IKA & PKRA joint forces

The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association (PKRA) came to an agreement regarding the issues raised by PKRA prior to joining the IKA. It will be noted that IKA was sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation as the worldwide governing body of kiteboarding.

In a marathon conference call held Saturday, IKA Chairman Christian Conrad, IKA Executive Secretary Markus Schwendtner, PKRA President Mauricio Toscano and PKRA Media Director Paul Caswell finally agreed to several key issues raised by the PKRA. Although there are still several details that need to be discussed, both Schwendtner and Toscano declined to give details pending further talks.

Among the main key issues agreed upon during the conference is the splitting up of the Freestyle category during the 2009 season into two disciplines, Progressive Freestyle and Freestyle.

"Due to the fact that both styles of Freestyle are so different, and the fact that the riders have not enough time to adapt and to train for a unified judging system, the Freestyle category will be split into two disciplines, "Progressive Freestyle" and "Freestyle", said Schwendtner.

This resolves the issues about judging criteria as well as grading events that the PKRA raised against IKA. These two disciplines will be major disciplines this year where the PKRA will host Progressive Freestyle World Championship events while KPWT will host Freestyle World Championship events.

Another major issue resolved is the judging guidelines where both parties agreed that in order to develop a unified set of freestyle rules for 2010, a judging sub-committee will be formed in 2009, who will handle the input from riders or their representatives. The judging sub-committee will consist of head judges from both world tour organizations, appointed riders from both tours, as well as representatives from the larger national kiteboarding associations. This patched up the issue regarding riders' input into the development of the sport, which is also one of the key issues raised by the PKRA.

Paul Caswell, who initiated the recent conferences, also mentioned that both organizations will be working on further details in the coming weeks before the start of the 2009 season.

"PKRA and IKA will be working on all the details over the next week and more details will follow, including ranking issues and fine-tuning of the sanctioning agreement among others," added Caswell.

With the key issues now with clear solutions, both the PKRA and IKA are optimistic regarding talks over the coming week and both are expecting a good outcome in ironing out all issues.

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PKRA will publish a 2009 schedule

The PKRA 2009 World Tour Schedule will be published on February 10th.

The information has been confirmed in the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association website.

Which means that the kiteboarding scene will still have two world circuits - PKRA and KPWT - despite talks between the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the PKRA circuit lead by Mauricio Toscano.

In December, Executive Secretary of IKA Markus Schwendtner, urged PKRA to "immediately stop all activities that potentially bypass national and international kiteboarding bodies interests and lead to a fragmentation of kiteboarding".

Chances of having an unified Kitboarding World Tour in 2009 are still very remote.

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RNLI

Tired kitesurfer is grateful to see Hoylake Lifeboat speeding to his rescue.

Whilst en-route back to Hoylake after exercising in the River Mersey, RNLI Hoylake Lifeboat this afternoon, intercepted a radio transmission between Liverpool Coastguard at Crosby and a Coastguard mobile unit stating that a kitesurfer was in the water off the North Wirral coast in the vicinity of New Brighton, the Lifeboat immediately turned around and headed for the area just as Liverpool Coastguard tasked the Lifeboat to the incident.

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