World’s best kiters coming here

The biggest names in kiteboarding, one of the world’s fastest growing extreme sports, will be at the Cayman Islands in the new year for the inaugural Rock International Open (TRIO).

It runs from Feb. 12-16 in five days of competition and will include flat water freestyle, racing and big air plus VIP events at some of the island’s top venues, will cement Cayman as one of the world’s best kiteboarding destinations.

Local world class kiteboarder Jhon Mora will be competing for the Cayman Islands.

The organizing committee, Cayman Islands Tourist Association, Ministry of Sport, sponsors and the kiteboarding community came together for an official launch event last Thursday to learn more about the event line-up and celebrate in style.

Minister of Sports Osbourne Bodden said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming some of this exciting sport’s finest athletes to Grand Cayman.

“TRIO will include spectator competitions, demonstrations and clinics spanning almost two weeks at locations across Grand Cayman.

“The idyllic beaches and flat Caribbean waters provide the perfect conditions for kiteboarding and this is the perfect opportunity to showcase our island’s riches to a new audience.”

Main sponsors include Miller Lite, Hurleys Entertainment, Genesis, Evolving Island, Waterman, Kitesurf Cayman, Wakeboard Cayman and Picture This Studios. The event will also be supported by the Cayman Islands Sailing Club, The Marine Police Unit and The Red Cross.

TRIO will contribute to local charity Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Department of Environment in their turtle conservation program.

Tim Austin, Deputy Director at the Department of Environment, said: “Kitesurfing and watersports are exploding all-around the Caribbean and it’s very important for us to engage with these beach users to help protect our environment.

“We’re excited to be involved with TRIO from the outset and delighted about the increased awareness of our programs this will provide. With the money raised we’re hoping to invest in more turtle friendly lighting at beach front properties.”

Prospective competitors can find out more and register online at the official TRIO website: Participation fees include accommodation, lunch, dinners, parties and a swag bag.

The Rock International Open was formed to showcase the skills and talents of kiteboarders throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the world, in an unrivaled setting, and to bring a professions level of competition and training to a region where the sport is exploding in popularity.

TRIO is open to all comers, amateur and pro rider alike. It is the only Caribbean competition officially sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association the kitesurfing World Governing body, which in turn is the class representative to the International Sailing Federation sanctioning international sailing competitions from world championship to Olympic levels. TRIO’s philosophy is to grow young, local talent and interest in water sports such as kiteboarding as well as increase tourist interest in the Cayman Islands and raise awareness about protecting the marine environment.