Kiteboarding is officially an Olympic sport!
The road to the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will be a global adventure for the best young speedsters with a continental qualification system deciding which nations will send sailors to Argentina in October 2018.
At the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, among the 100 sailors aged 15-18 who will sail across five events on Mar del Plata from 1-12 October 2018 in the Buenos Aires 2018 YOG Sailing Competition will be kiteboarders! Various preexisting disciplines will still be included such as windsurfer and Techno 293+ racing but they find themselves alongside Kiteboarding IKA Twin Tip Racing as well!
Getting to YOG is an achievement in itself as sailors have to earn the right and qualify their country at key international regattas. Sailors will have two opportunities to qualify during the qualification period of 1 April 2017 to 23 June 2018. The first chance for all will be at the Class World Championships with the second coming at a sailors’ continental qualification event.
Buenos Aires will welcome sailors across five events in 2018. The Men’s and Women’s Techno293+ fleets will feature 24 athletes each, the Kiteboarding events will welcome 12 in each fleet and the Nacra 15 will see 14 boats and 28 athletes on the startline.
This is a monumental step for kiteboarding on its way to full inclusion at an Olympic level but, to be eligible to participate in the Youth Olympic Games, athletes must have been born between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2003 so if you know of any young speed demons at your beach then find them, shake them by the shoulders, and tell them to start training before the qualification period starts in April 2017!