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North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

North Kiteboarding joins the race for Olympic Gold

by North Kiteboarding 27 Feb 23:52 PST
North Kiteboarding joins the race for Olympic Gold © North Kiteboarding

North Kiteboarding is teaming up with a leading paragliding designer to join the race for Olympic gold in the Formula Kite Class.

In partnership with Hannes Papesh, North will submit its first RAM-Air kite design for registration next month with the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) in preparation for the 2028 Los Angeles Quadrennium.

"Hannes approached us with this unique opportunity to leverage our combined decades of data-driven xperience and venture into the Olympic arena together. We're confident, and we have the right cards," says North Brand Director Mike Raper.

"Our North Formula kite design is super light, extremely stable, and has a slightly different bridling system, refined to deliver speed and performance to the far edge of fast. We're proud to celebrate our sailing heritage and join the other North Sails classes dominating the worldwide racing podiums."

Hannes Papesh started flying paragliders in 1986. Coming from sailing, he immediately tried to change the trim of his lent paraglider. "I designed my own computer program, got material and webbing, and made my first wing," says Hannes.

From that first paraglider design in 1988, he used self-programmed software to calculate the sail cut and 3D geometries and later did a lot of simulations (CFD, FSI). Today, this software workflow is used by other brands to develop leading products.

"Challenges are our strength, backed up by modern digital solutions," says Hannes, for whom the Formula Kite special project has been a dream for some time. "This venture with North ensures we can set extraordinary new standards in the Formula Kite world."

Formula Kite, a high-performance hydrofoiling class using regulated series production equipment, has been selected by World Sailing for the kiteboarding event of the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

Capable of speeds up to 40 knots, foiling kiteboarders have become the fastest athletes in the history of Olympic sailing. Formula Kite is also a class in Regional Games (like the Panamerican and Asian Games), the World and Continental Beach Games, the World Sailing World Championships, the World Sailing Youth World Championships, and the Youth Olympic Games.

Since 2012, only registered production equipment is eligible for any Formula Kite course racing events. Manufacturers must submit equipment license applications for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics before March 15, 2024.

Formula Kite racing has a 'Box rule' where riders can choose from registered equipment. In the class, each athlete can register four different kite sizes. You're allowed to take out any of the four, and you can come in to change sizes depending on the wind strength. The kites are more like paragliders than your classic inflated "tube" kites. Known as RAM-Air kites, the air fills the pockets when you take them out - you don't need to pump them up. Four lines attach the kites to the bar, and the bar connects to you on a harness.

North will register the new Formula kite (aptly named the "North Formula") in sizes 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 21m, adding the familiar NS logo to the arena in the fastest Olympic class.

North Kiteboarding is part of North Sails Group, a pioneering force in sailmaking. North Sails boasts an impressive legacy marked by groundbreaking innovations that have revolutionized sailing. Recognized as the preferred sailmaker for prestigious events like the America's Cup and amongst Grand Prix, Ocean Racing, Olympics, and Superyachts, North Sails offers a comprehensive range of sails underpinned by an unwavering commitment to all sailors.

Further solidifying its position as the world's leading sailmaker, North Sails proudly holds an unmatched track record of one design National, World, and Olympic Class victories, surpassing all competitors combined.

North Sails has been chosen as the official supplier of sails for the 49er and 49erFX classes. North 3Di will be making its Olympic debut in Paris 2024 as the official one design sails to these classes.

North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER