IKA sanctioned by ISAF

For the first time in history, the 2009 kiteboarding world championship title will be sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). This became possible by approving the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) as official class association during the quadrenual ISAF general meeting in Madrid last week.

From now on, Kiteboarding is on par with other parts of international sailing as the "Volvo Ocean Race" or the "Americas Cup".

To Markus Schwendtner, executive secretary of the IKA, this is an important step towards the positive development of this young sport: "Giving the world championship rights to the IKA clarifies the structures in international kiteboarding and ensures same reglementation for national and international kiteboarding competitions.

It has now become possible to compete under consistant and recognized rules. Thereby the sport becomes more attractive and transparent to athletes, spectators and the media".

In the past, international kiteboarding competition took mainly place within two private world tours. Thus there have been two world champions, elected by different sets of rules.
 
The world wide unified rulebook used by the IKA paves the way for a global world ranking with one  conjoined world champion. The ranking is intended to include the present world tours, independent organisers and national events. "National competitions become more important, because active sailors can collect valuable points for the world ranking already on a national level.

Furthermore, access to the formula one of kiteboarding becomes accessible for a broader base of sailors", illustrates Thilo Trefz, organiser of the German "Kitesurf-Trophy".
 
The international kiteboarding scene welcomes the development as well as event organizers around the world, where the approval of the IKA earns positive feedback: "St Francis is very interested in hosting the course racing world championship and have a place holder on our 2009 schedule for a major kite event." says John Craig, race manager of the renowned St. Francis Yacht Clubs of San Francisco.

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RNLI rescued another kiteboarder

Howth Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) went to the aid of a kitesurfer who was in difficulty off Dollymount beach this afternoon.

The French national had gotten his leg entangled in his gear and was found floating a quarter of a mile east of Bull Island.

The Coast Guard requested the assistance of the RNLI after another kitesurfer raised the alarm from the shore.
 
The three voluntary Lifeboat crew (who are all family), and the Coast Guard helicopter coordinated the search for the man from the Martello tower at Sutton.

He was located using thermal imaging technology as it was dark by this point. The ILB helmsman then entered to water in order to cut the kitesurfer loose from his gear.

Conditions were made difficult by the offshore breeze and ebbing tide. 
 
The RNLI volunteers then administered first aid to the casualty who was suffering from hypothermia.

They landed on the beach and after assessment it was decided to transfer the man to Beaumont hospital by ambulance rather than helicopter.
 
Dave Howard, voluntary ILB helmsman for Howth says, “there was some difficulty in rescuing this man as we couldn’t see him in the dark.

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Dollymount beach

At dusk tonight, 16:25, volunteers at Howth Coast Guard Unit were requested to assist in the recovery of a casualty from the sea at Dollymount beach, Dublin. The casualty had been kitesurfing and become tangled in the lines of the kite.

With darkness fast approaching and unable to return to shore, on-lookers at the scene alerted the Coast Guard.

Howth Coast Guard responded with a full coastal search team at Dollymount and Sutton Creek. At 17:11 the casualty was located by the thermal imaging aboard Rescue Helicopter 116 and recovered by Howth Inshore Lifeboat.

The casualty was transported by the D-Class boat to Howth Coast Guard members on the beach who assisted the casualty until an ambulance handover was available.

Howth Lifeboat issued a statement to the Irish Times and gave advice worth repeating:

“The RNLI recommends that when engaging in water sports of any kind that people should make themselves visible by wearing instruments like a personal strobe and by never going out unaccompanied. This man was lucky that we found him in time, it also highlights the need for the 24 hour search and rescue service that the RNLI provide.”

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