The inaugural Australian Kitesurfing Nationals was held at Brighton Beach in Melbourne from the 3-6 January 2002. Sixty four competitors from all round Australia entered the comp. Typical Melbourne weather greeted the competitors, sunny, hot, windy, cloudy and cold all in the same day, and everyone was sun burnt.
The first round consisted of 16 four man heats each ten minutes long. The winners proceed to round three while second and third went to round two. Those that came fourth were out. A full double elimination was not possible due to time constraints. Day one was windy and cold, and only 7 heats were completed before the wind dropped.
Day two started late with the sea breeze filling in around 2pm. The comp was on and the wind was increasing all afternoon peaking at around 6pm. Round one, two and all but the last heat in round three was completed finishing at around 8.30pm just before sunset.
The third day bought more of the sea breeze conditions. Building slowly in the morning and becoming sailable about 2pm. The last of round three was completed, then straight into the business end with the quarter finals. The wind held out for the quarters and the semis started. At the end of the first semi the wind started to swing offshore and the second semi was cancelled 7min into the heat at 7.15pm. No wind was in the comp zone. A quick decision was made by the judges and the event was moved 15min drive round the Bay to Ricketts Pt. After a rush to move venues and set up kites for the semis, it was all on. The wind was about 12kn cross to cross on shore. With kites rigged and after a two minute warm up the 5min warning went. The second semi was done and a decision was made to run the final in the dying light of the day. The last four competitors hit the water and completed the first Australian Kitesurfing Championships.
The results were kept secret until the presentation on Sunday afternoon, and as always speculation ran riot at the party on Saturday night. Which was proudly sponsored by Boags Brewery.
Sunday was hot. The gusty northerly was blowing and the conditions were less than good. But the comp had been completed and Sunday was left as an expression session, the prize being a case of Red Bull and $50. Needless to say not a lot people kited due to many sore heads and the less than ideal conditions. Most did their best to stay out of the 37degree sun.
The presentation was held and prizes were given out.
In the mens open division:
1st John Messenger ( Aus Naish team rider)
2nd Ben Wilson (Slingshot)
3rd Chris Richter (Aus Naish sales manager)
4th Andy MacDonald (North)
The event was a huge success, the atmosphere was super friendly and the comp was completed. A selection of pictures can be seen at