Rio 2016: Kiteboarding makes the Olympic program opening a new era for sailing
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
May 5 - The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has just announced that kiteborading has been listed to their Olympic roster replacing windsurfing.
ISAF President Göran Petersson said, "These announcements mark a new era for sailing and we welcome the new classes into the ISAF family. The equipment selections have fulfilled the criteria set out by the Evaluation Panel and we look forward to seeing the boats not only at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but the ISAF Sailing World Cup and ISAF Sailing World Championships.
"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."
Kristin Boese, 9x world champion and ambassador for the sport was thrilled and said, "I really cannot believe this just happened! There was a lot of support for kiteboarding in the ISAF council room today but we knew we were going straight against windsurfing which is such an established class within the ISAF and into which a lot of the national federations have invested.
“After the council debate was over we knew that the decision was going to be a lot closer than we had originally expected, but we never thought it was going to go our way.
“It is an incredible surprise and I am very excited for kiteboarding and incredible grateful for all the work hard the IKA has put into the Kiteboarding in the Olympics campaign - what an amazing campaign to have been a part of."
Boese herself promotes the sport worldwide through her KB4girls kiteboarding clinics and the Kite Surf Pro (KSP) world tour. The German sports model has also worked with Sir Richard Branson, himself an avid kiteboarder, to support the Olympic bid.
Branson wrote on his Twitter account: "Delighted to announce kitesurfing has been selected as an Olympic sport, starting in Rio 2016. Can't wait!"
The events to be contested at the 2016 Olympic Games are confirmed as:
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's One Person Dinghy (heavy) - Finn
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Men's Skiff - 49er
Women's skiff - 49er FX
Mixed Two Person Multihull - Nacra 17
The 2012-2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup which takes place in Melbourne in December will feature these events. They will also headline in Santander, Spain during the the ISAF Sailing World Championships.
The ISAF also formally recognized two new members for full status: Kosovo (Group C) and Vietnam (Group K).
As far as equipment is concerned, the Mackay FX, referred to as the 49er FX, was selected for the two person women's skiff and the Nacra 17 was chosen for the two person mixed multihull event.
The ISAF Council in the first round voted for the 49er FX after the six evaluation trial entries were narrowed down to just three; the 29erXX, the RS900 and the 49er FX.
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Laura Walden ()
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