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The KBO is one of the biggest kite events in Europe if not the biggest and ExPix were invited along to help increase the coverage and to document the event the way only ExPix does.

Having heard all the stories about how good and large this event was didn't prepare us for exactly how many people the Kiteboard Open caters for or has potential to reach. The beach was rammed and I can only equate the size to Boardmasters (Newquay Surf Comp)  who claim to have  around 100 000 visitors on the beach................. it was amazing. So with good support from the industry there were stalls, activities and parties. We definitely want to go back to this one next year.

We arrived on Sun morning after an overnight trip from the Think Tank event in Tamworth UK, and were met by hordes of people walking, driving or cycling in the direction of the beach surely this crowd couldn't be all going to the same place as us.

Well they were it took us about an hour to find somewhere to park and we arrived on the beach to see a range of coloured flags, tents and vehicles on the Notorious Beach in Noordwijk.

This is the fifth year the event has taken place and it has steadily grown in size and stature. Organised by the Noordwijk Kite Club it is a labour of love for the members.  The main sponsors of the event this year were protest

The event has a family feel to it and the chief organiser explained that the reasoning behind this is he has children. A strange way of thinking you may say...... but he says that they need something to keep them happy and occupied if he is kiting, so with this in mind the activities range from bars and music, trade stands, bouncy castles, trampolines, hot tubs, slides and fun games such as the duo balance boards or the paddle surf race. This combines a kite competition with the beach lifestyle giving the whole family something to do. Something we have not seen anywhere in Europe yet. Its great to see the beach lifestyle adding to the atmosphere of competition.

So on Sunday the wind wasn't that strong, with little wind in the morning we concentrated on gaining images for the press office and gathering colourful images for the website and promotional material. Then as the wind picked up a little it was down to the waters edge to see what the level was like. The wind however didn't really pick up enough but the guys tried and there was some promising action on show. With the forecast due to improve for Monday the event looked like it was gonna kick off.

So with the evening drawing in it was into the Marquee to listen to the band Splendid a reggae, ska band from Holland. They went down a bomb with their relaxed rhythms pumping out over the beach.Then out onto the beach to eat and drink and be merry whilst the DJs got ready for the night.

We needed to go take a break and went to freshen up ready for the night times party. On our return the place was bouncing.People up on the stage, lights flashing, all the ingredients for a good night and it felt chilled, no agro just good fun.

The DJ sets were awesome, great mixes got the crowds baying for more as the night drew to a close around 2a.m.

Monday morning saw a few tired eyes and sore heads as riders and spectators emerged from their pits and dragged themselves to the beach. The wind wasn't there yet so a paddle surf race and volleyball demo occupied people whilst the children played on the slides trampoline and bouncy castles and some were interviewed for TV

By late afternoon the wind was becoming stronger and I managed to get out on a boat to take some images looking back to shore. The event looked even larger than before and there were people on the beach for approximately a mile on either side of the main stand.

Whilst the competition was on stand by the commentators kept the crowds occupied with games and give aways from the tower in the centre. Hundreds of children waited below the tower arms stretched towards the sky in anticipation of goodies falling into their arms.

The invited pro's gave demonstrations out on the water before the competition started in ernst.

The wind slowly picked up and at one point we counted over 150 kites on the water within a mile or so of the tower. We have only seen more kites than this in Tarifa or at the downwind dash in South Africa.

Racing through the heats brought the final of the pro's around 7 ish with frantic action it was Boss Koole who took the prize.

Overall this is a fantastic event for anyone to attend pro or spectator, plenty to do with great atmosphere its going to be interesting how they up the level next year. We already want to book our ticket to see how they do it !

Well done all and hopefully see you next year.

To view a small selection of images from the event click here

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