Gold Coast competitor Paul Jackson is just one of a number of kiteboarding stars  coming to  Coconet Classic.
Gold Coast competitor Paul Jackson is just one of a number of kiteboarding stars coming to Coconet Classic.

High flier

By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au

DO THE terms kicker, slider and free ride make any sense to you?

If the answer is no, then the best thing you can do is to take some time out of your Easter and head down to Tannum Beach for the Coconet Classic Kiteboarding event.

With over $5000 in prizes, the best kiteboarders in Australia are heading here for the popular three-day classic which was a major success on last year.

Event organiser Justin Diehm cannot wait for the action to start and said kiteboarding's elite competitors are coming.

"Everyone is really looking forward to the action, the event is rated as one of Australia's best and the best kiteboarders from across the country are coming,'' Diehm said.

Diehm added competition is set to be fierce with $1000 first prize on offer for the men's and women's winners, while the event will also be televised on Fox Sports.

"Obviously having such a good first prize is going to bring people to the event and I am sure everyone is going to go pretty hard,'' he said.

So how about the contenders . Local knowledge is set to play its part, with Australian junior champion and current Tannum resident Campbell Barker and former local star Anthony Prest ready to cut loose.

There are a number of exciting visitors to look out for including Victorian gun Michael Morton, talented Gold Coast junior Joel Bechus and Western Australian star Julian Kidd.

On the girl's side of things, a couple of likely types appear to be current Australian number one Theresa McKirdy and fresh Gold Coast competitor Angie Van Hoos.

The event begins with a warm up on Friday March 25, before the regular competition kicks into gear on the Saturday and Sunday.

The highlight as always is the top 10 shootout which decides the winner after two days of the free ride competition.

Diehm also has his fingers crossed that fresh south-easterly winds that help the Gladstone-Brisbane Yacht Race fleet can help the kiteboarders and make it a fantastic competition.

"Kiteboarding needs plenty of wind and if we get plenty of it, the standard is sensational,'' he said.



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