Who will crown true champions in the kiteboarding war?

October 14, 2015 | Kiteboarding
Kiteboarding: a war that leaves kites on the beach | Photo: IKA

The kiteboarding war between the Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) and the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) continues, as the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) grants the newly-created Professional Kiteboarding Tour (PKT) a Special Event status. Confused?

ISAF is not helping the sport of kiteboarding. The confusing new format designed by the world governing body for the sport of sailing determines that IKA may crown single-event champions in the following disciplines and classes:

IKA Formula Kite: Slalom Open - Perth, Australia (29 November - 4 December 2016)
IKA Open: Freestyle Men and Women - Perth, Australia (29 November - 4 December 2016)
IKA TTR: Big Air Men and Women - Perth, Australia (29 November - 4 December 2016)
IKA Open: Wave Open - Sal, Cabo Verde (12-18 December 2016)
IKA Formula Kite (Racing Men and Women) World Championships - Qatar (1-5 June 2016)

However, ISAF has simultaneously authorized a World Tour under the PKT, the new insignia run by Richard Branson and the VKWC. The PKT will crown champions in Freestyle, Big Air, Wave and Slalom.

"We are glad to leave the chapter with IKA and the resulting confusion behind us and look forward to developing the future of the sport together with all stakeholders," the VKWC tells in a statement.

"IKA has no further jurisdictional power over the PKT World Tour which it is looking at a fascinating 2016 season with the traditional tour stops alongside new events. The PKT wishes the IKA success for these single events."

However, the VKWC leaves an open door to a future agreement. "For the future and development of the sport, the PKT is always open to discussing a possible cooperation between the PKT World Tour and the single World Championship events managed by the IKA."

How will riders behave? Will they stick to the PKT World Tour schedule, or will they focus on the single-event championships. The future of competitive and professional kiteboarding is as dark as ever, even if ISAF tries to facsimile surfing's ISA/WSL model.

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