Kiteboarders to brave elements to raise funds for cancer

Estera representatives present Kite for Cancer with a $20,000 donation for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

Kiteboarders and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society are coming together once again to fight the elements of sea and sky to benefit lives affected by cancer.

The second Kite for Cancer event, called The Estera Little Grand Race 2019, is scheduled to take place at the end of February next year, weather permitting, and will involve kiteboarders traversing the sea from Little Cayman to Grand Cayman.

They will cross some 80 miles of the Caribbean’s deepest water in as little time as possible in a grueling endurance race.

“Two years have passed by and we’ve all got itchy feet,” said organizer and participant Amy Strzalko.

She added, “The first time round, it was such a success it seems a shame not to go for it again.”

The first team-based kiteboarding event, in 2016, saw 10 kiteboarders make the crossing from Little Cayman to Grand Cayman in just under 8.5 hours and raising $174,000 for the Cancer Society.

Next year’s event is open to kiteboarders from the Cayman Islands and around the world who are looking for an endurance race challenge.

The race will be held during daylight hours and is a “whacky races” format, in that all manner of kites and boards and teams are encouraged to enter. “Anyone who wants to become involved, whether via kiting, as boat crew or land support, can find the right role,” Ms. Strzalko said.

A key challenge for competitors in mounting the race campaign is to secure their own $5,000 sponsorship, support team and boat. Kiters may opt to compete as individuals or as part of a relay team.

Well-known local kiteboarder Derek Serpell, who is both an organizer and participant in the upcoming event, said, “We really need as much support as possible – especially with boats and crews. If you know anyone who may be interested please get in touch; the more support we can get the better.”

Kiteboarder Amy Strzalko in action. – Photo: Aaron Rebarchek

The organizers are also looking for corporate sponsors to bolster the efforts of each team, who will also be raising personal sponsorship. All proceeds from the event will again be donated directly to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

Although still several months away, and with an ambitious target of $200,000, the race has already secured support to the tune of $76,000 from individuals and companies, including the recently announced title sponsor, Estera, which has donated $20,000, according to Ms. Strzalko.

A statement from Estera Cayman noted that the company chose to support the Kite for Cancer Little Grand Race because the funds go directly to the Cancer Society, a charity that is close to the hearts of its employees. Estera’s Andre Slabbert, who works in the company’s client directorship services, participated in the event in 2016 and plans to participate again next year.

For more information on The Estera Little Grand Race 2019, visit www.kiteforcancer.ky or contact Ms. Strzalko at [email protected]