With overwhelming support from the kiteboarding community, the globally recognized Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) will be organizing two major events at the Kite Masters - PortimÃ£o World Tour 2008 in PortimÃ£o, Portugal.
In the tradition of the Tennis Masters Cup, PKRA will be hosting the Freestyle Kite Masters Invitational Cup, where the best 16 progressive freestyle riders of the world (male and female), along with 4 major Portuguese riders, will face a battle dubbed â€œthe most challenging kiteboarding competition to date.â€ The â€œcrÃ¨me de la crÃ¨meâ€ of the kiteboarding world will compete in a new, different and exciting group format where they will vie for a chance to be crowned the kiteboarding champion of champions, plus a generous amount of prize money.
Along with the Freestyle Invitational Cup, the Kite Masters 2008 is also the third stop of the second annual Kiteboarding Course Racing World Tour, where the hardest-hitting and the best kiteboard racers from all over the world will come together in a five-day event to compete in the toughest racing competition in kiteboarding history.
From the 9th to the 13th of July, the worldâ€™s best kiteboarders will gather together in Praia de Alvor in the alluring city of PortimÃ£o for this premium event. As of this release, those already confirmed and who will be seen in action include PKRAÂ´s world number two Kevin Langeree, last yearâ€™s Kite Master and runner-up in the PKRA world standings, French riders Sebastien Garat, 2007 KPWT World Champion and current world number 8 in the PKRA and Old School Master Charles Deleau. New Zealandâ€™s number 1 and Northâ€™s ace Marc Jacobs, who was placed number 6 in last yearâ€™s Chile stop will also be joining the ranks. Spainâ€™s Alvaro Onieva, current world number 3 and 3rd over-all last year, Michael Schitzhofer of Austria, current PKRA world number 6 and 2007 Kite Master 3rd placer, Portugalâ€™s Rui Meira, PKRAÂ´s 2007 fifth placer and United Kingdomâ€™s Tom Court, current world number 7 will also be joining the pack. In the womenâ€™s division, last yearâ€™s PKRA World Champion and current world number 2 Gisela Pulido leads the ladies list along with fellow Spaniard Angela Peral and Jalou Langeree who ranked 5th and 6th places respectively in last yearâ€™s PKRA World Tour. Last yearâ€™s Kitemaster 4th placer, Steph Bridge from the United Kingdom, Germanyâ€™s Susie Mai, current PKRA world number 3 and Johara Sykes Davis, current world number 7 have also been confirmed for the event.
Every year, PKRA organizes a series of freestyle kiteboarding tournaments held in different countries from South America to Europe in order to determine the world ranking. Every competitor starts with zero points at the beginning of the PKRA tour and the rider who accumulates the most points at the end of the season is ranked the World Number One. For the Kite Masters Invitational Cup, the top ten male and the top six female riders will be divided into groups and will compete in special round-robin matches each against the other players in the group. The riders with the best records in each group will face each other in the semi-final round, with the semi-final winners meeting in the final round to determine the champion.
The Kite Masters competition aims to determine who among the top kiteboarders of today, is truly the best among the best, gaining the right to be called the master of kiteboarding. As the fastest growing water sports today, kiteboarding takes a lot of physical and mental discipline to master, not to mention a lot of dedication, training and love for the water. Only the truly proficient, skilled, extreme and innovative in the art of kiteboarding have the right to be crowned the master of the sport. With the help of the Kite Masters tournament, PKRA is hopeful that kiteboarding will soon become an Olympic sport for everyone to enjoy.