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Shore to shore

Malory de la Marquée in actionIt’s true, the northeast part of Brazil is becoming increasingly well known, but it’s not only tourists and surf enthusiasts who come here. Guadeloupe-born Malory de la Marquée, who lives in Tarifa and competes on the PKRA Tour for France, is one of many top kite-surfing professionals who use these shores to practise, focus and recharge their batteries.

“When the season ends in Tarifa it’s an ideal time for us to go to places like Ceará and train,” says the young man who in 2007 finished sixth in his second year on the Tour. This year he has set his goals even higher, aiming for a spot in the top three, but to achieve this takes a lot of dedication and drive. “Kite-surfers are instinctively driven out to the waves; they set out whenever the conditions are right, but when you’re professional it all becomes a little more serious and every day forms part of a training programme that involves normally two sessions of practice on the water.” Staying out for longer than an hour and a half at a time heightens the risk of injuries, so much of the day is spent working on fitness, endurance and reviewing his performance with a coach. Malory de la Marquée

“We run, work out in a gym and look at videos of our training sessions as the coach points out technical issues or things that you can improve upon. It’s a great life that takes you to places like Mexico, New Caledonia and different parts of the Mediterranean, but it also means you can’t always go partying and you also have responsibilities towards your coach and sponsors.”

 In the off-season, when he’s not in Tarifa or competing on the Tour, Malory sets up his training camp in Cumbuco, where the constant wind, mild temperatures and peaceful way of life provide ideal conditions. “It’s such a natural, simple life that it leaves you free to focus completely. You get up early, have a healthy fruit breakfast and head out to sea. It’s pretty much the same for the non-professionals, except that they don’t have to run or lift weights, and they end most days with a party.” Malory will join his friends for a few caipirinhas before turning in for the night. “You couldn’t wish for a better place to train. It’s warm, natural, the people are friendly, there is almost no traffic or pollution and the food is natural, without genetic engineering or preservatives. I think we will see this area become increasingly important both in terms of tourism and water sports. Tarifa may yet have to fight for its reputation as the kite-surf capital of the world…”