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TKM54 C Kite Festival Credit Sarah Hayward 4 copy 1200x800 - C Kite Festival: Bringing the good vibes

C Kite Festival: Bringing the good vibes

What would you do if you had a world class kite spot on your doorstep which you really wanted to bring to the attention of the kitesurfing world? You could spend some cash on digital advertising, maybe take some space in esteemed publications such as this… Or you could focus on your social media channels and showcase your spot in the best possible light… Or… You could get a bunch of pro kiters, a Masterchef winner, some insane live musicians, a massive marquee, and have a huge kite festival over three days. That should do it. The guys at C Mauritius tried that last year and it was such a success they decided to do it all over again. TheKiteMag’s editor-in-chief Alex Hapgood took the hit and headed over to cover the event…

TKM54 C Kite Festival C Kite Festival 2023 Day 2 Downwind 06 HD 1260x754 - C Kite Festival: Bringing the good vibes

Okay, so first up let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Think Mauritius and you tend to think of one spot: Le Morne. It steals the headlines for good reason, with One Eye being the headline-grabbing jewel in the crown. But for the 99.5% of kiters who aren’t planning on heading 3km offshore to one of the most revered, but also one of the gnarliest kitesurfing reefs on the planet, it is essentially ‘just’ a nice flatwater spot inside the lagoon. These days it is also pretty busy and also – right now – a huge building site, as the main hotel on the spot gets rebuilt.

So if you’re not going to head to the south, where else could you head? Well actually you have a whole lot of options, not least of which is to head to the east of the island and to the perfect beaches there which – it turns out – also have insane flatwater spots, but with a few less other kiters to contend with. Enter C Mauritius…

The C Kite Festival

Hosted by Antoine Auriol, the C Kite Festival brought together a fine selection of riders whose competitive careers have spanned the last decade or so. It’s fair to say that Antoine is pretty well connected in the kitesurfing world, and it seems that the number one criteria for getting an invite to the event was “must have good vibes”. You would struggle to find a friendlier crew of riders, all taking their role of showcasing the sport very seriously, with whoops and shakas aplenty. When the expression sessions were in full flow there was a tantalizing mix of Big Air (enter Tom Hebert, Hay Katz, Youri Zoon, Paul Serin and Arthur Guillebert) and full-power kite-low booted-up antics (Victor Hays and Ozzie Smith). The highlight of the kitesurfing was a 15-kilometer downwinder which brought together pretty much anyone at the resort who had ever flown a kite, who mixed in with the pro riders for a cruise along this part of the Mauritian coastline. Riding along this part of the coast and getting to view the insane mountainous beauty of Mauritius from the water was pretty special. As was being greeted at the end of the downwinder with a dry towel and a can of Red Bull…

Off the water it was a packed itinerary too, with a marquee erected on the beach and populated by local Mauritian companies showcasing the very best food and drink from the island, supported by an impressive entertainment schedule, with live music every night. The highlight of this was the live saxophonist Yarden Saxophone who blew the crowd away, and also ensured that there wasn’t anyone on the beach too early the following morning…

On the culinary front, there was a street food evening, a seafood buffet, and MasterChef champion Thomas Frake cooking up his “Signature Burger” to ensure that everyone’s protein intake was sufficient. The hospitality overall was next-level and – if you have traveled around the island – you will know that it is not just turned on for hotel guests: Mauritius is one of the smiliest and friendliest countries you will ever visit. To be honest though, if I lived there I don’t think I would stop smiling either…

The spot

C Mauritius is just under an hour from the airport. The hotel has a great vibe and, over the course of a few days, you’ll be on first name terms with most of the staff and feel very much part of the family. It’s not a huge hotel so you never feel lost and, most importantly, you’re never really out of sight of the beach… They are justifiably proud of their hotel and of the spot and they want to welcome more and more kiters.

For the kiting, a croissant’s throw from your buffet breakfast there is plenty of space to rig up, as well as the East Kite School which has a full complement of Airush gear for rent and for lessons. The spot just out-front offers perfect flatwater conditions. The wind throughout our stay was between 14 and 25 knots blowing right-to-left with some rocks upwind providing some shelter and butter flat conditions for freestylers. The tidal range is relatively small, leaving the sandbank in the middle of the lagoon around waist deep on low tide. Overall, it is a genuinely perfect spot for twintip riding and you’re unlikely to be sharing it with more than a handful of other kiters… “Kitesurfing Nirvana” is an overused term, but this really is it.

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