Sports fans looking for winter sun will be well catered for in Western Australia this December. The sporty city of Perth, famous for its endless sunshine, strong breezes, and 19 beaches, is hosting a number of high profile events over the coming months.
Who could forget about the all-important third test of the Ashes and the inaugural Kiteracing Oceanic Championships? And England may just enjoy victory at both events. One British family, with six world kiteracing titles between them, is set to dominate the action on the water. It’s always fun watching the Aussie get beat in their own backyard.
British family set to wow at a new kiteracing event
The inaugural Kiteracing Oceanic Championships will take place in Fremantle from 10th to 15th December. As well as course racing and big jumps to wow the crowds, it includes the Lighthouse to Leighton, Australia’s longest kiteboarding race, covering 19km of Indian Ocean from Rottnest Island to Leighton Beach in Fremantle.
The breezes and rolling swells of Western Australia are a favourite for kitesurfers who take to the waves in spectacular form, carving them apart and performing daring aerial somersaults.
Over the six days there will also be a beach festival with twilight movies on the sand, live music, street performers, kiting clinics, beach sports and tasty pop-up food outlets.
The Championships, which form part of the IKA world ranking calendar, will attract competitors from around the world including the extraordinary Bridge family from the UK.
Spending time at the beach is a normal family activity for most, but the Bridge family from Devon have taken it to a completely new level with a combination of six world kiteracing champions between them. Mum, Steph Bridge, is a four-time World Kite Race Champion and current European champion, who set a world record for an English Channel crossing with Richard Branson in 2012. Eldest son Olly (aged 16) is a Race World Champion (2012) and European Men’s Kite Race Champion (2013) while his brothers Guy (aged 14) and Tom (aged 12) are Freestyle Youth Champions.
As well as taking part in the Championships, the Bridges will show local kiteracing enthusiasts how it’s done with one-off training camp from 27th November to 1st December, designed to provide junior kiters with additional skills such as start line strategy, downwind angles and upwind tactics.
Christmas sun and cricket Down Under
From 13th to 17th December, Perth hosts the all-important third test of the Ashes where England may just seal a historic victory Downunder.
Perth’s WACA is the most intimate of the Australian grounds seating just 22,000 and has established a reputation for being a fast and hard track, loved by fast bowlers and feared by batsmen. The city is also Australia’s sunniest and has the quickest flight times from the UK which makes it the perfect place to combine the Ashes with winter sun. In December Perth temperatures average 29C – perfect to explore the city’s 19 beaches, learn to sail on the Swan River or make the most of the cycle paths and free bike hire in Fremantle.
Freedom Australia (0844 567 8050 or visit www.ashes2013cricket.co.uk) has a 14-night package to see the Ashes in Perth departing on 11th December (back on 27rd) from £2,499 per person. This includes flights with Singapore Airlines, ten nights in Perth and five match day tickets to see the Ashes, plus five days’ car hire and four nights’ accommodation to explore the wineries in the south west.
Line up announced for Hopman Cup
Perth’s prestigious tennis tournament, the Hyundai Hopman Cup 2014, has announced a star-studded line-up for this year’s event. From 28th December to 4th January, top seeded players including No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No.9), Milos Raonic (No.11) and John Isner (No.13) will compete for the Hopman Cup crown. This year’s tournament aims to top last year’s record-breaking debut at the new Perth Arena which was attended by over 100,000 fans.
About Western Australia
Perth is Australia’s sunniest city with 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. And just as many sporting activities to enjoy in it. The great outdoors are always greater when the sun is shining. Whether you’re watching an international cricket, tennis or kite-surfing competition, learning to sail or exploring a national park, you’ll feel a warm welcome.
The vibrant port city of Fremantle, has perfect surfing and sailing conditions thanks to the Fremantle Doctor, the consistent south-westerly sea breeze, which cools the city most afternoons through summer. It is also home to world-famous heritage buildings and a fascinating maritime and convict history.