The World Kiteboarding League is coming to Cabarete July 12th-17th, and we’re stoked! The WKL is a series of events throughout the year where riders accumulate points on their placings, those with the most points at the end of the year win the World Freestyle Champion title. The competition brings together the best male and female kiteboarding athletes from all over the globe who will battle it out for the prized title.
It has been six years since Cabarete last hosted a World Kiteboarding event, so we’re stoked to be back on the map and to show off our local talent. At the 2007 World Event in Cabarete, it was a local athlete and EH Kites sponsored rider, Ariel Corniel, who made history as the first ever Dominican PKRA champion! He then went on to win the Cabarete World Cup in 2010, making him the second professional rider to ever win a second title in Cabarete. He will be returning from his training abroad to try to make it a trifecta! Will history repeat itself?
Ariel’s younger brother, Adeuri Corniel, at just 16 years old, is in top form right now and is a strong contender, but we’ll have to wait and see if he follows in his big bros footsteps and continues the Corniel legacy. Robinson Hilario is another popular competitor, ranking in the top 15 male riders for the past three years, and even placing 2nd in the 2014 event in Panama! Now competing on his home turf, local hero, an inspiration to many and International F One rider, will be pulling out all the stops to keep the title here in Cabarete! Posito Martinez will also receive a warm welcome back as he is returning from training and competing around the globe. All these boys are a huge inspiration to not only one another but to everyone on the beach. They will always make time to help anyone who needs it and inspire the younger generation, which we hope to see competing at these events in the future too! They make us feel like proud moms!
But it’s not just the boys that inspire us. This event wouldn’t be happening without the world’s most renowned female kitesurfer, Susi Mai, who is also a local here in Cabarete. At the 2003 Cabarete Kiteboarding World Cup, Susi placed 2nd overall, which was her first event! Along with winning the Red Bull King Of The Air numerous times, this initiated her kiteboarding career, and she now has various projects including the MaiTai Global events around the globe with Bill Tai! The MaiTai events gather groups of extraordinary entrepreneurs, innovators and athletes to network while sharing their passionate of kiteboarding. After six years, Susi has brought the competition back home by sponsoring the WKL event through MaiTai!
The event takes place on Cabarete Beach, right in front of Laurel Eastman Kiteboarding. Rider’s registration takes place on the 12th, and the competition is the week of July 13th -17th. Qualifiers will be the appetizer, giving anyone outside of the top 24 men and 12 women, the opportunity to work their way into the main course…erm, main event. Tricks are judged on technical difficulty, power, smoothness, height, and amplitude. A new live scoring system ensures everyone, not just the geeks, can follow the scores and who is in the lead!
Who do you think will podium at the 2016 MaiTai Cabarete Freestyle Invitational? Leave your predictions in the comments.