As the massive Quiksilver King of the Lagoon kite surfing competition took over Ras Sudr last weekend, Kiteloop's Casey Fairhurst rose to the top of the ranks, winning the women's freestyle contest. Here she tells us the secrets to her success...
Kite surfing continues to soar in Egypt as it is often considered globally as the fastest growing water sport. Taking place at the Soul Kitesurfing Center this month was one of the only competition to crown the best kite surfers in Egypt – Quiksilver’s King of the Lagoon. Upon hearing that this year’s Queen of the Lagoon was none other than Kiteloop team member Casey Fairhurst, we reach out to her to find out what it takes to compete and win.
Winning anything is awesome, but winning your very first competition is priceless. Never having competed before, Fairhurst not only surprised herself, but was the only member of team Kiteloop to win, despite only picking up the sport not too long ago. “This is my first win! In fact it's the first competition I have entered, so I'm pretty stoked to be crowned Queen of the Lagoon. Winning the women's airstyle event has given me a lot more confidence in my riding. Also I have only been riding a year and a half, in this time I have managed to progress so fast due to the great consistent conditions I get to train in every day at Ras Sudr,” explains Fairhurst.
Working as an instructor at Kiteloop, Fairhurst definitely had a home turf advantage as training every day on the same waters that hosted the competition certainly helps. Although the conditions are extremely ideal for any rider looking to turn pro, Fairhurst believes her success is the result of more than just being used to the weather wand water. According to Fairhurst, “It's not just the conditions. It's the Kiteloop family, who push each other day to day to progress in this sport. There is always someone around to teach us the next move, correct our mistakes and push us on days when we are not at our best. I'm so overwhelmed by the huge support from my friends and family who encourage me to continue doing what I love and push even harder.”
In order to secure this year title of Queen of the Lagoon, Fairhurst had to first overcome the nerves that came with taking part in her first competition. “I learnt from my first heat that the nerves can get the better of you. By the second heat, I went I'm with a smile on my face, sang a song and enjoyed it like I would any other session and it paid off! “ Edging out her competition, Fairhurst managed to pull off a series amazing mix of freestyle tricks that few were able to duplicate. According to Fairhurst “I think my winning tricks that took me to first place would be my big air one footers, none of the other competitors was able to do this. So I took it to my advantage and pulled of a couple. I was also lucky enough to land all my tricks in the final round. I was doing inverted front rolls, double back rolls with grabs, big air with grabs, backroll transition, kiteloops and of course the dead man.” With the ability to pop high in the air and with a diverse bag of difficult tricks, Fairhurst dazzled spectators and competitors with each trick she nailed.
Despite this being Fairhurst's first simultaneous taste of competition and victory, the talented boarder is already eyeing future competition, with the goal of one day winning one of kite surfing biggest events in the world, the King of the Air competition in South Africa. “I will enjoy the rest of the season here before I leave to go travelling in mid-November. I expect to be back early next year to begin training hard and to enter each competition that is held, which as far as I’m aware there will be three: Challenge Yourself, Airstyle Hangout and King of the Lagoon. The ultimate competition I would dream of winning would be King of the Air in Cape Town.”
Fairhurst makes it clear that she didn’t get to this point on her own giving shout outs to those who helped her on her Kite surfing journey. “I have to thank kitesurfing lanka, the place where it all began. The crew there put in so much effort to make us (referring to her and her boyfriend) become independent riders. But of course, Kiteloop is where the progression really started thanks to working partner Karim el-Khasheb, who encouraged us each day to spend as much time in the water as possible,” expresses Fairhurst.
Looking to inspire others to join and compete in this aquatic adrenaline rush, Fairhurst advises those looking to follow her success to “train hard, as often as you can, and make the most out of all conditions. Most importantly of all enjoy it!” If you are interested in learning firsthand from this talented surfer, we highly recommend visiting Kiteloop where she and an equally skilled team of welcoming instructors anxiously await to ignite your passion for one of the fastest growing aquatic sports. With a little luck and a lot devotion we expect that when it becomes a full on Olympic sport, that we will have Egyptians competing among the world’s finest thanks to these competitions, but more importantly because of Egypt's teaching centres.
Congratulations to all the winners at this year’s King of the Lagoon: