Olympic hopes raised and then crushed: Kiteboarding scrapped just like that

Remember a few months back when we really excited about kiteboarding being introduced as an Olympic event at the 2016 Rio Olympics?  Well, sadly that dream only lasted a few short months and was dramatically reversed last week at the Annual General Meeting of the International Sailing Federation, crushing the hopes of all professional and aspiring kiteboarders.  Don’t get us wrong, we are happy for all windsurfers out there, who were surely just as dismayed when they were originally scrapped from the Olympics.  All in all, it seems unfair how this situation was handled.

The Kiteboarding Outlet - Kiteboarding excluded from Olympics

Kiteboarding… or did we mean windsurfing?

Apparently what happened was that there were some “language difficulties” when the voting occurred originally back in May 2012.  (Hmmmm… *scratching head*)

This lead to a revote and reversal of the decision at the Nov 9 Annual General Meeting of the International Sailing Federation held in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, where now suddenly 51.3% of the voting body favored windsurfing ahead of kiteboarding as an Olympic event.   In the months between May and Nov the windsurfing community had campaigned heavily to have the decision reversed, a wish that was apparently granted.

Reactions and Future

Of course, all Kiteboarding organizations and professionals have humbly accepted this bad news with optimism for the future. The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) stated on their website: “We feel with all the kiteboarders out there that hoped to live their Olympic dream already in 2016, but we respect the final decision of the worlds governing body and wish the windsurfers all the best in Rio de Janeiro.  We will continue our journey – promised.”

Kitesurf Tour Europe (KTE) wrote on their website: “Saturday evening in Dublin was an experience. Regarding the decision – so what. We started setting up such a wonderful sport in 2001 and it`s not a problem at all but a corner on our way.”

In our opinion, after this massive blunder, it is unlikely that this will be reversed any time soon.  Imagine the mindf**k:  ISAF says yes, ISAF says no, then ISAF says yes again?  The only possible way it could happen is if they finally brought both kiteboarding and windsurfing to the Olympics.  This also seems highly unlikely considering that it would either come at the expense of another sailing event or that two more event slots would have to be assigned to the sailing category.

But of course we must stay hopeful.  At least the dialogue is there and at least we came close to it once.  The kiteboarding community is growing worldwide and non-kiteboarders also enjoy watching our sport.  Kiteboarding organizations across the globe will continue to champion this cause without backing down.

There is also a grassroots facebook movement called “Get Kiteboarding Into The Olympics” available here, for those of you that want to get involved.

Kiteboard Tour Asia – Race Centres

As the Olympics came to an end, we also saw the last appearance at the Olympics for the RSX Windsurfing class for now. In anticipation of the change to kiteboarding, most of the RSX competitors have said they would be switching over to kiteboarding to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

As racing becomes more popular due to its inclusion in the Rio 2016 Olympics, there will be more people who will be interested in learning how to ride race boards and master the tactics and techniques of kite racing.

The Kiteboarding Outlet - kite racing in Boracay

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KTA China Tour Finals, Pingtan Island

Breaking all records

In follow up to our previous post, we would like to update you on the KTA China Tour Finals in Pingtan Island, which ended on the 20th May 2012 and were a huge success. It was the first time a KTA tour event was held in China and it broke records for the number of participants at 116 riders, the largest crowd and media attendance at a KTA event and the largest prize purse for the event winners.

The Kiteboarding Outlet: KTA China Tour Finals

Pingtan is China’s windiest location with regular winds over 30knts during the monsoon season and luckily the weather during the event lived up to its reputation. With winds up to 30knts throughout the competition, the riders were given the best conditions to perform for the daily crowds of around 10,000 people, the largest audience ever seen at a KTA event. Riders were treated like celebrities off the water and were asked for autographs and photos everywhere they went.

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Kiteboarding goes to the 2016 Rio Olympics

The fantastic news has been all over the kiteboarding blogosphere in recent days: kiteboarding will be included on the list of 2016 Olympic Sailing events, as well as the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) World Cup and ISAF World Championships.  While kiteboarding has finally and rightfully gained its place at the Olympics, it has been at the expense of windsurfing which has left the windsurfing community unhappy.

The Kiteboarding Outlet - Rio Olympics

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