New kite­board race class move­ment launches

Action Asia - - NEWS & VIEWS -

THE NINH CHU BAY BEACH Club, Phan Rang played host to the test week launch of kite­board­ing’s first one-de­sign race class. De­fined as CR:X, the new class is set­ting out its stall as a con­vert­ible race class that aims to cre­ate a new move­ment within the kit­ing world. “We are de­lighted with how this event has gone. The rac­ing was close and ex­cit­ing from start to fin­ish. From the suc­cess of this week, we will con­tinue to build the class on a fun and wel­com­ing sense of com­mu­nity,” said Mike Raper, divi­sion man­ager of Neil­pryde Kites. Es­sen­tially the class equip­ment com­bines a set of three in­flat­able race kites (7m, 10m and 13m) and a sym­met­ri­cal twin-tip (TT) board that can be utilised not only for TT rac­ing, but also for be­gin­ner train­ing. The con­cept then al­lows for a hy­dro­foil to be added, which trans­forms the board into a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal that can now per­form and race at the light end of the wind scale. To sum, CR:X acts as a spring­board into the per­for­mance race classes, while rac­ing in its own right as a one de­sign pack­age. While the life­style and ethos may be one of free­dom and ac­cess, the model has some lim­i­ta­tions when some emerg­ing coun­tries and youth train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the sport are con­sid­ered. CR:X aims to ad­dress this by pro­vid­ing a train­ing plat­form that sup­ports both youth and adult kite rac­ing, through a net­work of clubs, kite schools and sail­ing cen­tres that will grow into a world­wide move­ment of ‘CR:X Chap­ters’. The sport of kite­board­ing it­self has seen tremen­dous growth over the past years, due to its short learn­ing curve and ver­sa­til­ity. It is a sport that en­ables par­tic­i­pants to ride waves, jump to great heights and per­form freestyle moves, or race at speed across flat wa­ter. It is in the lat­ter of these vari­a­tions, kite rac­ing, that the sport has caught the at­ten­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC). Un­der the wing of World Sail­ing (WS), it has been in­cluded in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. It aims to be among the WS list of race dis­ci­plines at the full 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Given the present en­dorse­ment from the IOC’S sports di­rec­tor Kit Mccon­nell who con­sid­ered it a sport that fits the “Vi­sion 2020” strat­egy, there is a high chance that kite­board­ing will en­ter the Tokyo Games. The IOC de­ci­sion for 2020 will be made in June 2017.

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