The first ever (unofficial) national kitesurf championships of Cabo Verde took place on Sal island Monday November 21, 2011. With the level of Capeverdian riders on the KSP world tour being incredibly high, with Mitu Monteiro (CBV) sitting in second place and Airton Cozzolino (originally CBV, now Italian resident) leading the KSP world ranking before the 3rd and final event of the season (to be held at Ponta Preta/Sal/Cabo Verde from December 2-11, 2011) a high level of riding could be expected from the local rippers.
The official riders’ meeting and briefing was held at Ponta Preta at 9am and with the direction of the swell being too northerly the decision was made to move the competition site to the "Secret Spot" further up north where the 8 competitors could be seen hitting the water at 10.30 am.
A real community effort, the first ever Capeverdian competiton was held in a very basic yet professional manner. Former world champion Mitu Monteiro acted as the beach marshal, handing out the competition rash vests and passing on some last and very valuable tips to the riders before their heats, while 9x World Champion and KSP tour manager Kristin Boese took over the role of the contest director and judge. Jerome Boggio-Pasqua and Maxence Lange took the other spots in the judges’ panel and were in for a day of hard work with many close decisions to be made.
The local CBV riders exceeded the expectations put into them when they showed some incredible newschool riding with lots of power, flow and variety over the next 4 hours of competition. A double elimination system was run which certainly saw some surprises and upsets. How close the level of the top riders really was became obvious when Luis Brito, who had lost his round 1 heat against Elvis Nunes, made it into the losers’ final – meeting Elvis again! But not only these two riders showed exceptional skills and smart competition riding. Edir Lopez, the only rider riding with footstraps, rode with amazing power and style and ended up loosing to Luis Brito in the Quarter Finals by only 0,5 points.
The closest heat of the day saw best friends Matchu Almeida and Luis Brito in the Semi Finals, with Luis leading through the first half of the heat and Matchu only taking the heat with his 2 last waves. While Matchu could be seen and heard jubilating on the beach in joy about winning one of the 2 local wildcard spots for the Ponta Preta KSP in December by making it into the final, Luis went on to take 3rd place in the competition. Matchu battled it out in the final with Jose "Djo" Silva but could not quite find the waves he needed to beat Djo's energetic, powerful style and technical manouvers. Jose "Djo" Silva came out of this competition as the first Cape Verdian champion and, even though unofficially honored as such, received a huge applause from the local crowd and the tourists on the beach.
The two local wild cards for the Ponta Preta Kite Surf Pro have herewith been determined and go to Jose "Djo" Silva and Matchu Almeida who can be seen competing with the world’s best riders at their home spot from the 2nd to the 11th of December 2011.
A big thanks goes to Joao Barbosa and Dany Obranivic for covering the action. Thanks also to Nicole, Ricardo, the drivers and everyone else that helped to make this event possible, to give these local Cabo Verde guys a great lesson in competition riding and to make a dream come true for some of them!
Watch the clip of the event here: www.kiteworld.tv/prime-cuts/wild-cards/
CBV 2011 competition results:
1st place: Jose “Djo” Silva
2nd place: Match Almeida
3rd place: Luis Brito
4th place: Elvis Nunes
5th place: Edir Lopes
5th place: Papy Duarte
7th place: Luis Carlos
7th place: Wagner Nascimiento