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Kiteboarders take on Coronado

The kiteboarding fleet speeds across the water in front of the Hotel Del for the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championship.
The kiteboarding fleet speeds across the water in front of the Hotel Del for the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championship.

Something about the air and the water didn’t match. Sitting on the white sand shores of Coronado Island, the iconic Hotel Del was behind me, but my eyes were fixed on the ocean. It almost looked like two separate scenes had been Photoshopped together. In the air were bright, puffed-out kites, effortlessly gliding along in the breeze. Below them was a much different scene. World-class athletes ripped and turned through the water, some even jumping several feet above the waves.

“It’s like standing on a ladder while surfing and flying a kite,” one of the competitors explained on the beach as he made his way in from the water. It was the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championship, a five-day competition held off the shores of Coronado. The competition brought in kitefoilers and raceboarders from all over the world, and for the tourists and locals of Coronado it brought in free entertainment. Anyone out for a jog or a walk south of the Hotel Del could see the beaches littered with bright colorful sails as the competitors geared up for their day of competition. Both kiteboarders and kitefoilers competed in what is still considered to be an emerging sport. In fact, the racing hydrofoil design that many of the athletes used was only introduced about two years ago.

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Julien Kerneur at the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championship. SDYC/ Bob Betancourt

Most of the athletes competing in the championship are considered the frontrunners of the kiteboarding world, including Julian Kerneur, the No. 1 ranked slalom rider in the world.

Kerneur went on to win the competition in the new kitefoil fleet, while 17-year-old Oliver Bridge took gold in the kiteboard class.

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The kiteboarding fleet speeds across the water in front of the Hotel Del for the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championship.
The kiteboarding fleet speeds across the water in front of the Hotel Del for the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championship.

Something about the air and the water didn’t match. Sitting on the white sand shores of Coronado Island, the iconic Hotel Del was behind me, but my eyes were fixed on the ocean. It almost looked like two separate scenes had been Photoshopped together. In the air were bright, puffed-out kites, effortlessly gliding along in the breeze. Below them was a much different scene. World-class athletes ripped and turned through the water, some even jumping several feet above the waves.

“It’s like standing on a ladder while surfing and flying a kite,” one of the competitors explained on the beach as he made his way in from the water. It was the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championship, a five-day competition held off the shores of Coronado. The competition brought in kitefoilers and raceboarders from all over the world, and for the tourists and locals of Coronado it brought in free entertainment. Anyone out for a jog or a walk south of the Hotel Del could see the beaches littered with bright colorful sails as the competitors geared up for their day of competition. Both kiteboarders and kitefoilers competed in what is still considered to be an emerging sport. In fact, the racing hydrofoil design that many of the athletes used was only introduced about two years ago.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Julien Kerneur at the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championship. SDYC/ Bob Betancourt

Most of the athletes competing in the championship are considered the frontrunners of the kiteboarding world, including Julian Kerneur, the No. 1 ranked slalom rider in the world.

Kerneur went on to win the competition in the new kitefoil fleet, while 17-year-old Oliver Bridge took gold in the kiteboard class.

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