Global Authority for Kiteboarding stays with IKA

Published on August 20th, 2015

(August 20, 2015) – In an official statement sent today to the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and “Virgin Kiteboarding”, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has confirmed that under the ISAF regulations, the IKA is the only organization entitled to award a specific set of World Championships and the sole right to hold these is granted 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.

It is further clarified in today’s announcement that ISAF will not grant permission for a World Championships to “Virgin Kiteboarding” for the reasons stated above.

Under contract with IKA, the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) was able to host events that count towards the IKA Kiteboarding World Rankings and IKA World Championship titles in individual disciplines.

When new investors purchased the PKRA in August 2014, attempts by IKA to negotiate a new contract with the newly branded Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) have not been successful. Today’s ISAF announcement now confirms that VKWC must relinquish its ‘world championship’ branding.

The 2015 VKWS World Tour schedule featured eight events where kiteboarders would compete in four category titles – Freestyle, Big Air, Wave and Slalom – and for the prestigious Overall Title. The best three end of year ranking results per discipline would count towards the Overall Ranking.

The next event on the VKWS schedule is in St. Peter-Ording, Germany (Aug 21-30), in which the organizer has requested IKA for a solution that allows competitors and officials alike to participate in an official IKA sanctioned world championship event.

“It is the goal of IKA to give the sport back to the riders and to involve all stakeholders opinions in the development of the sport as well as to guarantee that rules and judging systems are used which ensure that the best rider will be crowned world champion 2015,” IKA said in a statement today. “We are sure that we can publish positive news on this very soon to go ahead with this fantastic event.”

The first step toward the future has been taken as ISAF has granted ‘Special Event’ status to the Pro Kite Tour, formerly known as the Virgin Kitesurf World Championships, which was previously known as Professional Kiteboard Riders Association. Details.

International Kiteboarding AssociationVirgin Kitesurf World Championships

Editor’s note: We are not expert on this situation, though it looks similar to how ISAF oversees all class associations. Only ISAF can permit any class to have a world championship, and that permission comes with requirements. ISAF is relying on IKA to administer the PKRA, which now appears to not be following the needed requirements. Our guess is that PKRA can still run events, but none of them can infringe upon ISAF Regulation 25.1:

“ISAF approval is required for any event that is described as a World Championship, uses the word “World” in the title of the event, or any of the promoters, organizers or any other organization officially connected with the event, represents or holds out in any way that the event is a World Championship or does the foregoing in such a way that the event is reasonably perceived to be a World Championship.”

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