TRIGG doctor and kiteboarding enthusiast Philip Rowlands is preparing to race in this year’s Lighthouse to Leighton race on December 5.
Now in its sixth year, the kiteboarding race is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere with more than 100 kite boarders set to race from Rottnest Island to Leighton Beach.
The race will see competitors chasing the race record of 22 minutes and 7 seconds, set by European Champion Olly Bridge last year.
Rowlands said he emigrated from Britain to Perth because of the perfect kite-boarding conditions.
“I came out with my brother and a friend about 12 years ago just for a holiday to kitesurf and liked the place so much, I emigrated here,” he said. “Perth is the second windiest city in the world, so the conditions are perfect.”
Rowlands said he had been training a lot from Scarborough to City Beach and had a state-of-the-art kite-board that only 15 other competitors used.
“This year I’ll be using a ‘hydro-foil’ which has a winged keel. When you pick up speed it gives you lift, so the board comes off of the water, so there is minimal splash,” he said.
Rowlands said participation in the race was growing from year to year.
“It has become much more competitive because now it has international representation, whereas before it was only Australian-based,” he said.
Spectators can watch the race at Leighton Beach on December 5.
Freestyle kite demos, intro kite sessions, a beach volleyball competition and music will be available from 1pm.