COVID-19 has not put a dampener on this month’s third annual Apex Windslasher Kitesurfing Festival and Queensland Beach Volleyball Tour at Elliott Heads.
Peter Higgins, event organiser, had initially hoped for this year’s Windslasher to become a national event, a goal which became impossible due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
However, he was delighted that a quality field of kitesurfers would still gather for the free two-day event on February 20-21.
“We’ve got a number of state and national champions that live in our district and the guys that come here to compete on the weekend are still some of the best in Australia,” Peter said.
“We’ll still have competitors from throughout Queensland and, at this stage, New South Wales and, if we get the right conditions, the crowd will have a really entertaining day and see some spectacular kiting.
“We’ve also got a round of the Queensland Beach Volleyball state titles coming back this year.”
Peter said several Olympic athletes would figure in the 75 teams to contest the beach volleyball titles.
Andrew Ward, the Windslasher event director and a state kitesurfing title holder, said the festival would showcase several forms of competition, including a freestyle event.
“The crowd loves the big jumps and some of the stylish tricks,” Andrew said.
“Top riders can demonstrate their stuff and really focus on their tricks rather than just being shoved into a tight couple of minutes to perform everything.”
However, he added that the festival would cater for competitors of all abilities and was not there solely to showcase the top-flight performers.
“We wanted to make it inclusive for everyone and not just the top riders,” he said.
“If we can also do some coaching it will get newcomers into the system and they can have some fun and, at the same time, progress their riding and, hopefully, build our numbers.
“If you want to give kiteboarding a go, we have one of the best spots in Australia for it.”
Peter said Windslasher 2021 was being coordinated by Apex Club of Bundaberg and would support the Bundaberg Region’s business community.
“There’s no cover charge and the only thing we ask is that those attending support the local businesses that will be here,” he said.
Peter said the event, which drew about 5000 visitors in each of its previous years, would feature local crafts and food stallholders, live music and a licensed bar and would operate in accordance with COVID-safe requirements.
He said the Windslasher kitesurfing festival at Elliott Heads was possible due to the support of Undertow Surf and Kite, Driftwood Café, APEX Club of Bundaberg, FNQ Security and Traffic Control and Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett.