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Riccardo Leccese and Nayara Licariao take glory at the 2013 South/Middle Americans

Written by Editor on . Posted in News

monster classic podiumIn early June 2013, Bonaire – a tiny, laid-back island in the Southern Caribbean – hosted its first-ever international kiteboarding event on the island's calm, turquoise waters at Atlantis Beach. Bonaire Kite Week brought thirty men and five women from as far away as Australia to compete against each other in the South & Middle American Course Racing Championships, an event sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and hosted by the Bonaire Kitesurf Foundation.

Sailors arrived for four days of intensely competitive racing, followed by a 40 kilometer endurance race around Klein Bonaire, the small, uninhabited island resting approximately 2.5 kilometers from the mainland. Some of the world's top-ranked course racers participated in the event, including Riccardo Leccese (ITA), Florian Gruber (GER), Blazej Ozog (POL), Tomek Janiak (POL), Wilson Veloso (BRA), Alejandro Climent (ESP), Nuria Goma (ESP), Nayara Licariao (BRA) and Jessica Sickinger (CAN).

On the pre-event practice day, riders arrived to test the new course layout that included a dramatic beachfront finish line. The new course layout, first introduced at the North American Championships in San Francisco the week before, allowed spectators the opportunity to witness, first-hand, the neck-and-neck finishes among the racers. The riders themselves enjoyed the cheering that erupted from the beach every time they completed a race. The course layout also provided riders with pancake flat water from the windward buoy to the finish line.

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