King of the Great Lakes Kiteboarding Competition and Test Fest starts up this weekend in Grand Haven

By Mike Mattson
Local Sports Journal

Ten years ago, Steve Negen hosted a little-known kiteboarding event in Grand Haven.

It didn’t pack the beach or make many waves in the community at that time.

Gary Bleck catching a ride in Grand Haven during        King of the Great Lakes 2011

“I think three people showed up,” said Negen, owner of Grand Haven’s MACkite Surf Shop, which promotes kiteboarding in West Michigan. “Not many people showed up because not many people could kiteboard. When we first started, kiting was an extreme sport.”The sport is growing fast, thanks to more knowledge, awareness and much safer gear on the market in recent years.

The sport will take center stage this weekend when Negen hosts the 2012 King of the Great Lakes Kiteboarding Competition and Test Fest at Grand Haven City Beach.

Events will begin Friday with a 1 p.m. race seminar and conclude Sunday with an awards presentation at 5 p.m. The weekend will offer an opportunity for clinics, competition and riders to test the 2013 gear.

Available kites for demonstration include Drifter, Rally, Rebel, TS, Switchblade, NRG, Kahoona, Crossbow, Envy, Chaos and Vector. Available 2013 boards include Best, Cabrinha, Slingshot, North and Liquid Force.

Negen said about 18 competitors likely will be racing, including top touring professionals Chris Bobryk of Whitehall and Kentwood’s Brandon Scheid. Both rivals live and train in Waves, N.C.

Competitive events this weekend will include best trick and big air for freestyle riders, while Kiteboard races will be offered for those riders pursuing future Olympic Games. Kite racing will be an Olympic sport in Brazil in 2016.

In addition, Grand Haven will be alive with other weekend events. They include the Indie Rock Festival and Artwalk.

MACkite also will be hosting a party on Friday night and a pizza and movie night Saturday night at Mulligan’s Hollow.

Negen encourages spectators and participants to register early for deals to this weekend’s events. For costs and more information, go to http://www.mackiteboarding.com/product/ST-37615/King-of-the-Great-Lakes-Registration/

Here is a list of the weekend events scheduled at Grand Haven City Beach:

FRIDAY

1 p.m. Race Seminar

1:30 p.m. Racing if wind permits

2 p.m. Best Kiteboarding 2013 Gear

3 p.m. Cabrinha Kiteboarding 2013 Gear

4 p.m. Liquid Force 2013 Gear

5 p.m. North Kiteboarding 2013 Gear

7 p.m. Party at MACkite Boardsports Center

9 p.m. Indie Rock Festival

 

SATURDAY

11 a.m. Cabrinha 2013 Gear

12 p.m. Course Racing

12 p.m. Slingshot Kiteboarding 2013 Gear

1 p.m. Best Kiteboarding 2013 Gear

2 p.m. Best Trick Contest

3 p.m. Liquid Force 2013 Gear

4 p.m. Big Air Contest

7 p.m. Party at Mulligan’s Hollow Lodge

7 p.m. Indie Rock Festival

 

SUNDAY

11 a.m. Cabrinha 2013 Gear

12 p.m. Course Racing

12 p.m. Slingshot Kiteboarding 2013 Gear

1 p.m. Best Kiteboarding 2013 Gear

2 p.m. Best Trick Contest – make up if needed

3 p.m. Liquid Force 2013 Gear

4 p.m. Big Air Contest – make up if needed.

5 p.m. Awards

*Demos – All demos are limited to registered riders with previous ability and are subject to staff approval

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *