Virgin Kitesurf World Championships: Richard Branson has taken over | Photo: Red Bull

The PKRA World Tour is dead. Meet the new Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC).

Yes, it's been confirmed. Richard Branson has taken over the professional kiteboarding world circuit. The new organization is run under the Virgin brand, with multiplatform digital entertainment company ZED as a main co-sponsor.

"I have been a passionate kitesurfer for many years. It's a sport I really love and I find the challenge of the wind and waves gives me a great opportunity to test myself against the elements," explains Richard Branson, CEO at Virgin.

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Simon Wichtermann: a title in the bag, finally | Photo: AKSA

Simon Wichtermann has conquered the 2015 Australian Kiteboard Freestyle National Championships, in Dolls Point, Sydney.

The 24-year-old rider took nine years to claim the Freestyle title, but his Backmobe 5 proved hard to beat in the challenging 30-to-35 winds on offer.

"I'm so wrapped to finally get it. I just want to say to all the people starting out in Freestyle to get out there and get to the competitions and have fun. Freestylers are the best people to hang out with," expressed Wichtermann.

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Kiteboarding: know the tricks and pull them | Photo: Craig Kolesky/Red Bull

The 2015 PKRA World Tour has introduced changes in the Freestyle division. The competition zone has been reduced, and the list of "official" tricks is fully identified.

Kiteboarding is getting more spectator-friendly. The PKRA is trying to get riders closer to their audience on the beach. In 2015, the competition zone is a square marked by buoys, and only one rider at a time is allowed to perform tricks in it.

"I think the change of the competition area to a smaller one is something interesting. It will be quite an adaption for the riders in the beginning but I think it's good for spectators and the live stream and it will be a reward for all of us in it," underlines Michael Schitzhofer.

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