On a beautiful weekend with brisk SE trade winds the kitesurfers and windsurfers flock to l'Escapade Island Resort on Ilot Maitre. It is a marvellous carnival of color, speed and enthusiasm. For the uninitiated the wonder is that all those kite strings don't get tangled. As I watched I kept expecting the kitesurfers, streaking along at 20+ knots, to collide or at least get the lines to their kites crossed with one another. But despite the confusion of headlong flight, mid-air leaps, spins, and spills I never saw any entanglements.
Many of the people in this image are taking lessons with one of Noumea's Kitesurfing schools. Students and instructors wear radios strapped to their helmets so the instructor can give pointers while the student is learning how to handle the giant kite.