Count­down to For­mula Kite World Championships reaches land­mark

Muscat Daily - - PRESS RELEASES -

With 100 days to go to the start of the event on Novem­ber 19, prepa­ra­tions by or­gan­is­ers Oman Sail are well ad­vanced for the six-day fes­ti­val of speed off Mus­cat.

A cham­pi­onship fleet of up to 105 male and fe­male com­peti­tors are ex­pected at the cham­pi­onship, which fea­tures the high-per­for­mance hy­dro­foil­ing For­mula Kite boards. The class is the new­est dis­ci­pline in kite­board­ing and is cam­paign­ing to be in­cluded as an Olympic event, with a de­ci­sion ex­pected around the time of the cham­pi­onship.

The 100-day land­mark comes shortly af­ter Oman was hailed as a ‘kite­board­ing par­adise’ by com­peti­tors at the Kite Speed World Cham­pi­onship held on Masirah Is­land.

“The For­mula Kite World Championships is our big­gest event of the year,” said Markus Sch­wendt­ner, CEO of the In­ter­na­tional Kite­board­ing As­so­ci­a­tion. He added, “We are also await­ing an an­nounce­ment on the class be­ing in­cluded at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which could well in­crease numbers at the World Championships. So it could be a very big year for us, and for Oman. Oman was a rev­e­la­tion to the Kite Speed com­peti­tors; ev­ery­one was blown away by the con­di­tions, by the friend­li­ness of the peo­ple, by the land­scape, just ev­ery­thing. It was very well or­gan­ised, so we know that Oman Sail has all the skills and ex­pe­ri­ence to host a great For­mula Kite World Cham­pi­onship event.”

Some of the big­gest names in the fast-grow­ing sport are ex­pected in Mus­cat to com­pete for glory. Th­ese are likely to in­clude Ger­many’s Flo­rian Gru­ber and French speed­ster Nico Par­lier, who top the world For­mula Kite rank­ings just be­hind Bri­tain’s Olly Bridge. Mean­while, Bridge’s mother Steph, a mul­ti­ple kite­board­ing world cham­pion, leads the women’s rank­ings ahead of US rider Daniela Moroz and Rus­sia’s Elena Kalin­ina.

“We are well pre­pared for the For­mula Kite World Champi- on­ships and we look for­ward to wel­com­ing the many in­ter­na­tional kite­board­ing ath­letes to Oman in 100 days’ time,” said Salma al Hashmi, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer at Oman Sail.

She added, “Fol­low­ing the great suc­cess of the re­cent Kite Speed World Cham­pi­onship event, this will be an­other op­por­tu­nity to es­tab­lish the sul­tanate as the re­gion’s lead­ing sport­ing des­ti­na­tion. It will bring ben­e­fits to the Omani peo­ple and the wider econ­omy and will al­low com­peti­tors and vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence the fan­tas­tic sail­ing con­di­tions and our hos­pi­tal­ity.”

Oman has been the venue of choice for sev­eral in­ter­na­tional sail­ing events in re­cent years, in­clud­ing the Louis Vuit­ton Amer­ica's Cup World Se­ries and the Ex­treme Sail­ing Se­ries as well as the Laser, Laser Ra­dial and RSX World Championships. All have been or­gan­ised by Oman Sail, the na­tional ini­tia­tive to high­light the mar­itime her­itage of Oman and pro­mote the country through top level sports events.

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