- 21 December 2008 | Kiteboarding
The Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) formally requested a meeting today with the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) through its Executive Secretary Markus Schwendtner to have face to face discussions regarding several issues that the PKRA and IKA have raised since IKA's formal recognition by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
PKRA Tour Manager Mauricio Toscano said in his letter to Schwendtner that, "the point I wanted to get across was about the PKRA's reputation for having some of the highest quality kiteboarding events and competition levels in the kiteboarding world. This has come about because the PKRA, from the beginning, has created its freestyle rules and regulations by the riders themselves. This has developed and progressed the sport in a direction that the riders believe to be the best for competition. Therefore the Freestyle judging has been developed to reward the hardest, most difficult maneuvers, based on the riders' beliefs. The level has become increasingly complicated, to the extent, that it takes a panel of professional judges to identify every maneuver and grade it correctly. The PKRA has formed such a professional body of judges, and periodically holds judge's clinics and rider's meetings to improve on the overall system. Unfortunately, other organizations have not done the same and that is why we feel that best professional riders choose to compete exclusively on the PKRA tour and at its events."
While the PKRA has remained silent since the IKA was given recognition by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the PKRA has been weighing and investigating all possible aspects of this development prior to releasing any statements. PKRA has been in constant communication with Schwendtner regarding its position in joining the IKA and where it stands with ISAF but current developments call for more elaborate talks.
PKRA feels that IKA's approach of unifying the competitive sport of kiteboarding, although an ambitious undertaking, could be a step in the right direction to help grow the sport. However, there are still many challenges that need to be addressed.
"It is also very unfortunate that an organization such as the IKA is reverting to use threatening and strong arm tactics to rush or force the PKRA to join the IKA as evidenced by the open letter published by IKA on some websites, hence we need to establish a face to face meeting with the IKA authorities," reiterated Toscano.
The PKRA will release further information should the IKA accept the request for a meeting in January, at which time the PKRA will also release its proposed 2009 schedule for the World Tour.
- 19 December 2008 | Kiteboarding
Sylt, the best and the most beautiful place to hold a kiteboarding event in Germany will be the scene of the Westerland Kitesurf World Cup, scheduled in June, 16th to 21th 2009, 50,000 euros prize money.
This exciting event is the result of a co-organization agreement between Brand Guides Gmbh & Co.KG dealing with Kitesurfing since 2002 and the KPWT (Kiteboard Pro World Tour), World Championship Tour sanctioned by IKA and ISAF, and the world cup of kitesurfing since 1998 .
For the KPWT this is the opportunity to visit for the first time in the tour history Germany. Tour promoter Frederic Gravoille explains: For us in global kitesurfing Germany with the myth of Westerland always was a challenge to be visited.
Thilo Trefz, CEO of Brand Guides GmbH & Co.KG, says about it: We experienced now the location for five years with the national tour always with perfect and powerful conditions for the sport in Germany. In this case we can put together the international image of this wonderful destination with the best kitesurfing professionals in the world.
Located in Westerland, the Sylt Kitesurf World Cup will be a great opportunity for the best professional international kiteboarders to gain points for the 2009 World Cup title. A frenetic audit can follow the contest just from across the promenade. A spectacular prize money of 50.000 euros will motivate the athletes to show their wide range of skills and talents. The competition will cover runs for the Freestyle, Wave riding, Course racing, and Kiteloop World Championships.
- 19 December 2008 | Kiteboarding
The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) has published a strong open letter to the PKRA regarding the fragmentation of kiteboarding and its competitions. Here's what IKA has to say:
Unfortunately the PKRA is the only organizer not willing to cooperate at the moment and trying to bypass national and international interests, so we were forced to publish this open letter to PKRA tour manager Mauricio Toscano:
«Dear Mauricio, we herbeby request you to immediately stop all activities that potentially bypass national and international kiteboarding bodies interests and lead to a fragmentation of kiteboarding, like contacting other organizers venues, backdoor talks to ISAF etc.
Our intention is the integration of all kiteboarding activities around the world.
We invite you one more time to start serious negotiations with us, and we will call for a follow-up meeting mid/end of January including national associations, tour operators and ISAF committee members.
We are looking forward to your answer until 23.12.2008, clearly confirming your will to co-operate and to stop any prejudical activities.