For the last week Mani Bisshops from Perth West Australia has been battling it out in Thailand to hopefully gain a spot at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in October 2018.
We believe he has just scored a spot to represent Australia!
kiteboardtour.asia were on location and managed to get some quick words on him:
In the Oceania boys’ group disputed on the warm waters off Pranburi’s Paknampran Beach, seasoned kitefoil racer Mani Bisschops enjoyed a similarly dominant role, rarely putting a foot wrong and winning almost every one of the division’s 20 races to take the regional berth.
“I’m stoked to get the spot,” said Bisschops. “The Olympics is so prestigious, and now kiting has made it in. To be one of the first people going is amazing. I’ve always looked up to people who made it to the Olympics.”
Prior to the tryouts last week we got the pre-competition run down from Mani:
Where are you off too?
Me and dad are off to thailand somewhere where the locals tell me there is a lot of waves and wind!
It is the oceanic youth Olympic Games qualifying event.
What do you have to do to make it?
Only one gets the spot so have to win the event to qualify for the 2018 games.
This is for the Youth Olympics?
Yes, it is all leading up to the main event which is the youth Olympics Buenos Aires in October 2018.
What disciplines are you competing in?
When I started kiting years ago it all started with a bit of fun freestyle, then as I never did very well in that I tried racing on a formula board. That died out a couple of years later and moved towards hydrofoil racing and that’s what I have been doing competitions in over last year. But the youth Olympics is racing on a twin tip (freestyle board).
Does this possibly lead to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
Yes, hopefully this shows people what kiting is and how exciting it is, getting it a spot in the 2020 games or 2025 games in Paris.
Who will be the hardest to beat in your event?
By the looks of it, there isn’t too many registered but one name I recognised from a few years ago when I did a few freestyle comps around Australia is Arron Kenny, so I think he will be really fast as he spends most of his kiting time on a twin tip.
Well done Mani we hope to be catching up with him soon to see how it all went!
Heres the lowdown on what happened at the Lancelin Ocean Classic finish line! What an incrdible finish!
FKM: So the Lancelin race in January was a pretty spectacular ending mate what happened there?
MANI: I was neck and neck with Andy Cooksey, and then hit the sand as I was coming into the finish. I was launched off my board and went into a spin… Somehow it turned into a perfect front roll and I landed on the beach. It was all a bit of a blur and I ran for what I thought was the finish line… but turned out to be the windsurfers finish line lol…
FKM: Oh sh*t man! Oh well least you beat the windsurfers good work.
MANI: haha yeh.