The Formula Kite class is a high performance hydrofoiling class using regulated series registered production equipment freely available.
For Regional Games and a possible inclusion in the Olympic Games, one hydrofoil model and one kite model will be selected for a plain level playing field and to avoid an arms race.
The KiteFoil class is a full development class with minimal equipment limitation, allowing brands to test the latest equipment on the market.
The GoldCup tour is the sports premium event series with events all around the world and a strong focus on media production and prize money level.
The Expression Disciplines currently include Freestyle, Big Air, Wave Riding, Strapless Freestyle and Park. Competition is judged on difficulty and execution rather than "first past the post".
World Sailing, IKA and GKA have agreed to share the responsibilities for the Expression Disciplines with the Open World Titles awarded through professional tours.
Kiteboarding has been included in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games with a boardercross event on IKA TwinTip:Racing equipment, for boys and girls born between 2000 and 2003.
Have a look here to learn more about equipment limitations, formats and qualification opportunities.
The IKA continues to campaign for an inclusion of kiteboarding in the 2020 Tokyo Games and several Regional Games on One Design Kitefoiling Equipment.
The Formula Kite class is the only afforadable solution for emerging and developing nations to compete in high performance classes and ticks all boxes of the IOC requirements, especially for youth and media appeal.
Top Talent Moves on to Finals in Kite Foil Gold Cup
After two days of qualifying races, a field of 69 kiters has been narrowed down to two fleets for the Finals: 35 top contenders will go on to race in the Gold Fleet and 34 will race in the Silver fleet. Thus far, Kite Foil Gold Cup hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) has seen increasingly challenging conditions with breeze building to the mid-20s on Friday. Race committee got in ten races each day, which allowed competitors to discard their two lowest finishes before seeding the fleet for Finals.
"Those discards are pretty crucial, because today's conditions were challenging for everyone," says St. Francis Yacht Club Race Coordinator Graham Biehl. "Part of today was simply surviving through the tough racing. Lots of kiters got DNFs or had equipment breakages, so those discards will come in handy."
Racing was tight through qualifiers, and the leaderboard reflects it. The top kiters posted incredibly consistent results. Nico Parlier, currently in first, scored a bullet in every race. Axel Mazella scored all seconds and remains in fifth place. Locals Johnny Heineken and Joey Pasquali are in third and fifth respectively. (See all results HERE)
"This is a killer course at a killer venue," says Pasquali. "Compared to the other stops in the Kite Foil Gold Tour, this one is clearly the biggest. And it seems that the fleet just keeps getting faster."
Kiting, and kite foiling in particular, is still a relatively new branch of sailing, and it's the competitors who are pushing the technology and changing the game. "Equipment plays a huge role in how fast you can go out there," explains Pasquali. "There are no limitations to our gear and, as a fleet, we agree that faster is always better, so we're in no hurry to put down restrictions." Pasquali, for instance, races on a relatively small F1 foiling board that creates very little drag. "I've been kiting for 15 years, and one of the coolest things is to see how the technology is aggressively pushing this fleet forward. We are trying to push the equipment into another dimension."
Going into Finals, Race Director Lynn Lynch of StFYC says she plans to run four races a day on a similar course. Lynch is coordinating a fleet of five to six inflatables as well as a small army of 35-40 race committee volunteers both on and off the water. In order to get in as many races as possible, she and her team must be incredibly precise. Following races on Friday, race committee reported that each race started within 30 seconds of its predetermined time; racing was executed with such precision that the day ended four minutes ahead of schedule. "It definitely adds another dimension to try and get this many kiters and this many races into two days of qualifiers," explains Lynch. "We're going to continue that efficiency over the next two days."
If you are around Crissy Field this weekend, make it a point to go and watch some of this world-class racing. As Lynch says, "It's amazing to watch this many athletes on such highly evolved technology racing at these top speed on the Bay."
For results, click HERE.
For final fleet assignments, click HERE.
For a Viewer's Guide to the regatta, click HERE.