Mandurah’s Kathryn Davies will be looking to glide her way to victory when she lines up in the Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton dash this weekend.
Davies will be one of 135 competitors taking to the water for what is Australia’s longest kiteboarding race, spanning 19 kilometres from Rottnest Island to Fremantle’s Leighton Beach.
Taking on the female twin-tip class, the 34-year-old will be looking to continue her run of strong results following a first-place finish in the Lancelin Ocean Classic earlier this year and a top three result in a Rockingham to Fremantle race more recently.
She’s no stranger to competing in the event, however, and will be looking to her past experiences for an advantage as she enters her third consecutive attempt.
“With so many competitors of different abilities it’s always a pretty hectic starting line, so you’ve got to navigate your way through that pretty carefully,” she said.
“But once your through is when the fun starts and you’re just off and racing.
“Hopefully my previous experiences can help give me a bit of an edge.”
Davies hones her kiteboarding technique year-round, putting in roughly three sessions a week, but the Mandurah local has been intently training for the Lighthouse to Leighton for the past two months.
Her love of the sport – which she has been competing in for six years – stems from a life spent on the seas.
“I’ve always enjoyed boating and being out on the water and this was just another way to do that,” she said.
“Once I started doing it I just loved it, so I kept going and eventually started competing.”
Davies is also championing the sport to other women, citing the mental benefits that come with competing in the kiteboarding community.
“I’d love to see more women on the water at these events,” she said.
“The confidence it gives you and the relationships you build are a huge part of it.
“It can be a bit of a male-dominated sport but there’s definitely avenues for women to get involved and it’d be great to see more taking it up.”
The Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton is scheduled to kick off on Saturday, December 8.
A potential start time of 2pm has been earmarked, but is subject to change depending on wind conditions.
Visit lighthouse2leighton.com.au for more information.