The Festival del Mar 2014

by Heather Froeming (Aug. 2014)

We, at Extreme Control, are extremely happy to have been a part of the Festival del Mar, the first event in El Cuyo to promote sustainable sports and practices. The municipio of El Cuyo and its director of sports took the initiative to bring this event to their small community of fishermen along the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. The town is located between the expansive lagoons of the Río Lagartos Reserve and the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is a perfect location to enjoy a whole array of activities. We wanted to give the local community an opportunity to participate in these activities and to share ideas on sustainable tourism. We brought stand-up paddleboards and trainer kites, and were so happy to see people of all ages playing all day with the boards and kites! It was amazing to see how fast the kids learned and soon were showing others!

On Sunday we had a fun "international" kite competition with people from all over the world participating. We had a great group, with participants from Italy, France, Spain, Belgium and Mexico! It was an informal competition where we chose judges that did not know anything technical about kiting. Their job was to choose the kiters who impressed them most. With Marco Cristofanelli announcing the event, we all had a good time watching the show! Extreme Control offered great prizes to the winners with the grand prizes being slingshot bindings, SeaSpec glasses and GoPro accessories. Everyone really enjoyed the competition and the show!

Kiteboarding has grown over the years and it attracts people from all over the world. Many kiters love to travel and discover new spots to kite and this is where they find a paradise, in El Cuyo. The laid-back lifestyle and perfect conditions make this an ideal kiting destination. We hope that promoting these sports will get more people involved in enjoying nature and be more involved in protecting it.
Thanks to all who came and showed their support. A special thanks to Estrella from Playa del Carmen. She brought her hand-painted hats as prizes for the event and did some great exercises with the kids, teaching them about being healthier. She also presented our No Mas Plastik campaign to the local kids to help educate about plastic pollution. We had a competition with the kids to see who could find the most pieces of plastic on the beach. The winner came back with 14 pieces in just two minutes! It was a perfect example of how much plastic pollution there is on the beach. We are hoping that little by little we can undo the damage that we have done, so that generations to come can enjoy the simple life paddleboarding in the morning with the dolphins and kiting in the afternoon with the setting sun.

Festival Del Mar

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