One of the main attractions of Vilankulo has been the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, and the enchanting islands off the town’s coast – the famous Bazaruto Archipelago. Several activities usually engaged in the area revolve around the water, and it is what gave birth to an annual event known as the Vilankulo Downwind.
Kiteboarding or Kitesurfing…
Kiteboarding is described as an extreme sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing, paragliding, snowboarding, skateboarding and gymnastics. As a surface water sport, it is performed atop a body water and requires the use of the wind and waves.
The calm waters between the shores of Vilankulo and Bazaruto Archipelago known as the Mozambican Channel of the Indian Ocean offers some of the best kiteboarding spot in the world.
The Best of Mozambican Kitesurfing…
Built around a 10km downwind which starts on the mainland and ends on an island – sometimes it ends along the coast – depending on weather conditions, the annual Vilankulo Downwind is a 3-day festival which gives you the chance to experience the thrill of kitesurfing.
Vilankulo Downwind which is usually a weekend event also includes a braai beach party featuring a live band, tricks competition with prizes to be won and related beach activities. Vilankulo Downwind is not a free event, with kitesurfers expected to pay US$95 to participate, while a full spectator package costs US$65.
This year’s Vilankulo Downwind has been scheduled for Friday September 23rd to Monday 26th 2016. It kicks off with registration at Kite Zone, near the Casbah from 4pm to 7pm on Friday. Late registration is allowed on Saturday before 7.30am. After a safety briefing, spectator boats, safety crew, booze barge departs for the Downwind at 8.00am – although it is wind dependent.
At approximately 1.00pm, everyone returns – again, it is dependent on the wind conditions – with music and festivities on the beach. A music festival takes place on the beach starting at 6.00pm and it attracts an entry fee of MT500. The fun last well into the early morning with live bands and DJs.
On Sunday, the main event, Kitesurfing Tricks Competition kicks off at 10am at the Casbah, while music and festivities continue all day at the beach. Monday is usually an alternate day for Downwind, and it is again wind dependent.
All photos are courtesy Vilankulo Downwind official facebook page
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