This event attracts wave sailors and kite surfers from around the globe as well as Australia and is keenly contested by all, one way or another…. This year there were over 240 competitors in total,
With over $30,000 in prizes to be won the action was hot as competitors fought for a share in the pool. Rules are few and far between as the event has a real casual format and atmosphere. The number one rule is NO WINGING and all competitors seem to comply with ease. Just get out there and ride, as much or as little as you like. For most the ‘competition’ is mostly just about participation and being part of such a great gathering of like minded, fun loving riders.
Excellent vantage points abound around Merimbula Bay to view the action. The Main Beach always provides a good viewing spot. However from Bar Beach the full panorama of Merimbula Bay is visible. As well, there are other locations nearby that also have excellent riding conditions. Some are amongst the most beautiful and picturesque spots to ride in the world, like Pambula River Mouth and Short Point, all with awesome viewing access.
Over the four days spectators were treated to spectacular performances by some of the worlds best kite surfers and wave riders. The number of kite-surfers riding surfboards continues to grow at a great rate and this year saw about half of the riders choosing to ride surfboards, some with and some without straps. As the riding standard of riding surfboards with a kite continues to get better and better, more interest and attention is being paid to this category. Of most note is the interest shown by the wider surfing community, kitesurfing seen as a valid alternative when the wind is up. Mambo is the perfect occasion to present and promote the kite-surfing culture and trend, as it brings together so many riders from all around the country in excellent surf conditions.
The sky was dominated by Slingshot as was the water….with the SRT being the production board of choice and the Fuel and Octane kites were everywhere as well. Champion Slingshot rider and board shaper, Stuart Martin, was the custom shaper of choice.
Slingshot ruled in every category as seen in the attached results not to mention 2 time Mambo champion and Aussie Slingshot International Team Rider, Ben Wilson. Ben led the Slingshot crew which included standout performances by Stuey Martin, Matt Tobin, Lee Cavanagh and Blake Maxsted. Slingshot team riders Theresa McKirdy (OZ Champion) and CJ Jones, teamed up to totally dominate the ladies division. And Slingshot’s Gene Phoenix, Andy Regan and John Warren, took out the masters, veterans and legends, respectively.
The format is simple ride and party as hard and as well as you can. Competitors meet daily at Ford Oval for free BBQ breakfast and as soon as the wind picks up there is action aplenty. The BBQ continues free during the day and the party really kicks off as night falls, some even get to see the sun come back up. Kite-surfers hit the water from about 10knots up; add waves to this equation and a truly spectacular and unique event unfolds.
This is an event that really should go onto every kiteboarders calendar. Be there next year for the last weekend in November 2006.