The championship marks the first GKA event with Qatar Airways as Title Partner and Official Airline
Event featured the Qatar Tourism GKA Kite Expo Tarifa where fans got a taste of the kitesurf experience from Fuwairit’s Kite Beach Resort in Doha
DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways, the 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 as part of their 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 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 men and two women athletes crowned champions across the disciplines of twintip, strapless and hydrofoil. Andrea Principi of Italy (twintip), Airton Cozzolino of Italy (strapless) and Charles Brodel of France (hydrofoil) took home the men’s titles, with Mikaili Sol of Brazil (twintip) and Capucine Delannoy of France (strapless) named women’s world champions (as there was no women’s hydrofoil division this year).
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, and Qatar Tourism Chairman, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We have kicked off a partnership that we have been looking forward to since our special signing ceremony at Qatar’s very own Fuwairit Kite Beach. It is the perfect start to the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air World Tour, crowning big air world titles to well-deserving kitesurfers, and celebrating the best riders of the year with the Qatar Airways GKA Awards 2022. We hold travel and sport very dearly to 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, Secretary General of the Global Kitesports Association. “As we put on this historic top-tier championship, Qatar Airways has been an integral part of our success, and we look forward to working with them at future events.”
The Qatar Airways GKA Annual Awards ceremony recognised and celebrated multiple kitesport athletes’ achievements of the past year. Discover Qatar Senior Vice President, Steven Reynolds, distributed the five awards to the winners. This year’s distinguished award recipients included Giel Vlugt (NLD), Male Rider of the Year and Men’s Best Move, while Mikaili Sol also won two awards herself, Female Rider of the Year and Women’s Best Move of the Year. The Best Social Contribution of the Year went to Willow-River Tonkin (MRU) and the Rookie of the Year was picked up by 12 year-old Finn Flugel (DEU). Recipients were awarded based on fan votes combined with specialist industry votes from around the world.
Additionally, the championships hosted the Visit Qatar Kite Expo which featured the Fuwairit Kite Beach Resort stand where over 30,000 international fans participated in activities, learned more about the new state-of-the-art kite beach resort in Fuwairit, Qatar, and engaged with Qatar Airways’ award-winning cabin crew who were present on-ground.
The GKA Kite World Tour continues year-round and will visit many of Qatar Airways’ global destinations including Brazil, Germany, Maldives, and Morocco. Qatar Airways ever-expanding network of more than 150 destinations will connect fans through Doha, Qatar to the world.
Qatar Airways, the Official Airline Partner and Title Partner, and Qatar Tourism, the Official Tourism Partner of the GKA Kite World Tour, look forward to welcoming fans from around the world to experience a unique offering in 2023, during the Visit Qatar Freestyle World Cup, which will be hosted at the new, world-class beach resort in Fuwairit in 2023.
For more information on the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour schedule, please visit gkakiteworldtour.com.
About Qatar Tourism:
Qatar Tourism is the official government body responsible for the development and promotion of tourism in Qatar, facilitating the sector’s exponential growth. Qatar is a destination where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in arts, culture, sports, and adventure, catering to family and business visitors, rooted in Service Excellence. Qatar Tourism seeks to boost the entire tourism value chain, grow local and international visitor demand, attract inward investment, and drive a multiplier effect across the domestic economy. The Qatar Tourism Strategy 2030 sets an ambitious target to attract over six million international visitors a year by 2030, making Qatar the fastest growing destination in the Middle East.
About Fuwairit Kite Beach Resort:
FKB (Fuwairit Kite Beach) is a purpose-built kitesurfing resort an hour north of Doha and Hamad International Airport on the shores of the Arabian Gulf. FKB will be a paradise for kitesurfing enthusiasts and those trying for the first time thanks to a natural lagoon, warm water and consistently ideal wind. Run in partnership with Hilton Hotels, FKB is destined to become an icon of the sport and a must visit holiday destination for adventure seekers the world over.
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2021 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. It was also named ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’. The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry having won the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021).
Qatar Airways currently flies to more than 150 destinations worldwide, connecting through its Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, voted by Skytrax as the ‘World’s Best Airport’.
For further information, please contact:
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 4022 2200