World Sailing prohibits events by IFKO

March 21, 2016 | Kiteboarding
Kiteboarding: who should crown world champions? | Photo: IKA

In yet another episode of the kiteboarding wars, the governing body for the sport of sailing has blacklisted two competitions run by the International Federation of Kitesports Organisations (IFKO).

The 1st Junior Kitesports Freestyle World Cup (7-10 April) and the Kitefoil Silver Cup GP World Series (12-16 May) - run by the newly founded IFKO - have been included on the "Prohibited Events" list following improper designation as a world event and using an improper organizing authority.

IFKO, an organization, led by Diogo Paes Fernandes and headquartered in Guincho, Portugal, had announced three events for 2016, but only Kitesurf Cup Sylt survived World Sailing's "cut."

"World Sailing is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and SportAccord as the world governing body of sailing, which includes kiteboarding (on water). The IFKO's recent establishment and governance claims to kiteboarding do not alter World Sailing's responsibilities," the institution says in a statement.

"To date World Sailing has developed the racing rules for freestyle, wave and speed kiteboarding, secured the introduction of kiteboarding to the Youth Olympic Games, supported the creation of the World Kite Tour and promoted recognized world championships through the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and separate World Cup events in the freestyle, wave and slalom disciplines."

World Sailing says it has not received any confirmation that IFKO will run both contests "under the appropriate rules or standards for kiteboarding."

Meanwhile, the IFKO accused World Sailing of "including rules of kitesports in its sailing rules without respecting legal procedures. Kitesports will not be like windsurfing is today."

"World Sailing tries to keep an empty and illegal overtake of another sport by using its media/marketing machine to damage kitesports organization. IFKO (or Kitesports) cannot be included in sailing regulations or in the sport of sailing for any sanction or prohibition. Sailing is not a kitesport!" explains IFKO.

The war in kiteboarding continues, as three organizations dispute the right to crown world champions across several disciplines: IKA (recognized by World Sailing), IFKO and the World Kite Tour.

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