Positive steps toward the future of Kiteboarding
Published on July 29th, 2015
(July 29, 2015) – Representatives of International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) met in London on Tuesday (July 28) to discuss the future of the class Championships.
This meeting follows the announcement (July 19, 2015) that the contract between the IKA and the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) had been terminated. The result of this action was that neither PKRA nor its new ownership, currently known as Virgin Kitesurf World Championships, would be able to conduct any further World Tour events, and that all World Championship rights for all kiteboarding disciplines including Freestyle, Big Air, Wave and Slalom would immediately revert to IKA.
The IKA is an International Class Association of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) – the only class for kiteboards – and among its responsibilities is to manage the global administration of the sport and combining world events into one unified ranking.
However, it now appears that the groups are finding a manner in which they can work together.
The positive and productive discussions between the parties included the exciting investment being made by Virgin in this growing area of the sport, and all bodies are working together to conclude a long-term agreement to govern the future management and operations of the Championship. In particular, there is common agreement that the future arrangements need to ensure a flexible and commercial approach to developing the professional tour, whilst ensuring and safeguarding the fairness of competition and the interests of the riders.
Until a long term arrangement is in place, the upcoming Fuerteventura Kitesurfing World Championships will go ahead as planned by, and contracted with, the VKWC, as an IKA sanctioned event and with permission from ISAF for its “World” designation. ISAF and IKA will also be in attendance to provide support to the event promoter and assure riders of the fairness of competition.
It remains the hope of ISAF that kiteboarding will be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition, and the co-operation and planning between all organisations will further progress the class toward that goal.
Source: ISAF, IKA