GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Final Day

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller / Video: Mintautas Grigas

The competition in Hvide Sande concluded today, unfortunately with no wind, but with an overall fantastic experience of everything that this wonderful location offers.

It was an earlier start than usual today, with the skipper’s meeting taking place at 7am, with the intention of taking advantage of any possible wind that would allow us to complete the event.

The wind forecast changed constantly throughout the week, but finally it was just not enough to get the event underway. Hvide Sande is an amazing location, which usually offers fantastic kiting conditions. It has been unlucky to not be able to showcase these amazing conditions with our competitors and live-stream, but everyone who has been present for this event leaves with a feeling of appreciation for this area, and for the wonderful people who worked hard to make this event happen.


Watch our event highlights!

What happens now?

It’s not often that an event cannot start due to lack of wind for the full duration, but unfortunately when you depend on nature, these things happen.

Each rider who attended the event, received 30 points towards their ranking. Focus now shifts to our next event, in Dakhla, Morocco, where Peri Roberts and James Carew will be looking to maintain their leads, but the other riders will try to close in on them.

“So unfortunately the suitable conditions did not materialise this week,” says head judge Mallory de la Villemarque. “This means that the title-race now moves to Dakhla. This gives both James and Peri an even better possibility of becoming World Champions, which would be the first time for both. Nothing is certain, but we know that the fight in Dakhla will be very exciting. Dakhla usually consists of a mixed format event, so we are hoping for a good swell to provide a great event and exciting battle for the top spots.”

Next event on the horizon

The GKA riders will have just a short break now, and will then head to Dakhla, Morocco from the 27th to the 31st of October for the next kite-surf event. Expect to see some amazing action at this classic spot, along with a live-stream to bring you all of the action directly as it happens.

Famed as one of the world’s hotspots for kitesurfing, there are good ground swells that hit this coast and wrap around the points which makes it perfect for a combo wave and strapless freestyle event with cross-onshore winds. 

Be sure to follow all of the event online!

We would like to thank all of the riders, fans, local organisers and crew for making this event in Denmark happen. 

Watch our "In the bag" tech-talk series

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Final Day appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Five

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller 

The competition remained on hold for Day 5, but the riders were kept occupied with a beach clean, fishing excursion and a host of other beach activities here at the spot in Hvide Sande.

Keeping the spot clean

It’s important for the GKA Kite World Tour to encourage positive habits when it comes to our environment and ocean. Today, GKA riders participated in a beach clean-up organized by om-hu.dk. The ocean is our playground, it’s our source of inspiration, thrill, and home to millions of Earth’s plants and animals. Without the oceans, we wouldn’t exist.

Wherever you live, the easiest and most direct way that you can get started is by reducing your own use of single-use plastics. Single-use plastics include plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, take-out containers, and any other plastic items that are used once and then discarded. We only have one planet Earth. Let’s take care of it.

We also visited a local recycling studio called Omhu. They organise regular beach clean-ups. Here, they collect the plastic fishing crates which are often washed up on the shore after falling off fishing boats. These are taken to their recycling studio where they are shredded, melted, and moulded into surf fins are other objects. These are then sold in their shop as souvenirs from the area. 

“Spending time in the outdoors and in nature is so much more enjoyable when there is no trash, “explained Katrine, co-founder of Omhu. “I realised this after spending time outside walking my dog each day, and so we decided to do something about it. Using trash as a resource, and making something amazing with it is what it’s all about for us.”


Fishing Trip 

Whilst the event was still on hold several riders decided to take a local fishing trip to discover some of the more traditional activities that Hvide Sande offers.

Matchu Lopes, Capucine Delannoy and Francesco Cappuzzo ventured out with a local fishing crew to see what they could catch! 

“It was really nice to go on this fishing excursion,” said Francesco. “We went through some really beautiful areas, and stopped to fish at several different spots. I caught one fish, but Capucine did even better and caught four! We released them all. We spent a nice couple of hours in total, and it was great to see a different side of Hvide Sande.”

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

Tomorrow will be the final day of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark.

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 6.30am tomorrow morning.

Tune in to our website to follow all the action!

Live-Stream Show Denmark Day Five

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Five appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Four

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller 

The competition did not commence today due to the lack of wind, but we launched our new  “In the bag” series during the morning live-stream show, that highlights the gear each rider is currently using. We also sat down with Susi Schwarztrauber to discuss working while on tour, cosmetics, and women supporting women.

“In the Bag”

An athlete has to be prepared for all conditions when coming into competition, that’s why we’ve created the “In the bag” series, where riders empty out their boardbags and show us what they travel with. A technical talk that goes through all their favourite set-ups, you can re-watch it all right here. Today we dug into the board bags of Reece Myerscough, Camille Delannoy and Catharina Edin

Hvide Sande Destination

Today was a great opportunity to visit some of the well known sights of Hvide Sande. Several riders made a trip to the lighthouse, which was built in 1906, and made their way up the 228 steps to the top, which offers stunning views across the area. 

Another popular activity in Hvide Sande is the cable park, which is a great full-size cable with good modules and offers a perfect activity for windless days. The riders managed to get out there and enjoy several hours of riding.


Conversations with Susi

During the down-time today, we took a moment to talk to one of our female athletes on tour, Susi Schwarztrauber. This week, as we have been patiently waiting for the wind, we noticed Susi always glued to her laptop, working away in a corner. It turns out that the life of this female athlete is much more than just riding and competing, and she is a super entrepreneur on the side. 

“I’m actually a pharmacist, and somehow I ended up competing on the GKA Kite World Tour at the sametime,” explained Susi. “Back in 2019, I just decided to try one of the competitions. I wanted to see how I could face up alongside some of the best in the world. I ended up in Punta Preta in 5 metre waves for my first competition. It was super tough, but I just really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I just got hooked, and now it’s 2021 and here I am. The downside, of course, is that you have to fund yourself, and as a pharmacist it was so hard to find a job that allowed me the flexibility I needed to continue travelling,but I didn’t want money to keep me from my biggest passion, which was wanting to compete.”

It’s often difficult for athletes to find the funding and support that they need to be able to compete full time, and for Susi, it was about finding a balance between her work life, and her passion for kiteboarding.

“I’m really lucky to have Core who really support and help me. Finding sponsors and support takes a lot of effort and work. I put a massive effort into being here where I am.”

Susi was very fortunate to eventually land a perfect remote job, developing food supplements, which allowed her to continue travelling whilst working in her chosen industry. During events, you will see her focused and concentrated on her work until the wind kicks in, which is when she switches from work-mode to competition-mode.

Susi manages to do even more than a full time job whilst competing on the World Tour, she is also an entrepreneur, and is currently creating her own line of cosmetics for active women. 

“We are badass women. We like to play in the dust, yet we are still feminine. We are not perfect,that’s not our reality. When it comes to cosmetics, there is something really missing for women who are exposed to outdoor conditions, and that is what I have been working on,” she explains. “As I’m a pharmacist and a water sports lover, I really wanted to tackle the needs of women similar to myself. I have vitiligo, which is a pigmentation disorder. That’s why sun protection has always been so important to me. It’s taken us one and a half years to develop so far. We’ve tested it a lot, the texture, the perfume, everything. At this point now we are working on the branding and packaging, and being environmentally conscious is very important to us. We hope to be able to launch next spring.”

How does a competitive athlete with a full-time job find the time to do all of this? “It can be crazy. I was at the last event in Sylt, and I was in my wetsuit taking a work call right before my heat. It takes a lot of dedication. For now, I still have the energy for it, and I’m motivated,” she says. “I really believe that women need to support other women, and not always see each other as competition. If we don’t support each other then who will? Here on tour, I’m just surrounded by badass women. I’m so proud to be here with them. You have to realise that the girl next to you is not your opponent. So now I’m proud to be developing a brand that is by women, for women, and this is really important to me.”

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark is taking place from the 6th -11th of September. 

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 9am tomorrow morning.

We will be LIVE with our event show tomorrow from 10am to 11am CET with our new tech-talk series – “In the bag”. Tune in to our website to follow all the action!

Live-Stream Show Denmark Day Four

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Four appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Three

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller 

The waiting game continued today as Hvide Sande teased us with another windless day. The tension amongst the riders was high as they anxiously awaited the start of competition.

The race director, Juan Antonio Aragon, held the skipper’s meeting at 9am on Day 3 of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup in Denmark. As he explained, although the forecast for the day was not particularly optimistic, anything can happen at this location, and it’s important to be ready in case the wind suddenly picks up.   

Today’s Live-Stream Show

The live-stream show was on from 10am to 11am with Jo Ciastula and Gemma Hamaini. Today they were joined live by Peri Roberts, Pedro Matos and Capucine Delannoy, who discussed life on tour, the past event in Sylt, and what it takes to be a champion. You can re-watch the full show on Youtube.

“In The Bag” Coming Tomorrow

Whilst the wait for wind was on, we took a little time to chat with several riders about what equipment they were planning on using here in Denmark, and we went into details about their preferences, equipment tuning, and preferred set-up.

“So I’m about to go through all of my boardbag with Jo,” said Reece Myerscough. “We will go through all my boards and my kites, and talk about what I’m working on in terms of new shapes. It’s going to be interesting, so you will definitely want to watch this on the show tomorrow!”

“I normally travel with about 16 kilos of gear, which is not too bad,“ explained Kiko Roig Torres. “7 to 14m Lift kites and 6, 8 and 10m Session kites for wave-riding. I always have one kite that I use for freestyle, and one kite for wave-riding.” 

To get a full view of all current gear that everyone is using, tune in tomorrow morning at 10am for the live-stream show.

Catch-up with Karolina

Legendary rider Karolina Winkowska has been one of the biggest names in freestyle and park kiteboarding for the last ten years, so some may find it unusual to see her name pop up here as a registered competitor on the GKA Kite World Tour. Karolina has three Freestyle World Champion titles under her belt, and two Triple-S wins. After a few years out of the competitive kite scene, we spent some time with the legend herself to find out what has motivated her to come back to the World Tour, and become involved in the Kite-Surf discipline. 

“At the end of 2019, I was feeling really worn out. After competing non-stop for so many years, I just needed a break. I was in Australia looking at my calendar for the upcoming year, and was just like, I can’t do this. It’s so much travelling, “ explained Karolina. “Then the pandemic happened. I was stuck in Australia thinking, what do I do now? So I just embraced it, and focused on surfing. I surfed as much as possible.”

Karolina ended up spending most of the pandemic in Australia, mainly surfing, but also kiting. There were no flights home to Poland, and with all travel and competitions cancelled for the foreseeable future, her plans for the year changed in an instant.

After the break due to the pandemic, Karolina finally started to feel the yearning for competition return. She has competed in various sports since she was a little girl, including skiing and snowboarding, and really felt a need to return to competition.

“My competitive career was put on hold due to the pandemic. Park events were pretty much cancelled. Competition is my skill. Some people are good at painting, or solving jigsaw puzzles, but for me, competing is in my nature. I needed that feeling again. I love going to events and meeting people. So I just wanted to go to an event, ride with the best female riders in the world, and get that extra motivation for my riding again.”

As someone who has mainly focused on freestyle and park riding, the transition to wave-riding or strapless freestyle hasn’t been so easy. 

“I’m definitely stronger in wave-riding than in strapless freestyle, but coming to this event gives me an extra test to push myself. Strapless riding is definitely new to me, but I enjoy it. It takes a lot of time, and it’s very technical. I need to spend more time on this, but I have the motivation.”

Karolina has been a pioneer in freestyle riding, constantly pushing the boundaries and laying the groundwork that we see in women’s competition today.

“The level is increasing from event to event in women’s competitions now. The women are all pushing it, and it feels great to join them, but my goal this time is different. I used to compete to win, and that really dragged me down psychologically. I didn’t want to come 2nd, 3rd or last. I had to win or I would feel bad. But now my mindset is so different. I want to get my ass kicked, I want to have fun, ride with other girls, so I figured it would be fun to come to these events, and it’s been great.”

So what lies in her competitive plans for the rest of the year?

“I’m thinking about going to Brazil for the freestyle competition. I’ll see first how things evolve with the pandemic.”

No matter what Karolina decides to do next, it’s an honour to have her back on tour. The more women we have competing and pushing the boundaries of the sport, the better.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark will be taking place from the 6th -11th of September. 

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 9am tomorrow morning.

We will be LIVE with our event show from 10am to 11am with interviews, tech talks and much more. Tune in to our website to follow all the action!

Live-Stream Show Denmark Day Three

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Three appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Two

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller / Video: Mintautas Grigas

For the second day running, athletes and crew were on standby awaiting the suitable conditions for the start of competition.

It was an early start for the crew and riders at Hvide Sande today with the skipper’s meeting taking place at 8am. The wind forecast had been looking optimistic, however upon arrival at the beach, the weather was overcast and the wind was not yet suitable. 

Juan Antonio Aragon, the GKA race director, kept everyone on half hour calls, but by 6pm, when the wind failed to materialise, the competition was called off for the day. The riders remain positive, knowing how this location can change fast, and when the conditions are good it is a true paradise.

With four days of competition remaining, the focus is firmly on the upcoming forecast, which will allow us to run the contest as soon as there is a suitable window.


The Live-Stream Show

Whilst the athletes were waiting to spring into action, the live-stream crew were busy preparing the LIVE news show which took place from 10am to 11am. Today they were joined by Matchu Lopes and Francesco Cappuzzo for live interviews where they discussed the local spot, travelling challenges during the pandemic, tour life and much more. 

Matchu Lopes gave a great insight during his live interview, on what keeps him motivated after so many years on tour. The competitive spirit and drive between the top competitors is a key element.

“I’m one of the few riders who has been on the GKA tour since the very beginning,” said Matchu. “Seeing the progression, and now being here in Denmark, seeing this battle for the title between James, Airton, Pedro and myself also in the mix, is really impressive. After almost 14 years competing it really keeps me motivated. Seeing the focus these guys have, like James, the way he trains, the way he prepares himself, how he looks at the other guys in the water, it’s motivating and intriguing. It keeps me motivated now when I’m at home, it helps me push myself, and improve the things I’m not so good at, such as power, height, and now I’m really pushing for that. Thanks to these guys, we are all pushing each other’s progression.  We’ve gone from front rolls to board offs and now kiteloops with multiple rotations, more height, power, tough landings, breaking a board per session, it’s tough and you’re taking risks in every session.”

For Francesco Capuzzo, he explained to us how he has already been at the spot here in Hvide Sande for 10 days, and has had some amazing kite sessions.

“This is my second time here in Denmark. I first came here two years ago to Klitmøller for a windsurf event,“ explained Francesco. “I’ve been here for ten days now training with James Carew and Airton Cozzolino. We had some really good days with 1.5 metre waves and side-shore wind. The spot is amazing and I know I can do really well here. Hopefully we will be able to score these kinds of conditions later in the week.”

The focus now shifts to the coming days, particularly from Friday onwards where the forecast is looking more promising. The skipper’s meeting has been called for tomorrow at 9am.


Be sure to tune in once again tomorrow morning to the LIVE show at 10am CET.


GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark will be taking place from the 6th -11th of September. 

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 8am tomorrow morning.

We will be LIVE with our event show from 10am to 11am with interviews, tech talks and much more. Tune in to our website to follow all the action!


Live-Stream Show Denmark Day Two

The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Day Two appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Registration Day

Report: Gemma Hamaini / All photos: Lukas Stiller / Video: Mintautas Grigas

Day One at the charming location of Hvide Sande in Denmark saw the top kitesurfers in the world descend upon the sleepy beachside town to register and prepare for the upcoming week of competition. 

Hvide Sande, which translates to White Sands, is a small Danish town located right in the middle of a narrow headland, in western Denmark. It separates the North Sea from the Ringkøbing Fjord, and this week plays host to the much-anticipated GKA Kite-Surf World Cup. This location truly comes to life with north-westerly wind, where the spot showcases the very best conditions it offers. The competition is taking place at the South Pier, a breakwater that produces a legendary wave in the region, with clean waves coming through with a northwest wind. 



There are 26 Men and 14 Women of 19 different nationalities registered to compete this week at Hvide Sande. After a short break since the previous GKA Kite-Surf World Tour event in Sylt, the riders are feeling refreshed and ready to focus once again on competition.

All of the top competitors are present here in Denmark and ready to defend their positions. The Australians are currently top of the leaderboard, in both the female and male divisions. Peri Roberts and James Carew will be looking to maintain their leads, but it won’t be that simple as they have a troop of riders hot on their heels ready to fight for the top spots. As  the World Titles creep closer with every event, each move counts and there is no room for error.

“I’m nervous and excited coming into this event on top,” explained current female leader Peri Roberts. “However I also feel a bit of pressure. I’m excited to push my level, and try to get my first event win here in Denmark. A win is something I’ve strived for since starting. The surf here can be really good. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for those conditions.”

She will have to contend with Capucine Delannoy, our Sylt event winner, coming into the event with her eye on the prize once again. The talented young french rider looked unstoppable at our last event, and we’re looking forward to seeing a repeat performance. The battle for the top in the female division is still an open race for all top four ranked females, Peri Roberts, Charlotte Carpentier, Johanna-Catharina Edin and Capucine Delannoy.

As for James Carew, he is holding the advantage of having two event wins to his name, but there is still the possibility of Pedro Matos, Airton Cozzolino, Matchu Lopes or Reece Myerscough knocking him from his top spot. With more events still set to take place, there is room for movement in the title race. 

The wind forecast for the week is constantly changing, although it looks as though the competition will take place towards the end of the week where the wind will be stronger. The weather can change extremely fast here at Hvide Sande, so nothing is set in stone just yet.


The Live-Stream

As we wait for the conditions to improve, we will have a live-stream show each morning from 10am to 11am CET to offer a chance to discuss the  event, current rankings, athlete interviews and much more. The live-stream will be on Youtube, Facebook and on the GKA website.

Since the start of the Covid pandemic, it has been more of a challenge to be able to offer a live-stream at our GKA events, due to difficulties with travel restrictions, budget constraints, and general challenges. For this reason we are delighted to be able offer a live-stream at this event in Denmark.

“As we wait for the good forecast to arrive, we’re looking forward to showing the ins and outs of the event on the livestream each morning, with tech-talks, interviews and a catch up with the riders so that the public can feel as though they are here on the beach with us,” explains GKA commentator Jo Ciastula. “It’s great for us to be able to have a live-stream again at this event, so that the fans can really follow all of the action from home. We hope to put together a great show.” 


GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark Schedule

The GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark will be taking place from the 6th -11th of September. 

The skipper’s meeting has been called for 8am tomorrow morning.

We will be LIVE with our event show from 10am to 11am CET with interviews, tech talks and much more. Tune in to our website to follow all the action!


The post GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Denmark 2021 | Registration Day appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.