Kite Surfing World Cup connects with Torquay
Published on 19 December 2018
Last week, Torquay hosted the final leg of the 2018 GKA (Global Kiteboarding Association) Kite-Surf World Cup. Held over five days, the event culminated on Sunday with the crowning of the men’s and women’s world champions at a prize-giving ceremony in the Bombora’s beer garden.
Amazingly, it’s the first time an international kite-surfing event has been held in Australian waters. Many of the athletes later commented that the opportunity to bring the tour to Torquay – Australia’s home of surfing – was a dream come true.
As a first-time event, this was a great example of how event organisers can work with local businesses to create mutually beneficial outcomes. For the organisers, it was imperative that the athletes had an amazing experience, and that they felt welcomed by the local community. All other legs of the tour are held in relatively close proximity, so for 30 athletes to fly half way around the world the week before Christmas was testament to the importance of this competition.
All athletes, staff and volunteers stayed at the Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park, creating a central hub only a few minutes walk from the competition zone (Point Danger), and local cafes, restaurants and bars.
Organisers developed partnerships with a number of local businesses, promoting a nightly schedule for athletes and spectators to meet up and soak in the relaxed atmosphere of the Surf Coast.
The male and female World Champions were crowned at Bomboras on the Torquay Esplanade. Fishos Restaurant, Boardriders Bar 61 and the Jan Juc kinder's Surf Coast Kite Festival were all included in the event.
The event attracted a global audience of kite-surfing fans. At time of writing, we’re still awaiting the final viewing audience; but with the top athletes boasting social media fan bases in the tens of thousands and event highlights packages distributed around the world via GKA’s owned channels, the Kite-Surf World Cup has established Torquay as a genuine destination for this rapidly growing sport and its followers.
The event was supported by the Victorian Government, Surf Coast Shire Council (through its Signature Event Grants program) and Great Ocean Road Coast Committee.