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The MEAK Charity Extreme Kitesurf Cup 09

After the epic adventure of the Alps road trip, it was time to head back to the beach for the MEAK Cup at Nyali Beach in Kenya. The event is run by Prosurf Kenya and is in its fourth year. It has such an awesome vibe as the whole idea is to raise as much money as possible for the Medical & Educational Aid for Kenya charity and to have as much fun on and off the water as possible. M.E.A.K. is such an awesome charity to raise money for as they run projects such as heart and cataract operations all across Kenya and every penny of the money we raise go straight to the people who need it.
So after fighting my post Alps flu, I headed out to Kenya with Turbulence Angel Sheryl and the winner of the Trad Film competition Andrew Cockcroft. Courtesy of Turbulence, his mission for the week was to document the event and find out the nitty gritty on why kitesurfing is the sport for me…!

After worrying amounts of flights were cancelled out of Heathrow due to the snow, ours seemed to be the only one to leave much to our relief! We were greeted and provided a beautiful room for the week by the Nyali Beach Hotel, which overlooks Prosurf extreme and the event spot. We had a couple of days to acclimatize, get my new pink AH Pros sandy and get some riding footage done before the event kicked off. We were also graced with the presence of Major Brian Bloor a.k.a. Turbulence grom rider Elis Bloor’s father/chauffeur as he is on exercise in Kenya. It was awesome to see him and he had a great couple of days break, although I think we sent him back more exhausted than when he arrived! He had only just managed to check into the hotel before we marched him to the Prosurf office and made him enter the competition. He took it all in great spirit and almost won the first round of the downwind course race until there this was a little issue with the second to last bouy!
You know the more fun you have, the quicker the time goes…! Well this week has seemed like one day! It’s been crazy! We’ve had super nice wind, an amazing group of kiters of all abilities who mingled together really well, and we’ve raised loads of money for MEAK. Fundraising missions by the riders have included half of Eamon Armstrong’s head being shaved, Keenan Perrin having a reverse Mohawk shaved and Jenny Kinnear donating proceeds from her beautiful silver and gold jewelry sales.

The competition was blessed with perfect wind each day. After the head shaving, the event commenced with a downwind course race. It was so good to have such a big Flexifoil contingent at the event, we were taking over thanks to the Irish crew! There were some hectic moments and spectacular crashes, with some unexpected results that were so good to see. Anyone could take the lead, whether amateur or pro, which was so refreshing. In the evening we headed to the Tamarind Casino for some roulette action. I had never tried gambling before and was a little hesitant to begin with, but once I got started I loved it and came out £25 up with two awesome pink chips that I didn’t want to have to cash in!
We had a kicker event that resulted with a number or bruised bums! It was a white plastic kicker that was pretty steep and super slippy as soon as you hit it. The press boat assembled and continually demanded a beer flow from the beach so we Turbulence stickered the bottles up and kited with them one at a time between heats, we got quite a good relay service going! The kicker was awesome fun, just trying to keep balance to land on the other side was tricky!
Best trick and big air heats were followed by fire jumping on Saturday evening as it got dark. A big wooden raft was piled with wood, dragged out into the bay and set alight. As it got pitch black it was pretty mental approaching the raft as there were so many of us on the water buzzing around it but it was so hard to see each other’s kites! When the fire finally died we headed in for a BBQ at the Prosurf centre followed by slack line and handle pass action!

Sunday and the last day of the event. We had the finals of the big air and then the main event – the freestyle. The wind picked up nicely and we headed out on 7m and 9m kites. We had an amateur, pro and ladies heat. It proved quite hectic as there was between 6 and 10 in each heat so there was a proper flight for trick space. It was so nice to have a lot of girls for the event. I managed to win the chic’s heat and Turbulence Angel Sheryl finished third which was awesome.
With the event finished, our closing gathering was on the Tamarind Dhow, a traditional boat that has been transformed into an amazing floating dance floor. It was a Kikoi party, so everyone arrived wrapped up sarong style and the evening commenced with Kenyan dawa (vodka, lime, honey and a lot of sugar, so making it at home!) We had the raffle that raised a huge amount of money for MEAK and then prize giving. Jennifer Kinnear donated the girl’s prizes from her jewelry range, which was so exciting to receive. She picked a beautiful long chain neclace with silver and gold limpet shell castings with white quartz, I can’t take it off its amazing! The Dhow night ended the event in true style, it was great to see everyone celebrating the week together with Mike and Dee, the founders of MEAK.
RESULTS…
Race Day…
1st – Luke Whiteside – UK
2nd – Riccardo Fortunato – Italy
3rd – Carl Coombes – Watergate Bay, UK

Kicker Event…
1st – Dave Ibbertson – Former UK BKSA No1
2nd – Eamon Armstong – Irish No 1 2008 – Flexifoil Ireland
3rd – Luke Whiteside – UK

Big Air…
1st – Dave Ibbertson – Former UK BKSA No1
2nd – Eamon Armstong – Irish No 1 2008 – Flexifoil Ireland
3rd – Lindsay Kennaway – Kenya

Freestyle…
Amateurs..
1st – Tim West – UK
2nd –Kevin Lochead – UK
3rd – John Koyiet – Kenya

Girls..
1st – Johara Sykes-Davies – UK – Flexifoil, Turbulence Angels, Brewin Dolphin, Prolimit, Bolle, Surfanic, The Buzz Gym.
2nd – Lindsay Kennaway – Kenya
3rd – Sheryl Confue – UK – Turbulence Angels

Pros..
1st – Dave Ibbertson – Former UK BKSA No1
2nd – Luke Whiteside – UK
3rd – Eamon Armstong – Irish No 1 2008 – Flexifoil Ireland

So I have now packed Andrew back off to the snowy UK with tapes and tapes of event footage so watch this space for the trailer and then the premiere showing at the NEC Outdoor Show in Birmingham on 26th to 29th March.
The MEAK Cup raised an awesome 148,534 Kenyan shillings for the charity which was an amazing achievement. I would like to say a huge thank you to Prosurf for making the event possible and Turbulence and Trad Films for sending Andrew to document the week with me. Nyali is such an awesome spot, I will definitely be back again next year! I would like to say thank you to all the other riders for getting into the spirit so well and to Ibby for rescuing me from the crazy guy in Noon’s!!

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