This new series is intended to bring you more information about the most asked for topics around the new kiteboarding era. We are starting with the one of the biggest interest at the moment: the unified world ranking. While the details are still under development, we want to give you a brief overview what will come up in the near future.First of all, to make an end with all the guessing around the world: there is no exclusivity to anyone or anything to run a world tour, world cup, world championship or whatsoever. This means, neither the KPWT through the broad agreement we have with them, nor anybody else has an "exclusive tour". In contrary, all events that will be sanctioned in the future will count towards the unified ranking, and in the expression disciplines (freestyle and wave) the winner of the world ranking is crowned the world champion.
Sanctioned events are graded depending on their importance and - of course - their price money. This goes from international open events (for which every nation can apply) over grand prix events, continental championships, up to grand slams and super grand slams. In racing and speed, an additional one-off world championship event will be held to determine the world champion.
This brings us to the point system. Of course, an international open event will give you less points than a super grand slam (which are the events that are know nowadays as KPWT or PKRA worldcups). Every rider brings his best results into the world ranking, with a maximum of 10 events throughout the year, and a discard system. An example: if there are 8 events sailed in that discipline, the best 6 count. If there are 12 events sailed in that discipline, 9 count. From 13 events onwards, the best 10 count.
All results throughout the year (up to the maximum number depending on the number of events) are counted together in each discipline. The one with the most points wins the world ranking.
Now to the next step: all the rankings are "rolling systems". The idea behind is to determine the strength of every sailor at any time of the year. What does this mean in real life ? We are not starting with 0 points for everybody at the beginning of each year. In contrary, every sailors points from the last 12 month will be counted together, and thus we have a realistic picture of every sailors abilities and status at every day of the season. What for, you might ask... first of all, to have a reliable seeding system throughout the season ! For events with limitied starting places, the starting eligibility will be given on the current world ranking status. This ensures fair entry chances for every sailor.
OK... you might say, but now we start with 0 points ? No, for the first season under IKA jurisdiction, we are going to create a "virtual seeding", taking into account the KPWT and PKRA results from the 2008 season. With some calculation, this should give us a realistic picture of the riders abilities.
What about the Overall Title. This is the last part we want to cover in this edition. The Overall World Title will be determined by each riders best result from each category. In 2009, the major disciplines will be freestyle and wave from the expression category, course racing and slalom from the racing category, and offshore speed from the speed category. Now, every rider can choose his best ranking from each category, and the points are added together. This gives a true picture of the most universal and thus best kiteboarder in the world. Understand ? Here is an example:
Rider A scores 5000 points in freestyle, 4000 points in wave, 2000 points in course racing, and 1000 points in speed. His overall score is 5000 (freestyle) + 2000 (course racing) + 1000 (speed) = 8000 points
Rider B scores 3000 points in freestlye, 2000 points in course racing, 6000 points in slalom. His overall score is 3000 (freestyle) + 6000 points (slalom) = 9000 points
Rider B wins because he has a higher total point sum, even so he did not do all 3 categories. Why not taking the rankings from the single disciplines but the points ? To ensure, that the Overall World Title also reflects the importance of the individual disciplines. The more events are held in a single discipline, the more points you can score and obviously the more important this specific discipline is.
We are sure that there are much more questions to come up - and we might come back to this topic later on with more explanations and examples.
We will also start up a "FAQ" section on the website to include all these topics and explanations for future reference.