KITESURFING world champion Liam Whaley is fixed on repeating his success in 2016.
The 18-year-old won his first freestyle title in December to make it a double triumph for Spain, with his friend and occasional training partner Gisela Pulido conquering the women’s category.
But Tarifa-based Liam, who was born in Ibiza to an English father and a Dutch mother, is keen to build on his win and fine-tune his extraordinary talent.
“I worked very hard for this title and I had quite high expectations. I was training in Australia in January and February and had learned quite a lot of new tricks,” Liam told the Olive Press.
“When I won the first two events I knew I was on the right track. I want to compete and train to defend my title this year. But I also want to learn new tricks that nobody has ever done before.”
Liam’s appetite for kitesurfing was first stoked at the age of eight and he had his first lesson in Tarifa.
His prodigious talent led his father to take him out of school at the age of 11 to train in Brazil for a month.The family eventually relocated to Europe’s wind capital, Tarifa, when Liam was 13.
“Brazil was an amazing place to kite,” he says. “But Tarifa is a better place to train. The wind is always between 25 and 40 knots and the lagoon is the perfect place for kiting.
“Here in Tarifa, I try to kite five or six times a week.”
And with 2016’s new season beckoning, the media’s camera lens will be firmly fixed on Liam’s soaring figure.