Revolutionary kitesurf competition in Sardinia


2011 Kitesurf Wave World Champion Airton Cozzolino recently invited eight of the world’s best strapless kiteboard riders to Sardinia for the first ever pure strapless kitesurfing competition, Red Bull Unfastened.

SARDINIA (Italy) – Rolling hills and the turquoise blue waters of the Mediterranean made the perfect scenery for the first ever pure strapless kitesurfing competition, an evolution of kitesurfing where surfers ride without straps attaching them to their board. Host of the event was none other than 2011 KSP World Champion and strapless kitesurfing pioneer Airton Cozzolino, born in Cap Verde but a resident of Sardinia for over ten years.

Joining Cozzolino for the revolutionary five-day competition (9-13 April) were international kitesurf stars Matchu Lopes, Reo Stevens, Bear Karry, Patrick Rebstock and Patri McLaughlin as well as Italian wildcards Francesco Maffei and Sandro Pisu.

The first event was a flat-water freestyle competition where the host Airton Cozzolino won the day’s crown, beating Patri McLaughlin from Hawaii after an incredible final heat. Patrick Rebstock from California took third place after impressively winning five heats in a row.

Good wind conditions allowed the competition to go on with a second event in which the riders had to perform their best trick. This time the tables were turned: Patri McLaughlin beat Airton in the final with an “Unhooked Aerial 180 HP Surface”.

Nevertheless, it was Cozzolino who was crowned the overall winner with 390 points. “Strapless kitesurfing is a brand new discipline. I would love to see more people practising it and maybe for it to be included in the Olympics. I hope Red Bull Unfastened will be the start of a new adventure,” commented Cozzolino as the competition came to a close.

Results: 1. Airton Cozzolino Lopes ITA 390 points, 2. Patri McLaughlin USA 370 points, 3. Patrick Rebstock USA 324 points, 4. Matchu Lopes Almeida CBV 287 points, 5. Reo Stevens USA 262 points, 6. Francesco Maffei ITA 252 points, 7. Alexander John Karry USA 247 points, 8. Sandro Pisu 200 points