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Lagoon draws kite surfers

As many as 200 kite surfers from around the world flocked to Hermanus at the Klein River Lagoon recently after taking part in the Red Bull King of the Air event at Kite Beach, Blouberg on 6 February.

Scott Soothill, owner of Kite Surfing Hermanus, explains that kite surfers choose Hermanus because of the favourable wind conditions. Soothill has also been kite surfing since 2005 and became a kite surfing instructor in 2006.

“We are one of the three top kite surfing destinations, the others are Langebaan and Blouberg.”

Soothill further explains that the great number of kite surfers coming to Hermanus is great exposure for the town and helps to boost its economy. “Many kite surfers stay over in accommodation places for the evening, visit the restaurants and enjoy the beauty that Hermanus has to offer.”

Frieda Lloyd, Cape Whale Coast Tourism Manager, shares the same sentiments.

“Hermanus is definitely gaining popularity as a kitesurfing destination with local and international professionals increasingly making their way to South Africa as their kiting destination of choice.

“It is an action sport that is great to watch and it attracts more spectators than participants. A very favourable impact on the economy indeed.”

Not only do visitors kite surf, but according to Soothill 40 plus locals also enjoy the sport, “and the numbers are growing steadily all the time”.

According to Lloyd The Red Bull King of the Air is an annual competition that was started in Hawaii, but has since been moved to Big Bay, Cape Town.

“This challenge between the world’s top kite surfers has seen participants exploring neighbouring spots of which Hermanus is undoubtedly a favourite.

“Information shows that water sport enthusiasts are the most loyal tourists to our shores and invest heavily in coming to our region.”

She adds that economic spin-off extends beyond the obvious contribution to accommodation and restaurants.

“Many images of the Walker Bay sky filled with the colourful kites have been shared on Instagram to promote our region and it is encouraging to see the response to these pictures.”

Lloyd says fellow adrenaline junkies respond to these images by asking where Hermanus is or commenting that they want to come back to this “special place”.

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