Dominique (pictured) and Bruno Legaignoux were the founders of Kiteboarding/Kitesurfing

The History of Kiteboarding or Kitesurfing is a story of two French brothers - Dominique and Bruno Legaignoux - with a strong determination and a loving passion for water sports.

Their story started winning sailing titles at the age of 10, such as the French Junior Championships in 1979. In 1984, inspired by "Jacob's Ladder", a catamaran pulled by flexifoils, Dominique and Bruno thought of a dual line kite propulsor.

The first kite was tested with two water skis in their feet. The first patent was registered in 1985, the year when they present the invention at the Brest International Speed Week. Unfortunately, the Legaignoux brothers were still not lucky. There was no windsurfing company interested in developing the new sport.

In the next couple of years, it's time to better their wings. In 1987, Bruno makes a very successful demonstration during the Funboard World Cup with biggest wing ever produced: 17m2. Between 1988 and 1989, the wings are more stable and lighter. A great improvement has been achieved.

The first kites are tested in catamarans, small fishing boats, water skis, windsurf boards, skateboards, inline skates, inflatable boats, kayaks, buggies and many other watercraft devices.

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Bruno Sroka and Nayara Licariao win the Course Racing of the 2009 PKRA Brazil 

The final racing event of Kite-Racing Brasil 2009 organized by the Gest Group led by Eduardo Piloni closed to a perfect day. Perfect weather dominated the whole scene and strong windy conditions started off earlier in the morning. Wind speed maxed at 26 knots onshore so the whole day saw the conclusion of the Freestyle double eliminations before lunchtime and the course racing in the afternoon.

The mandatory riders meeting for the race event happened at 1:00 pm and the first race hit the waters half an hour later. Two exciting races were completed even though the PKRA crew had a hard time maintaining the anchors which were drifting in the strong current but managed to pull-off a good show nevertheless.

“It was tough to get the races started again like yesterday but we managed to do it under like 16 to 26 knots of wind. We planned two more races for the day and we managed to do that. The last day was nice, a lot of people on the beach and the races were not too long compared to yesterday,” said Olaf Van Tol, PKRA race director.

Today’s course mimicked the very challenging setup done on day two but a shorter one. Each racer had to battle their way out into the open waters through the waves to get to the weather mark, back to the second buoy before sailing full speed to the third mark and finishing off near the beach. The average time for the first person to complete each race was 12 minutes.

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2009 KPWT Dunkerque in France 

The KPWT Dunkerque Kitesurf Pro has come to an end today. It has been a successful week for kitesurfing and we have witnessed some World Class Kitesurfing!

Some new names from Belgium have impressed in the freestyle discipline and some very exciting course racing took place. We had a huge response from the city of Dunkerque and many spectators came to appreciate the kitesurfing and the festivities on offer. 

Course Racing started off the kitesurfing action today! The first race started at 14h07 and the course was set out over 2 laps that were roughly 10 minutes each.

The wind was blowing over 20knots, which pushed the riders endurance rather than tactics. Jesse Richman (HAW, CABRINHA) reached the upwind buoy first, followed by Abel Lago (SPA, RRD), Olivier Dansin (FRA, NORTH) and Antoine Auriol (FRA, KITELOOSE).

They picked up super speed on the downwind and charged the buoy for the second lap. Race was on and Richman reached the finish line in first place after 18 minutes of speedy racing! In second place, not too far behind was Lago. Dansin seemed to have third place in his sights, but on the home straight he crashed a couple of times allowing an excited Lukasz Ceran (POL, NORTH) through. Richman: "What a fun race, the wind was quite strong and it was quite tricky to know where the sand banks are. My fins are over 30cm long so you need to watch out for this!"

A quick rest for the riders and the race director went straight into race 2 for the day. He moved the upwind buoy a little further away, but the wind had increased to 22 knots so the course time was relatively similar to the previous race.

The second race started at 14h52 and off they went! Jesse Richman once again charged the upwind buoy in first place, followed tightly by Antoine Auriol and Abel Lago! Downwind was certainly exciting, as the wind was strong and the riders were using every bit they could to build up good speed! Richman crossed the finish line first after 18 minutes on the water, followed by Julien Kerneur (FRA, NORTH) and Pierre Romain (FRA, NORTH).

Antoine Auriol raced well and was looking good, but third place seemed to be a curse for the riders today and he crashed just before the finish line! He recovered well and managed to still place fourth.

For the women, Kari Schibevaag (NOR, OZONE) did tremendously and held strong to place first in both races and show her dominance here in the Course Racing in France.

The Course Racing stopped at 15h21. A quick adjustment to the buoys and off went the freestyle juniors just before 16h00. The race director ran 7minute heats with 3minute transitions. The juniors were riding well in the conditions they were handed, but unfortunately the final and losers final was unable to be completed due to dangerous conditions. The wind was shifting onshore to offshore and gusting between 6 and 20 knots. Etiennes Freydrich (FRA, CABRINHA) looked good with some solid rotations, as did Danilo Nacarato (POR, SLINGSHOT) who performed a really cool Blind Judge 3.

The day ended at 18h00, and prize giving took priority on the main stage! Spectators gathered closely to see the Champions of the KPWT Dunkerque Kitesurf Pro 2009 receive their trophies! Thank you to Christophe Hugoo and his team for a highly successful event on the KPWT 2009. They have been nothing, but helpful, extremely well organized and professional in every aspect of the event.

The next stop on the 2009 KPWT is in Canada at the Shippagan Kitesurf World Cup, starting the 23rd September 2009 with registration.

MEN RACE ONE:

1. Jesse Richman (HAW,CABRINHA)
2. Abel Lago (SPA, RRD)
3. Lukasz Ceran (POL, NORTH)

WOMEN RACE ONE:

1. Kari Schibevaag (NOR, OZONE)
2. Ania Grzelinska (POL, NORTH)

MEN RACE TWO:

1. Jesse Richman (HAW, CABRINHA)
2. Julien Kerneur (FRA, TAKOON)
3. Pierre Romain (FRA, NORTH)

WOMEN RACE TWO:

1. Kari Shibevaag (NOR, OZONE)
2. Ainhoa Garcia (SPA, AIRUSH)
3. Ania Grzelinska (POL, NORTH)

JUNIORS:

1. Danilo Nacarato (POR, SLINGSHOT)
1. Julien Kerneur (FRA, TAKOON)
3. Blazej Ozog (POL, NORTH)
3. Etiennes Freydrich (FRA, CABRINHA)