- 21 February 2011 | Kiteboarding
The heat between kiteboarders and windsurfers is on. As the wind riders fight for the last sailing ticket into the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, in Rio de Janeiro, the International Kiteboarding Association and the RS:X Class have published an identical article on the "10 reasons why..." their sport should go Olympic.
Quite surreal and with only 13 hours of lag between both articles. Kiteboarders were the first to pull the trigger.
Kiteboarding believes it is the fastest growing water sport, it's spectator-friendly just like ski-cross, perfectly fits the IOC requirement that sailing should showcase its full diversity, it's popular in almost all countries of the world and turns the beach into a stadium.
Also, kiteboarders believe their sport reaches more than 600 million TV spectators, it has a strict box class rule, provides equal opportunities for competitors from all over the world, the kite kit only costs approximately €2500 and the kiteboarding industry is able and willing to support Olympic campaigners with equipment sponsorships.
Windsurfers believe windsurfing is the biggest sailing discipline on the planet, it attracts spectators and the media, offers the least expensive route into the Olympic Regatta for small and emerging sailing nations, it's safe and easy to learn and present a beach lifestyle class.
RS:X windsurfing also considers a large TV broadcast audience, "evolution not a revolution", a well established development pathway that is growing strongly, same wind speed coursed as other Olympic sailing events and medals won by windsurfing athletes from five continents.
How will this battle end? Will they win both, none or only one?