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#512811 - 04/02/16 10:15 AM Kite surfers sail to Placencia to honour Jeffrey Eiley
Marty Offline

Ten kite surfers embarked on a life changing challenge to kite surf from Ambergris Caye to the beautiful shores of the Placencia Peninsula. The event which is the first ever of its kind in Belize, is aimed in part to raise awareness of the fragility of the reef, while also honoring the late Jeffrey Eiley, a son of the island who was murdered two years ago. According to organizers, the reef was his playground and he always wanted to undertake this adventure. On Friday, April 1st it became a reality.

Organized by Eiley’s family and friends, the event sees the participants being swept away by the Eastern trade winds. Before they arrive in Placencia, the surfers will have covered over 100 miles of Belize’s prestigious Caribbean waters.

One of the organizers, Susana Eiley, spoke to The San Pedro Sun about the initiative and how much this means to her. “My husband is from Placencia and I am from San Pedro, and our son Jeffrey came up with this idea to sail from one place to the other, uniting our different locales. He was very passionate about our natural resources, especially the Barrier Reef,” she said. “Through this initiative we also want to create awareness about our natural environment and while reminding others of his senseless killing.”

Jeffrey became a very passionate kite surfer after taking classes from another organizer and kite surfer, Mark Worthington. “The day after we started with the lessons he came back into my place and asked to teach him everything about the sport,” says Worthington. “Eventually, he threw the idea to me about kite surfing to Placencia and invited me to be part of it.”

Organizers of the event are looking to make the kite surfing challenge a yearly event in an effort to increase the awareness of protecting the Belize reef system. At the same time they intend to get more young people from the island and other parts of the country interested in water sports and learn more about the marine ecosystems of Belize.

“As the event becomes an annual one, we also hope to raise funds and assist the charitable organizations on the island. We also want to establish kite surfing programs for children so they can start getting exposed to this amazing water sport,” ended Worthington.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun







‘Kite to Point’ – Surfers kite from Ambergris Caye to Placencia

Ten kite surfers embarked on a life changing challenge to kite surf from Ambergris Caye to the beautiful shores of the Placencia Peninsula. The event which is the first ever of its kind in Belize, is aimed in part to raise awareness of the fragility of the reef, while also honoring the late Jeffrey Eiley, a son of the island who was murdered two years ago. According to organizers, the reef was his playground and he always wanted to undertake this adventure. On Friday, April 1st it became a reality.

Ten kite surfers embarked on a life changing challenge to kite surf from Ambergris Caye to the beautiful shores of the Placencia Peninsula. The event, which is the first ever of its kind in Belize, is aimed in part to raise awareness of the fragility of the reef, while also honouring the late Jeffrey Eiley, a son of the island who enjoyed living life in the Caribbean Sea. To Jeffery, the reef was his playground and he always wanted to undertake this adventure.

So even though Jeffrey himself could not make the journey, family and friends came to together to make the experience possible for participants who wished to be swept away by the Eastern trade winds. And on April 1st, just after the break of dawn, the kite surfing journey started! Before they arrive in Placencia, the surfers will have covered over 100 miles of Belize’s prestigious Caribbean waters – just imagine the sight they will encounter in their journey (and the sight they’ll make for onlookers!)

One of the organizers, Susana Eiley, spoke to My Beautiful Belize prior to the event on the initiative and how much this means to her. “My husband is from Placencia and I am from San Pedro, and our son Jeffrey came up with this idea to sail from one place to the other, uniting our different locales. He was very passionate about our natural resources, especially the Barrier Reef,” she said. “Through this initiative we also want to create awareness about our natural environment and while reminding others of his senseless killing.”

Among the kite surfers taking part in the event is Martin John (MJ) Leslie, another island boy with a passion for the sport. “Jeffrey personally told me years ago. ‘Primo I want to kite surf from San Pedro to Placencia one day’,” says MJ. “In honour of him, we will do it. He loved the sea and all of its marine life so much. I feel that he is in the sea, wind and waves surrounding us. I’m ready Primo!!!”

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the "My Beautiful Belize" Blog


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#512814 - 04/02/16 10:56 AM Re: Kite surfers sail to Placencia to honour Jeffrey Eiley [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Congratulations Kite to Point group! They arrived at Placencia to a beautiful sun set at 6:05 pm!


Family and friends of murdered tour guide holds unique event in his memory



An Epic Mission in More Ways than One: Kite Surfing From Ambergris Caye to Placencia

Jeffrey Eiley called the reef his picket fence and the sea “his backyard”. He had just started kite surfing when he passed. And the whole group, including 14 year old Mitch Sersland, was desperate to finish the 100+ mile ride for their buddy.

Everyone assembled on the beach at 5:30am…this was going to be a LONG ride and they wanted to take advantage of the strong winds.

I have SOOO many pictures. Even though the winds shifted and then died, and the kite ride wasn’t completed – these guys went over 30 miles. A 14 year old…one free boarding or without foot straps…it was an amazing feat. And we finished the long ride down to Placencia in ROUGH seas…but what we saw along the way? An amazing sunrise and sunset, a huge turtle off Caye Caulker, a dolphin or two and the beauty of cayes and the mountains…it was worth it.

And everyone, at some point or another, was emotional.

7 kites, 2 wind surfers and 2 boats left for the open water…a bit later than planned but we were going to make it. No matter what. Jeffrey’s dad Norman Eiley, a Placencia native, and a whole crew were waiting for us on the other side.

We cruised past Caye Caulker and then onward to St. George’s Caye…the group stopped – a bit smaller but still ready to move forward. We’d gone about 30 miles.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Scoop


100 Miles and Countless Memories Kitesurfing the Coast of Belize
Bring together a group of daredevils, throw in a little heart and the desire to make a friend’s dream come true and you have yourself the very first “Kite to Point”. This challenge inspired by Jeffrey Eiley, who’s story is known all too well on our little island, was set to sail on April second with the “Princess Leslie” leading the kitesurfers and at least three other boats to accompany them. Due to a last minute change in plans, the sailing date was moved to April first and only one additional boat was able to make the trip. Is it a coincidence the only boat that joined the adventure was the “Carpe Diem” (latin for “seize the day”)? Anyone who knew Jeff would say “probably not”. If Jeff could send us messages or signs “seize the day” would most likely be one of them. Martin John Leslie (Jeff’s cousin) remembers very well the day Jeff learned to kitesurf as he was walking down the beach when he took off for the first time. Mark Worthington (Jeff’s best friend) and Bradley Mazin introduced him to the sport and he was so hooked that he couldn’t stop talking about buying his own kite and eventually his idea to “kite to point” came about and he wouldn’t let it go. The idea of kitesurfing from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Placencia, Stann Creek was one of his greatest goals to achieve. Jeffrey’s life was taken a few months after and he was not able to realize his dream of kitesurfing to Placencia, but that didn’t mean his loved ones couldn’t do it in his name. His adventurous soul and loving nature would be the wind in their sails, pushing their limits yet keeping them safe.


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#512816 - 04/02/16 11:16 AM Re: Kite surfers sail to Placencia to honour Jeffrey Eiley [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
I cannot even imagine the physical stamina required to travel 100 miles in a day. Would love to know how they managed food, water, direction ..... What a trek. Congratulations to organizers and participants alike!

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