The report of the IKA Executive Secretary to the ISAF Windsurfing & Kiteboarding Committee has been published below.
The focus of the activities of the International Kiteboarding Association in 2010 has been on growing membership and participation in all parts of the worlds.
The number of National Class Associations has grown to 25 in 2010, with another 15 in the pipeline of becoming members in the very near future as soon as all formalities have been completed. In a lot more nations the activities of kiteboarding are governed by the respective ISAF MNA directly without a national class association, these countries are not included in the above numbers.
A special focus has been on the development of continental tours, resulting in the realization of an European tour with 5 events held in 2010 and an Asian tour with 6 events to be held in the 2010/2011 winter period.
Especially the Asian tour has attracted many competitors from so called “emerging nations” in south east Asia and has led to the formation of several national fleets and inception of National Class Associations.
The European Tour has seen 168 competitors from 14 countries competing, while the Asian tour attracted 197 competitors from 31 nations (including surrounding areas like Oceania). The youngest competitor was 13 years old, the oldest 58 years.
The class racing world championship unfortunately has been overshaded by the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjalla, making it impossible for almost all European competitors and everybody traveling through Europe from Asia and Africa to take part.
There are active fleets now in 66 countries of the world; the application to become an ISAF international class has listed 35 active national fleets end of 2008, which means an increase of 80 % over the past two years.
The development of the class certainly aims for a further expansion to other parts of the world with continental tours and championships planned in Africa and the Americas.
Another goal to achieve is to introduce Kiteboard racing to the Olympic Games – with the latest equipment the wind range for the Olympic Games is not an issue anymore. Furthermore, Kiteboarding attracts sailors and spectator target groups especially in the 15-35 years range and is very media attractive. The equipment is also low-cost, making it affordable especially for emerging nations to develop national fleets, and with a zero-step-pathway from youth to senior competitor (there is no need for different equipment for different age, size and weights) costs are further reduced and confidence in equipment choice is given.
Finally, the development of the “Experimental Kiteboarding Competition Rules” has let into a new version of Appendix BB to the Racing Rules of Sailing with the input from many active competitors and race officers around the world and we expect to have the kite specific changes to the Racing Rules of Sailing surely finalized before the next major edition of the RRS coming out in 2013.
A last minute addition is worth to be made: as of October 13, 2010, kiteboards are the fastest sailing vessels again. Not less than 5 kiteboarders have broken the 50 knots barrier now, with 3 of them beating the pre-existing outright speed sailing world record of trimaran Hydroptere.
Alexandre Caizergues (FRA) outperformed the old record of 51.36 knots average speed over 500 m by almost 3 knots – the biggest single margin in speedsailing history so far.
The speedsailing outright world record – subject to WSSRC ratification – now stands at 54.10 knots, which equals 100.19 km/h.