After Kiteboarding has been chosen as an event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro at the ISAF mid-year meeting in Stresa, Italy, earlier this year, the new sailing discipline made it’s first appearance during this final event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Kiel.
Including Kiteboarding as a full event was not possible due to ISAF regulations that allow only Olympic Classes to sail in the Olympic Classes part of Kieler Woche, however Kiel’s local Kiteboarding fleet was invited to hold two demonstration races on the Olympic Classes medal race day.
While the stage was set for the Laser Std/Radial, 470 Men and Women, Finn and 49er, the fleet of five were sent out before the start of the first medal race, and completed two 15 minute races on exactly the same course as the follow-up group of Lasers. The focus of the Race Management and Jury/Umpire teams were on using exactly the same procedures as they would apply to the medal races of the other classes, including course setting, starting systems, and especially umpiring under RRS addendum Q.
Organizers, race committee and Umpires were more than satisfied with the outcome of this demonstration. The age of the local fleet ranged from late teens to mid fifties including one women who fought her way around the course together with the men.
All racing was competitive in winds ranging from 7 to 10 knots. The organizers and ISAF officials found the racing exciting to watch and stated that there have been no issues and no additional requirement to conduct kite races during a standard sailboat regatta.
Kiel Week is to be complemented for taking the initiative to conduct these 30 minutes demonstrations, for media, TV, spectators, judges, race managers and sailing enthusiasts around the world.