For the first time in history, the 2009 kiteboarding world championship title will be sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). This became possible by approving the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) as official class association during the quadrenual ISAF general meeting in Madrid last week. From now on, Kiteboarding is on par with other parts of international sailing as the “Volvo Ocean Race” or the “Americas Cup”.
To Markus Schwendtner, executive secretary of the IKA, this is an important step towards the positive development of this young sport: “Giving the world championship rights to the IKA clarifies the structures in international kiteboarding and ensures same reglementation for national and international kiteboarding competitions. It has now become possible to compete under consistant and recognized rules. Thereby the sport becomes more attractive and transparent to athletes, spectators and the media”. In the past, international kiteboarding competition took mainly place within two private world tours. Thus there have been two world champions, elected by different sets of rules.
The world wide unified rulebook used by the IKA paves the way for a global world ranking with one conjoined world champion. The ranking is intended to include the present world tours, independent organisers and national events. “National competitions become more important, because active sailors can collect valuable points for the world ranking already on a national level. Furthermore, access to the formula one of kiteboarding becomes accessible for a broader base of sailors”, illustrates Thilo Trefz, organiser of the German “Kitesurf-Trophy”.
The international kiteboarding scene welcomes the development as well as event organizers around the world, where the approval of the IKA earns positive feedback: “St Francis is very interested in hosting the course racing world championship and have a place holder on our 2009 schedule for a major kite event.” says John Craig, race manager of the renowned St. Francis Yacht Clubs of San Francisco.
The IKA is now looking forward to start negotiations towards a worldwide coordinated regatta schedule 2009. For this purpose the IKA invites all promoters, organisers and associations to cooperate.