GKA: GENERAL GOAL
One of the primary focuses of the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) is to develop kitesports in order to support the professional riders and to help the sport grow in a constructive manner.
The GKA and its member companies are interested in the development of professional competitions that are attractive to a wide audience as well as the riders. There would be no events without the riders, so it's therefore the responsibility of the GKA, and the companies that sponsor the riders, to ensure that negative developments in professional kiteboarding are kept away from the athletes.
Prohibiting riders from participating in events simply because they competed at an event run by another sanctioning body, postponing prize money payments and a lack of media coverage, can all post a big threat to riders' careers and their livelihoods, so it's important that we work to eliminate such actions.
Regarding the two competing tour bodies, the GKA remains neutral over concerns between the IKA and WKT. The GKA and its member companies will generally support all events and will not hinder team riders in their participation of IKA or WKT events.
Following on from last year, the GKA decided to create its own unique GKA ranking system, taking the results from major events of both tours into consideration – as laid out later on in this article.
To bring kitesports back to its diverse roots, the GKA would also like to include events like the Red Bull King of the Air and the Triple S into its ranking. Meanwhile, the GKA also plans to give more attention to kitesurfing in waves as well as to new developments in strapless freestyle.
For the development of the sport and the recognition of professional kitesurfing, the GKA also aims to improve the experience for spectators. One method of achieving that goal is to simplify the various disciplines and to make the sport easier to understand; becoming more attractive to professional and non-professional kiters as well as to spectators from outside of the sport.
GKA RIDER OF THE YEAR RANKINGS
The GKA will run its own ranking in the disciplines freestyle / big air and wave / strapless freestyle. At the end of the competition year the GKA will crown the 'GKA Riders of the Year' in those two disciplines, for men and women.
FREESTYLE / BIG AIR
In the mid term view, the GKA would like to see one combined ranking that reflects all aspects of freestyle, including big air.
WAVE AND STRAPLESS FREESTYLE
The GKA also believes that wave and strapless freestyle is very under exposed in current competition formats. Therefore the GKA also intends to support this side of the sport, setting a target to create a format that combines wave riding and wave freestyle - depending on the conditions.
SLALOM / RACE / FOIL
The GKA is of the opinion that no GKA ranking is currently necessary for those disciplines and that those disciplines are covered and handled perfectly by the IKA.
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE 'GKA RIDER OF THE YEAR' CONCEPT
1. The GKA will work very closely with the event organizers.
2. The GKA will work closely and stay in close correspondence with World Sailing (WS).
3. The GKA will stay neutral regarding IKA and WKT. That means that the GKA will neither support, prefer or ban events that are sanctioned by either IKA or WKT. The GKA puts their highest priority on the professionalism of event organizers and the event as such.
4. The GKA will bring kitesurfing back to the roots as a multi-faceted sport and will crown a 'GKA Rider of the Year' in freestyle and wave disciplines.
5. The GKA rankings are purely composed from the final and overall results of existing events.
6. For the GKA overall freestyle ranking, approximately six events will be chosen from the existing events. The following events are under consideration by GKA:
7. For the GKA overall wave ranking, approximately four events will be chosen. The following events are under consideration by GKA:
(Organizers can apply to the GKA for the 2017 season until the 31st October 2016 to become a registered event.)
8. The winner (male and female) in the discipline freestyle / big air will be awarded the title:
'GKA Freestyle Rider of the Year'
9. The winner (so far only male) in the discipline wave / strapless freestyle will be awarded the title:
'GKA Wave Rider of the Year'
10. Besides the GKA Global Freestyle / Wave Rider of the Year titles, a Rookie of the Year (male and female) will be awarded.
FURTHER DETAILS OF THE 'GKA RIDER OF THE YEAR' CONCEPT
1. GKA – Grand Slam Format
(1) The GKA will recognise all relevant events regardless of whether the events are single events, such as the Red Bull King of the Air, or events sanctioned by IKA or WKT.
Requirements to become a GKA recognised event:
a) Is the event organised by a professional and reliable organizer (experience and history)?
b) Is the event professionally organised and financially sound (minimum budget, concept, sponsors etc.)?
c) Is the media coverage of the event ensured and on a sufficient level (local, national and international etc.)?
d) Is a reasonable prize money fund guaranteed for the riders?
e) Are the riders treated well and supported professionally by the organizer (free food, safe storage at the beach, physio etc.)?
f) Is there a guarantee for professional and qualified judging?
g) Is the event relevant for the kitesport-industry (customers)?
The GKA assumes that details are given to the event organizers directly.
(2) Events chosen by the GKA to become relevant for the GKA ranking can call themselves 'GKA Grand Slam' events.
(3) The GKA and its members will use their media channels and business-relationships with magazines and media to make those events the most important and most well-known kite competition events worldwide.
(4) Any event will be evaluated by the GKA. In case the event does not fulfil the requirements of the GKA, it will not be recognised as a GKA Grand Slam event in the following year.
(5) The ranking for the GKA Rider of the Year will be reached by tallying the final points scored at 'GKA Grand Slam' events as follows:
1st place = 0.7 points
2nd place = 2 points
3rd place = 3 points
until place 30
In case (6) above, GKA Grand Slam freestyle final overall results will come from five out of six GKA Grand Slam results (one discard).
In case (4) above, GKA Grand Slam wave final overall results will come from three out of four GKA Grand Slam results (one discard).
Example for points counting: Rider X has the following results:
King of the Air: Place 5 = 5 points
Leucate: Place 2 = 2 points
Dakhla: Place 1 = 0,7 points
Fuerteventura: Place 4 = 4 points
Triple S (overall) Place 15 = 15 points (discard)
Fehmarn: Place 3 = 3 points
Total GKA points 14,7 points
A rider with less total points will finish with a higher rank than Rider X, and a rider with more points will be ranked behind Rider X in the overall GKA Rider of the Year Championship.
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