Blue Palawan International Kiteboard Open 2017
February 7-16, 2017 | Hidden Beach, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Photos courtesy of Blue Palawan, Kitespain Magazine and Kitesurfing Magazine
The Blue Palawan Kite Open, now on iats second year, opens the international Kite Park League Tour. The top two men and women from the qualifying events on February 6 of the Blue Palawan Kite Open will join 24 other invited professional kiteboarders on February 7 for the opening celebrations. Riders will compete for the title in the main event that immediately follows from February 8 to 16.
Details of the Blue Palawan Kite Open were revealed in a press conference on January 10 spearheaded by professional kiteboarders Eric Rienstra of the USA, James Boulding of the UK, Manuela Jungo of Switzerland; and Paula Rosales of the Philippines who is part of the organizing team.The Blue Palawan Kiteboard Open touts itself as the “first and only pure wake-style competition in Asia.” The annual event gathers the top wake-style riders in a tropical kite park setting.
It also appeals to the concept of promoting “green tourism.” “We aim to promote the green approach to boardsports, which is mainly harnessing the power of the wind and adapting to the natural environment each space provides,” said Rosales. “The reason these amazing people all over the world are coming to our country is because of the wonderful natural environment that we have…and showing it to the world in a way that we are not destroying it,” she added.
Blue Kite park in Puerto Princesa nests in a vast lagoon protected by a reef and mangrove sanctuary. Its a biodiverse environment with perfect flat water and consistent on shore winds (Amihan) from November to March. The water is relatively shallow depending on the tides which makes it easy for beginners to learn and progress. The lagoon stretches out for one kilometer from the shore allowing space for freestyle kiteboarding.
Karolina Winskowska of Poland , winner in the women’s division of the first Blue Palawan Kite Open in 2016 was enthusiastic about the event. “It was my first time in Philippines, and I was really sad I had to leave shortly after. The place is amazing, there are so many things to do apart from kiteboarding,” she said.
Sam Bernard Light of United Kingdom , the men’s champion in 2016 was impressed by the setup of the inaugural event. “The Blue Palawan Kiteboarding event immediately became a top tier world-class event with one of the best Kite Parks in the world,” Light said.
The event offers different activities for riders and guests ranging from cultural activities, eco tours, trade fair and lounge parties hosted by Blue Palawan.