ISAF Kiteboarding Trials: riders were faster than support boats

The ISAF Kiteboarding Trials have been finished in Santander, Spain. Fortunately, there was enough wind to prove to the sailing authorities that kiteboarding should be in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.


In the third day, riders showed six different course formats: enduro with two different course options and mandatory jumping on the reaching legs, a short box course, a windward/leeward course with gates on both ends, and two options for short track racing, one with and one without gates.

The enduro courses brought some interesting insight in terms of the slalom part and the jumping part, and some of this experience will definitely find its way in the final proposal that the ISAF evaluation panel is putting together to be presented to ISAF in Stresa, Italy.

The box course also proved to have interesting parts for both tactical upwinds and downwinds and will surely find its way in the final format. The two gate windward/leeward course looked pretty confusing from a spectator point of view although offered a lot of tactical options.

The last format trialled was the short track course with two gates and a reaching start which proved to be really spectacular and also very tactical because of the many options do go down and up. This course would be run in heats in a straight knock out elimination series, which would be a completely new thing in the sailing world.

In the fourth day, the ISAF evaluation panel presented their first conclusions to the 18 sailors from 10 nations and four continents. The 2011 slalom world champion Damien Leroy and 2011 course racing world champion Johnny Heineken spent over an hour to explaining the sport of kiteboarding to Goran and Teresa.

The last day of the ISAF Kiteboarding Trials was dedicated to the simulation of all course options for a full event setup.