International kiteboarders and pro athletes came out to celebrate the first ever BVI Kite Jam, a pro-am kiteboarding event in the British Virgin Islands that took place February 28 – March 5. BVI Kite Jam brought together pros and amateurs with visual competitions, demonstrations, technique clinics and festivities in locations throughout the British Virgin Islands.
Pro riders that attended the 2010 event included nine-time world champion Kristin Boese, the legendary Andre Phillip, Susi Mai, Tuva Jansen, Tom Court, Chris Burke, Gretta Kruesi, Madison Van Heurck and Jason Slezak.
The event kicked off with an opening party at Necker Island for pros and participants along with sponsors, members of the BVI Tourism Board and local officials. The Honorable Ralph T. O’Neal, Premier and Minister of Tourism, addressed attendees, and Sir Richard Branson reminisced about coming up with the idea for Kite Jam with event partner Charlie Smith.
The BVI Kite Jam Team presented $5,000 checks to charity partners Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) and Tortola’s Kids and The Sea (KATS). Party goers danced the night away to live music by local act Last Resort on the sands of Necker Island under a full moon.
“BVI Kite Jam 2010 was a tremendous hit, so much so we are already booking jammers for next year and have amazing support from Billabong as the presenting sponsor,” said Charlie Smith, Founder & Partner Kite Jam (BVI) Ltd.
Highlights of the week included an unforgettable downwinder to Pomato Point on Anegada followed by a BBQ lunch at Cow Wreck Beach and an afternoon of freestyle action on Wednesday, March 3. Pro boarders Kristin Boese, Tom Court, Chris Burke and others carved up the waters along side Sir Richard Branson and participating kite jammers. Other activities took place off of Bitter End Yacht Club’s North Beach where pros and amateurs grinded on sliders and water obstacles on a sand spit in the Eustasia Sound.
The event closed with a party on a remote beach on Mosquito Island, complete with an award ceremony, fire dancers, and a DJ getting the crowd pumped and dancing.
BVI Kite Jam sponsors included presenting sponsors BVI Tourist Board and Necker Island, venue partner Bitter End Yacht Club, Cape Air, Sunsail, Digicel and others. “Sailors for the Sea” also gave the event a Clean Regatta Certification, an eco-friendly stamp of approval, in conjunction with Sunsail’s participation and use of their new Sunsail 394 catamarans.
Billabong, an international surfwear apparel brand, confirmed their involvement as the presenting sponsor for next year’s event. Billabong BVI Kite Jam 2011 will take place February 26 – March 5.
Report submitted by BVI Kite Jam