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KITESURFING to be a part of 2016 Olympics

Momentous news: “The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has confirmed the final event and equipment selections for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition to be Kiteboarding. After a long discussion with a lot of enthusiasm and support for both sports, ISAF Council voted with a 19 to 17 majority that Kiteboarding will replace Windsurfing for the men’s and women’s board events in Rio.”

ISAF President Göran Petersson stated: “Kiteboarding has proven to us that it is ready to be included into the list of prestigious ISAF Events and it is a fantastic addition to the sailing programme for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Sir Richard Branson, one of the IKAs Olympic Ambassadors and supporters from the very first minute added: “Well we all flew a kite to get kiteboarding in to the Olympics and unbelievably the kite has landed in Rio! Kiteboarding is now an Olympic sport! To celebrate this, myself, my family and a few friends will this week attempt to kite across the English Channel to show off the beauty of kite-surfing.” And, with this in mind, he has been getting in some practice:

Susi-Mae hitching a ride with Sir Richard Branson

Richard Branson kitesurfing

“Backbreaking work, but someone’s got to do it!” he blogged.

In August 2010, Branson, accompanied by his children Holly, 29, and Sam, 26, and a number of others including Princess Beatrice’s boyfriend Dave Clarke, 28, set off from Dungeness in Kent  hoping to reach the French coast, but had to abandon the attempt because of strong winds and a choppy sea.

In November 2011 an evaluation group was appointed to examine kiteboarding formats with the board events for Rio 2016 defined as ‘windsurfing and/or kiteboarding’. The Evaluation Group recommended that kiteboarding be included in the ISAF Event family including the ISAF Sailing World Cup and the ISAF Sailing World Championships. ISAF Council then went one step further when selecting Kiteboarding to be part of the Olympic Sailing Competition in Rio 2016.

IKA Executive Secretary Markus Schwendtner said: “The decision today will change the lives of thousands of kiteboarders that now can live their Olympic dream. The National Sailing Associations will now include kiteboarding into their programs and coach and support the riders to go to the Olympic Qualification events. We never thought we would get this far in such a short time.”

Kristin Boese, 9x Kiteboarding World Champion and strong ambassador for the Kiteboarding in the Olympics Campaign concludes: “It was incredible to see that council showed so much support for kiteboarding during yesterday’s debate and that alone was very exciting for us. However, we never thought that we were going to stand a chance when it comes to the straight vote between kiteboarding and windsurfing and it was such a huge surprise when the result was announced. I will never forget this moment. I am so grateful for all the hard work the IKA and many others have put into the Kiteboarding in the Olympics campaign.”

It is wonderful news for kiteboarding, but rather sad for windsurfing fans. Why not both?!

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5 Responses to “KITESURFING to be a part of 2016 Olympics”

  1. The Kiteboarding Outlet
    2012 | 17 May at 19:31 #

    Great news for the sport of kiteboarding! Can’t wait to see the competition in 2016. A big step for the sport. Below is our take on the topic

    • lolajones
      2012 | 18 May at 10:01 #

      I really enjoyed your article – may I add your link to my article?


  1. Kitesurfing Guinness World Record attempts | Xtremesport - 2012 | 17 November

    […] Branson, a keen kitesurfer and once seen on this site with Susie Mae on his back practising for the channel crossing, now holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest person to kite the […]

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