Thrill-seeking kite-boarders ready for big-race challenge

Gianni Abbondanza is looking |forward to this year’s Lighthouse to Leighton race.
Gianni Abbondanza is looking |forward to this year’s Lighthouse to Leighton race.

MORE than 100 keen kite-boarders are set to take the challenge in the Southern Hemisphere’s largest race from Rottnest Island to Leighton Beach next month.

The Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton race will see competitors chase European champion Olly Bridge’s record of around 22 minutes set last year.

Among the eager competitors for this year’s race is South Perth resident Gianni Abbondanza.

An enthusiastic kite-boarder for eight years and with a career in subsea engineering, Abbondanza is never too far from the water.

“Kite-boarding is a great sport to clear your head and get in touch with nature,” he said.

“Downwind runs from City Beach to Scarborough are my favourite.

“We are pretty lucky here in Perth to have amazing conditions.”

While he raced in the competition in 2013, Abbondanza said he was excited to take on the challenge this year.

“It’s an amazing event and quite a spectacle when all the kites take off from Bickley Bay,” he said.

The race on December 5 will finish at Leighton Beach where spectators are welcome to watch and enjoy freestyle kite demonstrations, introductory sessions and a beach volleyball competition.