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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 is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Associations of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and Sport Accord as the world governing body of the sport of sailing in all its forms, including all forms of kiteboarding on the water, and seeks to protect the rights of all Kiteboarding stakeholders. As part of its responsibilities, World Sailing will ensure that events take place within the structure of the rules and are run to the appropriate standards for the benefit and protection of riders.
World Sailing, the IKA and GKA will work together and fully co-operate to actively promote the united disciplines of Kiteboarding under World Sailings umbrella, avoid calendar conflicts and further develop the various disciplines within World Sailing.
Andy Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of World Sailing commented, "This mutually agreed governance structure brings clarity to the kiteboarding community at large. World Sailing will continue to work collaboratively with both parties to further benefit the discipline of kiteboarding and the riders."
Mirco Babini, IKA President said, "I have always been in favour of mutual collaboration between the most important stakeholders in the sport: class, industry and riders. The diversity and complexity of our sport needs professionals to constantly keep track with the latest developments.
"This agreement will surely grow our disciplines and increase activity in the world, for the benefit of the whole community. The IKA has been working hard to achieve this goal, now it is time to go to work and give a clear picture of communication and cooperation. This has always been our approach.
"The IKA will and always has shown its commitment to the development and strengthening of all kiteboarding disciplines."
Dr. Jörgen Vogt, Secretary General of the GKA added, "The contract will finally give peace to the sport and it is the base for a prosperous development of the sport and for the advantage of professional riders of all disciplines. We all have to do our best now to live the good spirit of our wonderful sport and work together in harmony."