Kitesurfers will provide an amazing ocean spectacle next weekend as part of biennial kitesurfing competition – The Rock International Open – otherwise known as TRIO.
The competition, which also raises money for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program, runs Jan. 21-25 at Barkers Beach in West Bay.
TRIO was established in 2014 as a not-for-profit organization to showcase Cayman as a sports tourism destination and specifically a kitesurfing location.
“Kitesurfing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and it is exploding here in Grand Cayman,” said Maya Lewis, head of the TRIO committee. “The island boasts perfect conditions with calm, warm waters and consistent winds between November and May.
“We wanted to give local enthusiasts an opportunity to kitesurf alongside some of the world’s top professionals and give everyone in Cayman a chance to experience this spectacular sport, whilst raising money for a worthy local cause.”
Since the inaugural event was extremely successful, with nearly 50 local and international athletes participating, and hundreds of spectators, organizers were inspired to make TRIO a regular event.
This year, professionals such as Billy Parker, defending champion Chris Bobryk, and Alex Fox are among those who will be competing.
Competition categories this year are: Professional Freestyle, which is judged on technical difficulty, power, variety, height, style and innovation; Big Air, with awards for the highest and most stylish jumps; Amateur Freestyle; and Twin Tip Race, a regatta style race for all skill levels. All disciplines will include junior categories for young riders. Prizes range from cash and vouchers to kitesurfing equipment.
Freestyle qualifiers and heats will take place on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23, and Freestyle finals, Big Air and Twin Tip races will take place on Jan. 24.
Registration for the Freestyle and Big Air categories closes on Jan. 20. The Twin Tip Race welcomes entrants until competition day, with registration fees of US$75 per rider.
Registration fees include a competition rash guard, entry to opening and closing parties, breakfast and lunch at the competition venue, and dinner at Calico Jack’s.
Organizers point out that Barkers is an excellent competition venue due to its prevailing winds and calm, clear waters. Plus, its rustic beaches also provide ample space for spectators, who are encourages to attend.
“The public should turn out to see some of the world’s top kitesurfers showing off their spectacular tricks, meet the athletes on the beach, join in the excitement, find out more about water sports such as kitesurfing and stand-up paddleboarding and once again support a fantastic local cause in Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Lewis said.
Yoga and games are also on offer for spectators.
For more information, visit therockinternationalopen.com or their Facebook page, TRIO – Cayman Islands.