By Wendy Osher
A $10,000 challenge grant was awarded to the Kite Surf Pro World Championship Tour to produce a second consecutive annual tournament at Ho’okipa Beach Park next month, county officials announced.
The challenge grant, awarded by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development, provides up to $10,000 in matching funds for the event, planned to run from Nov. 22 to Dec. 1, 2013.
OED Director Teena Rasmussen commented in a county-issued press release today saying, “This challenge grant to KSP will be a boost for them to raise the final funds they need to put on this world-class tournament. We urge Maui’s businesses to support them. Every dollar given by businesses will be leveraged into two dollars for the tournament.”
The event features the top 24 male and top 12 female kite surfing athletes in the world on Maui, touted by contest organizers as the birthplace of the sport.
“I am very pleased to see KSP coming back for another championship tournament,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa in a statement.
“These kinds of events are a huge boost to the North Shore economy, and they showcase Maui’s wind and surf across the globe with video streaming and social media,” he said.
During last year’s competition, kite sufers Keahi DeAboitiz of Australia, and Jalou Langeree of the Netherlands took home the 2012 titles in the men’s and women’s divisions respectively.
Event organizer Kristin Boese said both will be returning to compete. “It will be an incredible battle to watch and I hope that many Maui residents and visitors will join us at the beach. We are grateful to Maui County for this support,” said Boese.
Due to the cancellation of the Puerto Rico KSP tour stop in October, the 2013 Wave World Champions on Maui this year is being referred to as a “one-off” world championship.
The KSP was founded in 2011 to provide a professional platform for competitive kite surfing, and is sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association and governed by the International Sailing Federation.