Local kite racer Jhon Mora confirmed his credentials as a top performer with a marvellous competition at the recent world championships in Hainan Island, China.
The 31-year-old Colombian finished 18th out of the best 120 kite racers in the world. Local businessman Walter Fajette went with Mora as his coach and back up crew.
Despite the excellent showing, Mora was a little disappointed with his placing. “I know that’s a good result but I know that I’m capable of being in the top five in the world, because I qualified to the finals ranked third and then I made some mistakes,” Mora said.
“At the level that we compete you really pay the price for your mistakes, that’s why I went down and there is no way to climb back up.
“There were very strong winds on the first three days, which is the conditions that I prefer. I won five races and finished second in three.
“We had a lot of waves on the upwind mark which makes it a bit difficult for most of the riders but I’m used to that because here in Cayman I train outside the reef when the water is very rough so if this happens in competitions I feel like I’m riding at home.”
The next event is in San Andrés Islands in his Colombia homeland in February for the South Americans championship where Mora will defend his title.
Kite racing is increasing in popularity, confirmed by the recent news that it will be included in the Youth Olympics in 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and also included in the International Sailing Federation world championships next year.
The International Sailing Federation competition is only open to the top 25 kite racers and as Mora is now world ranked 12th he will compete in them.
There is also a big chance that kiteracing will be in the Olympics for Tokyo 2020.
Mora said: “That’s why the ISAF is including kiteracing on their circuit and to the Youth Olympics, so they can see in more detail how the format in this discipline works and have enough arguments to approve kiteracing as a new class for the Olympics.
“I think that 2014 will be a great year for our sport on the sailing scene.”
Mora is helping organize the inaugural Cayman TRIO (The Rock International Open) in Feb. 12-14 that will include freestyle and racing kiteracing.
Mora said; “A big thanks to the people who believe in me and support me here on island; KitesurfCayman, Waterman, Evolving Island, Agua Restaurant, Sail Cayman, Cayman Islands Sailing Club and Morgan’s Harbour restaurant. Without them I couldn’t organize this event, I really appreciate their backing.”