Visitors from as far away as Norway and Spain have joined visitors from Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands in a five-day event where competitors test their water skills in course racing, freestyle kitesurfing tricks and big-air jumps.
A highlight of the week will be the ‘Battle of the Pros’ on Wednesday.
Professional kite surfers Ewan Jaspan, Australia’s number one and the current global Kitesurfer of the Year, and Marc Pierre Jacobs, New Zealand’s number one, will go head to head in an exhilarating display of technical freestyle moves, including gymnastic rotations and huge aerial jumps.
This year the festival focuses on youth and women progressing in the sport, with 12-year-old Eve Skewes from Foxton, New Zealand, competing against local riders Dylan Mussel (13) from Rarotonga and Quinton (12) and Chakyl 10) Schofield.
They are joined by the current Miss Cook Islands Alanna Smith, who is competing in the women’s category.
Day one and two of the competition saw over 40 kites take to the sky in a novel ‘Round the Motu’ race where kite surfers flew across the water at top speed around Motu Tavake.
The winners included Glenn Bright from New Zealand and Quinton Schofield from Aitutaki in the men’s category; Danni Ford of New Zealand, Eva Petrikova of Czech Republic and Lisa Kroenig of Germany in the women’s category; and Quinton Schofield Jr, Aitutaki, Dylan Mussel, Rarotonga, and Eve Skewes, New Zealand, in the youth category.
Manureva Aquafest will end the week with a community outreach programme at the primary schools and the inaugural Aquafest Day on Friday at Ootu Beach with Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) and swimming races.