Kitesurfing - a demonstration for 2016?
Mr. Neil Pryde has released the following message regarding his support for kitesurfing as an Olympic event:
'I have been acting as an Ambassador for the IKA in order to assist Kitesurfing in its objective to attain Olympic Event status. I have now withdrawn my endorsement of the IKA Campaign because it is my view that Kitesurfing has not yet developed the rules of competition and disciplines that must be demonstrated to qualify Kitesurfing as an Olympic Event.'
With a foot in both camps, and a big investment in Olympic windsurfing, Neil must have been caught a bit off balance by the move to choose either windsurfing or kitesurfing rather than both.
Neil Pryde supply the current Olympic class board the RS:X, and are in the middle of a campaign to push the RS:One as the junior Olympic board, competition for the BIC Techno 293. While kitesurfing was being pushed as an addition to the Olympic Games, with it proposed as a demonstration sport in Rio, Pryde would have been quite happy with the prospect of a new market for their Cabrinha kitesurfing equipment. However the possibility of losing their current and future market in the windsurfing class, and having to compete all over again to capture the kitesurfing class will be unattractive and could account for this change of heart.
Neil Pryde concludes: 'As the Managing Director of Neil Pryde Limited, the owner of Cabrinha, a world leader in Kitesurfing I remain a strong supporter of Kitesurfing and I believe that the sport will continue to grow and develop as a lifestyle / adventure sport. Kitesurfing offers tremendous opportunities to combine sport and travel and there is no doubt that it is an exciting action sport that ultimately could obtain Olympic status.
However it is important to look at Kitesurfing today and understand the limitations of the sport within the requirements of an Olympic Event.
I would support the inclusion of Kitesurfing as a Demonstration Event at the 2016 Olympic Games if this is feasible.
NEIL PRYDE LIMITED'
Press release: http://www.neilpryde.com/latest/kitesurfing-as-an-olympic-event.html
Sail-World: There could be some more news on this front tomorrow