New kiteboard race class movement launches
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.