CAC Games: Silver medal for Cayman kitesurfer

Jhon Mora, center, shows off his silver medal with his teammates on the Colombian sailing team.

More than a decade after leaving his native Colombia to help establish the Cayman Islands’ first kitesurf school, Jhon Mora returned to his homeland to claim a silver medal in his sport.

After 15 races, Mora took second spot in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Velero last week.

Mora, who runs Kitesurf Cayman and is now a permanent resident in the Cayman Islands, was competing under the Colombian flag at the games.

The Formula Kite event, which involves kitesurfers racing around a triangular course, was included in the sailing schedule for the first time in the history of the games in preparation for it becoming an Olympic event.

Mora, who competed on the world kiteboarding tour until 2014, stepped up his training in preparation for the CAC Games.

The work paid off as he finished second to Xantos Villegas of Mexico, who took gold, with Jose Rodrigues of Puerto Rico in third.

Mora said, “I decided to go full on again for this and, hopefully, for the Olympics. I am very happy for the second place. I am not at 100 percent of the level I can reach. The guy who got gold has been competing on the tour for the last three years, he had really good consistency and did really well. I feel good with second place.”

Mora now travels to Denmark to compete in the World Championships before returning to Cayman later this year. He said the sport is growing in Cayman and across the world, and its inclusion in the Olympic cycle presented new opportunities for local athletes.

“It has to be a long-term project to involve the Caymanian and local kiters to get into the class and try to see what they can do. I am more than willing to train anybody in Cayman,” he added.