Goa’s Keona Rajani and Arjun Motha from Andhra Pradesh will defend their women's and men’s titles, respectively, during the Indian National Kiteboarding Championship being organised by Premier Kiteboarding Association (PKA) at Beach Streets Eco Resort & Spa in Mandrem from April 21 to 24.
“I had a great time during the last nationals despite the winds not being strong. I learnt a lot during the competition and ended up with the title. I want to continue from where I left the last time,” Keona Rajani, Goa’s only female participant told GT Daily.
“I hardly got a chance to practice much before the last nationals as Covid restrictions were still in place. I feel more confident now as I have been practising without any hindrances. I practice and go to college. This is my schedule now,” added Keona.
“Over fifteen participants from all over India have confirmed participation, and four from amongst these are from Goa. We are expecting some more entries tomorrow,” stated Premier Kiteboarding Association secretary Derrick Menezes.
“The last national in Goa was the closest finish I ever had. The race went on to the wire. It was the first nationals after Covid, and I am sure the national is going to be more intense this time,” predicted reigning champion Arjun Motha.
“This is the first time in Goa the Olympic Formula Kite class is being introduced, which is making its debut at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Goans will see some of the best participants,” added Derrick.
Surfers from the Army and Navy, Tuticorin and Rameswaram in Chennai, Bengaluru, and Goa will be the key stakeholders in the competition.
The Army Yachting Node will be the main contender for the Olympic Kite Foiling class, according to the organisers.
“We expect the winds to be gusty this year, and with a beautiful shoreline in Mandrem, competitors and race officials are expected to give their best. All international race protocols will be in place during the nationals,” stressed Derrick Menezes.
The championship is expected to be flagged off at 2 pm on the first day. Race officials are expected to arrive on Thursday along with many outstation competitors.
The competitions will begin every day at 11 am and wind up at 6 pm.
Drishti is the safety partner and Beach Street Resort & Spa is the hospitality partner. The national is being sponsored by Viaanar Homes and Cesar Menezes, founding president of the Premier Kiteboarding Association.