GKA Hands Over the Rights to Run World-Tour Freestyle and Big-Air Championships to KRU/WKL
The Global Kitesports Association (GKA) and the World Kiteboarding League (WKL) signed a contract today (14th December) that confirms the hands-over of rights for running World Tours and World Cups in Freestyle and Big-Air kiteboarding disciplines to the riders represented by the KRU.
The 2017 World Champions of those two disciplines will therefore be crowned by the WKL.
The GKA, (representing the kitesurf brands), and the KRU/WKL (which represents most of the riders sponsored by the GKA member brands), appreciate their positions as natural partners with the common goals of growing kitesurfing into a bigger sport, raising the awareness of kiteboarding competition sport worldwide and improving the tour and event conditions for the athletes.
At least four World Cup events have to be run per annum in both disciplines. While it is possible to run competitions for both disciplines at the same event, separate rule books for Freestyle and Big Air are required. Both parties have agreed to strengthen the Big-Air discipline and at the same time fulfil the legal requirements by World Sailing with regard to the standardisation of rules.
As the official holder of the rights to run World Tours and World Cups in all kitesurfing performance disciplines, the GKA did not just hand over the responsibility for those two disciplines to the riders. The GKA also supports them in all their efforts to run a sustainable World Tour for professional freestyle kiteboarders in the coming years, which has already been successfully started by the WKL in 2016.
Dr. Jörgen Vogt, Secretary General of the GKA, stated: “Finally, after some years of disputes and uncertainties in professional kiteboarding, we are happy to publicly present the agreements made between World Sailing, IKA and GKA at the beginning of November, and also now with this agreement made between the WKL and the GKA – a new and complete ruling structure of professional kitesurfing. This new structure means there will be one World Champion being crowned per discipline which will draw the public’s attention back to the riders who truly deserve it”
“From my perspective this is very healthy for the sport of competitive kitesurfing; involving the riders themselves in ruling professional kitesurfing and becoming responsible for a reliable and successful World Tour.”
The Board of KRU (WKL), Alex Pastor, Youri Zoon, Liam Whaley and Bruna Kajiya, added: “After some years of uncertainties, it has finally come to an end! And the freestyle competition kiteboarding will grow again to it’s full potential. The sport has a lot to offer and we will make a solid foundation for the next generation, to make a sustainable living out of it. Finally with the right partners like GKA we can show what freestyle kiteboarding is all about.”