but also for the audience who will feel involved in the live, on-screen race.”
Action sport with its acrobatics and the colours of the kites in flight across the water have significant appeal from the point of view of tourism, so much so that it is estimated, from data gathered over the recent events, that 92% of the audience will be casual visitors curious about this novel competition. Statistically every day there are around 50000 people who walk along the promenade, Lungomare, during the weekend of the event.
The initial goal of the organising committee seems to have been be achieved: create a regular annual event, a classica of Calabrian sport that promotes “a real festival of the sea” for the sports linked to it (kite, windsurf and sailing) and which offers fun and entertainment for visitors throughout the day. Its success can be measured by the fact that it has now grown to become nationally and internationally well-known.
The ethical and social intent to merge the two shores of Reggio and Messina, envisaged by “Città Metropolitana”, takes shape in this fourth edition because the Continent-Island is an athletic competition that does not lose sight of its social function. In fact unity and sharing are the watchwords in the overall vision. The athletes who race across the course will witness the sporting character of brotherhood among the various disciplines, sharing the same love of the sea, the wind and good healthy fun.
While the competitors concentrate on training hard, the audience who previously had to carry round the weight of telescopes can now, for the first time, follow the whole course of the race on the big screen of the media tower. They too will be able to enjoy the final sprint live as well as the thousands who traditionally view it from the Arena Lido of Reggio Calabria, a modern amphitheatre on the beach! Thrills guaranteed!!
For information, updates, insights, partners and media pack: www.traversata.it
Organiser: Agostino Martino, NewKiteZone and IKO Italy Rep, Punta Pellaro (Reggio Calabria/IT)