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Kites claim Olympic victory at World Sailing showdown

by Formula Kite Class 14 May 15:08 PDT 15 May 2018
Flying High - Kiteboarding - March 22, 2016 © Richard Gladwell

Kiteboarding is to become a full Olympic sailing event after World Sailing’s (WS) Council approved a submission that will see athletes take the stage at the Paris 2024 Games.

The Events Committee of World Sailing, the world governing body for the sport of sailing including windsurfing and kiteboarding, approved submission M22-18 from the Romanian Sailing Association which includes two events for windsurfing, a new mixed one person dinghy event (i.e.Finn + new lightweight women's boat), a mixed double handed dinghy team event (i.e. 470), and a mixed kiteboarding team event in addition to the five already confirmed events (2x single handed dinghy, 2x skiff, mixed multihull).

Details of the “team” nature of the format have yet to be established, but could comprise national teams of men and women each accruing points from races, or a novel “relay” where the male and female athletes race alternate laps of the course.

The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) will work closely with World Sailing's Event Committee to ensure that the format reflects the wishes and dreams of the competitive kiteboarders all around the world to showcase hydrofoil kiteracing at it's best.

The Equipment Committee, responsible within World Sailing for evaluation of the various equipment options, has indicated to follow the established Formula Kite model of production series hyrdrofoils and foil kites, with one hydrofoil and up to four foil kites and a 4 year registration cycle in sync with the Olympic Quad.

The submission accepted that the ultra-efficient cutting-edge kite hydrofoil equipment is capable of covering wind ranges from as little as 6kts, right up to 40kts.

The upcoming premier Formula Kite events are the European Championships in Warnemuende, Germany, from 8 to 13 July 2018, and the World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, from 4 to 12 August 2018.

Both events will feature racing in separate men's and women's fleets. Events for the new mixed format will be scheduled for 2019 after deliberations with World Sailing's Events Committee

The equipment for these events, as well as for the upcoming Central American & Caribbean Games 2018 and the Panamerican Games 2019, is Formula Kite with equipment currently listed on the registered series production list from beginning of 2017.

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