The group behind the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships is in the driving seat for an international kitesurfing event off Leighton Beach.
WA2011 (part of the Warren Jones Foundation) is predicting 15,000 visitors will flock to the Kiteracing Oceanic Championships, December 10 to 15.
Attracting around 15,000 spectators over the five-day event is doable, says Project 3 events director Claire Parker, with two- to three-thousand turning out just for the one day Lighthouse (Rottnest) to Leighton kite surfing in recent years.
Stalls, a small bar and free events including movies and music will add attractions. Kitesurfers leave from and return to Leighton, making races easily visible, Ms Parker says.
Local real estate agent Jonathan Keys took out last year’s Lighthouse to Leighton, nipping from Rotto to the mainland in a nudge over 25 minutes. It’s now part of the championships.
Kitesurfing has been rapidly gaining popularity and will be a demonstration sport at the 2016 Olympics.
“It will possibly be an Olympic sport in the future,” he predicts.
by JENNY D’ANGER