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Date: 11/02/2008

The International Windsurfing Championship will return to Ponta Preta beach on the island of Sal between March 7 and 16. Considered to be one of the most important sporting events ever to be held in Cape Verde, the tournament, which will be organized by investment and tourism promotion agency Cabo Verde Investimentos, will feature the presence this year of 32 international windsurfers.

Following the 2007 edition, which was considered a success due to the excellent climactic conditions, expectations for the 2008 tournament are great. Glória Ribeira, who is responsible for organizing the Championship at Cabo Verde Investimentos, says that the “crčme de la crčme” of the world windsurfing community will be present at the event - including current world bronze medal holder Josh Angulo, an American-born Cape Verdean citizen.

The Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) will attribute between four and eight wild cards for athletes who are not currently on the world circuit in the sport. With this in mind, one week prior to the championship an eliminatory round will be held to select the windsurfers who will be able to participate in the tournament as well. Contestants from 13 countries on all continents will be represented, and 12 members of the PWA will be present as well, including the manager and the jury, one member of which is Cape Verdean.

The international press will also be present at the event, including a company specializing in the production and divulging of windsurfing images and videos, which will broadcast the event live via satellite throughout the world.

The championship will also be “an excellent way to promote tourism abroad.” “This will give visibility to the country, because it’s not just Ponta Preta that’s going to be publicized throughout the world, but also the island of Sal and Cape Verde,” affirms Glória Ribeiro.

Cabo Verde Investimentos is organizing the event alongside the Sal municipal chamber, with the support of various companies and business operators on the island. Glória Ribeiro is as of yet unable to provide a precise figure for the event’s budget, but is certain that it will be in the “millions of escudos.” Cabo Verde Investimentos will be responsible for all of the infrastructures that do not yet exist, as well as logistics.

Participants in the championship will be lodged at the Belorizonte Hotel.

The official announcement of the event will take place tomorrow, February 7, at the Sal municipal building, during a meeting between the Sal municipal chamber and Cabo Verde Investimentos.

The optimum climactic conditions for practicing windsurfing coincide with the high season in terms of the tourist market on the island of Sal, when the hotel occupancy rate is close to 100%.

The PWA site says that Ponta Preta’s “legendary breakers” are attracting ever-increasing numbers of lovers of the sport. “The powerful waves of Ponta Preta will test even the most hardcore PWA athletes,” affirms the site.

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