Qatar Airways crowns the winners of the GKA Kite World Tour in Spain
Qatar Airways, Official Airline Partner and Title Partner of the GKA Kite World Tour, celebrated the launch of the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air World Championships, the airline’s first official event under its sponsorship with GKA.
The championship took place in Tarifa, Spain, hosting 72 elite big air athletes for three days of competition, the world-class visit Visit Qatar Kite Expo and the annual Qatar Airways GKA Awards ceremony.
The event marked the first official world titles for Big Air Kiteboarding, with three male and two female athletes crowned champions in the twintip, strapless and hydrofoil disciplines.
Andrea Principi of Italy (twintip), Airton Cozzolino of Italy (strapless) and Charles Brodel of France (hydrofoil) won the men’s titles, with Mikaili Sol of Brazil (twintip) and Capucine Delannoy of France (strapless) named the women’s world champions (since there was no women’s hydrofoil division this year).
HE Akbar al-Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways and Chairman of Qatar Tourism, said: “We have launched a partnership that we have been looking forward to since our special signing ceremony at Fuwairit Kite Beach in Qatar. It’s the perfect start to the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air World Tour, crowning world big air titles to deserving kitesurfers and celebrating the best riders of the year with the 2022 Qatar Airways GKA Awards. We value travel and At the sports. our hearts and this partnership with GKA gives us the opportunity to bring people together by connecting these two worlds.
“GKA is flying high with the success of the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air World Championships,” said Dr. Jörgen Vogt, General Secretary of the Global Kitesports Association.
“As we stage this historic, high-profile championship, Qatar Airways is integral to our success, and we look forward to working with them on future events,” he added.
The annual Qatar Airways GKA Awards ceremony recognized and celebrated the achievements of several kitesurfing athletes over the past year. Discover Qatar Senior Vice President Steven Reynolds presented the five awards to the winners.
This year’s distinguished winners included Giel Vlugt (NLD), Male Rider of the Year and Men’s Best Move, while Mikaili Sol also took home two awards: Female Rider of the Year and Women’s Best Move of the Year. Top Social Contribution of the Year went to Willow-River Tonkin (MRU) and Rookie of the Year was chosen by 12-year-old Finn Flugel (DEU). Recipients were awarded based on fan votes combined with votes from industry experts around the world.
Additionally, the championships hosted the Visit Qatar Kite Expo, which included the Fuwairit Kite Beach Resort booth where more than 30,000 international fans participated in activities, learned more about the new state-of-the-art Kite Beach resort in Fuwairit, in Qatar, and engaged with Qatar Airways’ award-winning cabin crew who were present on the ground.