Hope LeVin has just completed her media rounds at a MaiTai Kiteboarding Event on the private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. She and fellow kiteboarders Susi Mai and Bruna Kajiya sit down to have breakfast, when the owner of the island, Richard Branson -- also the founder of Virgin Group -- approaches them to introduce himself.LeVin thinks, How does that happen to a girl from a little island in the Atlantic?She plays it cool. She jokes with him about their accents -- his English, hers Caribbean. But which island? she asks him in jest.He never guessed she was from Turks and Caicos -- and LeVin never could have guessed that kiteboarding would put her in front of some of the worlds most influential people.At eight years old, LeVin saw her sport for the first time and instantly fell in love. Its hard to see kiteboarding and not be intrigued, she recalls. She used to go for long beach walks with her father as a kid -- and remembers watching a family friend, Randy Hall, learning to kite on Grace Bay Beach near their home in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.It was a couple years later that LeVin saw another family friend, Terri Tapper, take on the sport. It was the first time shed seen a woman kiteboarder. I knew then I was ready. I got a super tiny kite and both of them, but particularly Terri, were instrumental in my learning the sport.LeVin became obsessed with kiteboarding -- and was lucky to be on the water as often as she wanted because she was home-schooled. For a very long time I was the only non-adult kiter in the country, she says. When she became a teen, shed often train and compete with boys. Id have a competitive advantage [because I was] smaller and more lightweight in lighter wind conditions! she laughs.Then at 17, LeVin went to boarding school in the United Kingdom. I realized how much I loved and missed kiteing. When I completed the course, I knew it was now or never to really go after kiting. She also liked one of the major perks of the sport: travel.My first event was when I wanted to go to the Punta Cana Kite Fest in the Dominican Republic and the organizer told me I would receive free accommodation if I competed in the event. Thrilled about the free hotel room, she headed to Punta Cana -- and placed second. Thats when she knew she could take her skills on the road in a competitive way.After that I really put all my energy into that and for the next year I made podium in every event I entered. LeVin had already been a shop-level sponsored rider for a few years, but she then officially turned pro, joining Naish Kiteboardings top international team when she was 20 years old.While training for competitions, LeVin would kite twice a day -- in the early morning and afternoon -- six days a week. Shed train, then take a break to eat and rest, all the while visualizing how to improve on her tricks. In the afternoon session, LeVin would go back to the water again, taking the mental training shed done over lunch and fine-tuning her skills.It wasnt long before her wins started to get her noticed. One of her biggest came in 2014, when she placed third overall in the Triple S Invitational, the largest kiteboarding event in North America.In 2015, LeVin was nominated for Female Kiteboarder of the Year by the American Wind Sport Industry. Unfortunately I didnt get the award, but just being nominated was incredible! recalls LeVin.Not long after, she hit a crossroads. At age 23, LeVin came to a point where the nonstop solo traveling was wearing on her. She loved the sport, but wanted to be in control of her own schedule. Funding and overworking myself have been the biggest challenges of kiting for me. Kiteboarding is still in its infancy so finding sponsorship and funding was a big challenge.The schedule in 2015 had been grueling, to say the least. During one stretch, LeVin flew to a photo shoot for her sponsor Naish in Maui, Hawaii, then went back to Turks and Caicos for 14 hours. From there she flew to London for final exams for online courses she was taking. She took the tests, then headed straight to North Carolina for another competition.So LeVin decided to retire from the competitive circuit in 2015, feeling like she had achieved what she wanted to competition-wise -- but she didnt leave the kiting world.Ten years ago, as a 13-year-old, LeVin had founded an event she dubbed Windvibes -- a fun family day held each year to build interest in kiteboarding on Turks and Caicos. In the last decade the event has grown into the countrys largest water sports day -- and the money raised during it goes to 10 local Turks and Caicos charities. This year, LeVin helped raise $37,000.Today LeVin believes shes finally found the perfect balance: Shes doing exhibitions in the sport she loves, and is also involved in a more meaningful and satisfying way.Ive never been a competitive person by nature, and getting into competitions was really an accident. I was very fortunate to have success in competitions, but the traveling and stress caught up to me and I knew I needed to change my ways when I started to lose my passion for the sport.Less than a year after she switched gears, she feels like a different person. Im finding myself right back where I was -- with full love for this incredible sport and endless excitement for the future! Wholesale Air Max Nz . After a replay, the winner will meet Sunderland in the quarterfinals. Sagbo did well to control Sone Alukos right cross and fire past Brighton goalkeeper Peter Brezovan. Aluko was making his first start in four months after recovering from an Achilles injury. Discount Air Max Nz .C. United of Major League Soccer. United chose the defender in the second round of the 2013 MLS re-entry draft. http://www.airmaxnz.com/ . Arsenal failed to take full advantage of its main rivals stumbles on Saturday as substitute Gerard Deulofeu levelled with a hard shot from a tight angle in the 84th minute to give Everton a deserved point. Ahead of a crucial fortnight that will see them play against Napoli in the Champions League, Manchester City and Chelsea, Arsenal leads by five points ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea. Air Max Nz Online . "No difference at all," chirped U.S. roommate and linemate James van Riemsdyk. "Its still the same cranky Phil. Cheap Air Max Nz . He just needed to be his best twisting, turning acrobatic self. "I didnt need to be anybody else, I just needed to be myself and be aggressive," said Burks, who scored a career-high 34 points to spark the Utah Jazz to a 118-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.Centuries from Joe Burns and Steve Smith saw Australia gain the upper hand on day two of the second Test against New Zealand at Christchurch. Even though Brendon McCullum blasted the fastest ever Test century off just 54 balls on day one, the tourists were still able to bowl New Zealand out for 370 and opener Burns and skipper Smith shared a mammoth stand of 289 to guide their side to 363-4 - a deficit of just seven.Burns, who made 170, was imperious in going to his third Test century and highest score while world No 1 batsman Smith (138) continues to scale new heights as he struck a 10th ton in his last 32 innings.The pair were brought together in the fourth over of the day after Usman Khawaja (24) edged Trent Boult to first slip. The left-hander pushed at a delivery outside off stump and guided the ball straight into the hands of McCullum.That made it 67-2 and New Zealand thought they had the Australians 77-3 when Burns was given out caught behind off a rising delivery from Matt Henry with his score on 35.However, Burns reviewed the decision straight away, with replays showing the ball flicked his bicep and the dismissal was overturned.And it was all Australia from there as they made New Zealands attack toil on a flat wicket.There were no further scares for Burns as he brought up his century, which contained 12 fours, off 191 balls. Look back at Brendon McCullums historic century from day one Smith survived a run-out scare on 42, where a direct hit from Henry Nicholls would have sent him back to the pavilion, and also took a nasty blow to the helmet before tea but he reached three figures off 195 balls when steering a wide delivery down to third man for his 12th boundary.ddddddddddddBoth men continued serenely after reaching their landmarks, with Burns passing 150 for the first time in his career before his 321-ball vigil came to an end when he hooked Neil Wagner to square leg.Smith followed in identical fashion in Wagners following over but Australia saw it out to the close without further damage.Watch live coverage of day three from Christchurch live on Sky Sports 2 from 9.30pm. ' ' '