World Sailing has today signed a landmark agreement with the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) to unite the kiteboarding community and provide clarity of kiteboarding’s governance structure.
World Sailing, the IKA and the GKA aim to promote and expand interest worldwide in the sport of competitive kiteboarding and to regulate the management and responsibilities for kiteboarding. The parties have been in close consultation following the signing of a memorandum of understanding in November 2016 to achieve this.
Under the new agreement, the GKA has the right to run expression events at a World Level for Wave, Strapless Freestyle, Big Air (Twin Tip), Freestyle (Twin Tip) and Slider / Obstacle and the IKA will continue to be responsible for the racing disciplines. The GKA shall be responsible for the development of pathways for expression events but shall work exclusively with the IKA and its national kiteboarding associations.
The parties will work together exclusively on expression events below World Level and development of event officials.
World Sailing has published the equipment limitations to the kiteboarding events in the Youth Olympic Games 2018. The formats for all events (including kiteboarding, windsurfing and mixed multihull) will be published in a separate document, however for kiteboarding the format will be downwind slalom / boardercross, with obstacles added to the course depending on the wind strength.
World Sailing, the world governing body for the sport, the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) have today signed an important memorandum of understanding to record a new governance structure for Kiteboarding.
Kiteboarding on water is a discipline of sailing, and as such falls under the jurisdiction of World Sailing, which is the International Federation for sailing in all of its forms recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Associations of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and Sport Accord.
And so draws to a close the 2016 GKA Wave and Strapless Freestyle Tour after a long day of back-to-back heats that whittled down the competitive field to just two riders, Keahi De Aboitiz (AUS) and Airton Cozzolino (ITA).
Although there were a number of riders who could have held their own in the final, it was equally no real surprise that these two found themselves battling it out for the top spot. A real clash of the titans.
As the darkness rolled in the contest remains poised at the start of round two. Despite what you see, it wasn't contestable, Mitu Monteiro and Airton Cozzolino are just perhaps aliens.
Last night's session was a taster of high-performance for today's firing finals here in Dakhla for the GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle tour.
Contrasting with Monday's moody early morning lightning storm the Dakhla GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle crew were greeted by blue skies but only a light cross shore wind on Tuesday morning. The swell was however bigger, much more promising and wouldn't make it through the day without a good slaying.
While the generally contestable wave kiting conditions have been evasive in consistency over four days, what has been abundantly clear are the very accomplished all-round wave riding skills that many of these top riders possess – whatever craft they're riding, wind or no wind.
An early start this morning saw the riders yet to qualify for the main event heading to the beach at 8am to catch the predicted early morning winds. The first challenge however was to swerving a dramatic lightning storm during set up. A mandatory safety pause saw the winds fill in dramatically cross onshore and then fade out into a lighter cross-offshore direction that perked up the swell. The last two trials sparked into life with riders still being scored on 100% wave riding performance prior to the main event which would combine wave and strapless freestyle.
Today, after a couple of days of waiting, we were able to get the trials for the GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle finals underway in the late afternoon in light, but usable, winds.
Today, after a couple of days of waiting, we were able to get the competition underway in the late afternoon with the first two heats of the trials going ahead in light, but usable, winds.
Prior to these pre-main event qualifying heats, the 15 riders hoping to make it into the main event were briefed on the judging criteria, which calls for each competitor to be scored out of ten for the variation and difficulty of their manoeuvres as well as the overall impression they make on the judges during their heat. Ideally, 50% of points are to be awarded for strapless freestyle riding and 50% for wave riding but, as the winds weren’t quite strong enough for strapless freestyle tricks, the decision was made to score the heats entirely on wave riding performance.
The contest window for the final stop of the GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle tour is now underway here in Dakhla. Building the tension for this deciding event, we're looking towards Sunday afternoon and through early next week with all eyes on the steadily building wind and swell that promises the climax we've all been looking forward to for 2016.
There's just one more event to go on the GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle Grand Slam Tour 2016 in Dakhla, on the 14th - 19th October. Matchu Lopes has the lead, but Airton Cozzolino in second is always completely driven to succeed while Paulino Pereira in third will finally find the conditions he's been looking for all season. Let's get the thoughts from the leading contenders as they prepare for the final showdown.
The GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle riders are pulling in the crowds this season thanks to their big tricks and interaction with the public. A large part of that and the trick progression was driven in the early stages by the riders from Cape Verde. Airton and Matchu are rivals, but best friends. Here are some more tales of origin from them.