Olympic Windsurfers offer support for Kiteboarding's Olympic Bid

Americas Cup Style Start
Markus Schwendtner
After the results from the ISAF Kiteboarding Trials in Santander have been published, the IKA's Olympic Campaign gains some unexpected momentum by getting support from the windsurfers themselves.

Goran Petersson discussing equipment and tactics
Markus Schwendtner


Read what they have to say:

Gal Fridman:
2004 Olympic Gold Medallist
1996 Olympic Bronce Medallist
Currently Coaching Israel's Mens RS:X sailor Nimrod Mashiah for the 2012 Olympics

Kiteboarding is the newest and most exciting form of sailing now practiced worldwide. Because of Kiteboarding's simplicity, power and mass appeal, it attracts many new sailors into the sport of sailing. Kiteboarding has the speed and performance of the fastest America's Cup Catamaran's, but at a fraction of the cost.

Kiteboarding allows emerging nations to easily and inexpensively start Olympic campaigns, as athletes can become proficient in this sport very quickly. Kiteboarding is easily the most TV/Media friendly sailing event we have to offer the Olympic family. Kitesurfing will put on an awesome show! I look forward to watching Kitesurfing and Windsurfing in the 2016 Olympics.

Michael 'Gebi' Gebhardt:
1992 Olympic Silver Medallist
1988 Olympic Bronce Medallist
Actively involved in the selection of the RS:X as Olympic Windsurfing Equipment

Kiteboarding is pushing the leading edge of performance in sailing. It is the purest and most high-performance expression of sailing, easily outperforming the majority of sailing craft around a race course; absolutely flying in light winds (planing in 4 knots) and dominating Sailing’s Outright World Speed Sailing Record - achieving 55.65 kts of average speed on a 500 meter course. (Top speeds exceed 65 knots!). For the price, simplicity of pure power and performance, Kiteboarding is unmatched in sailing, except by Windsurfing.

Kiteboarding is intuitive to learn, attractive and exciting to watch, easy on the body, addictively powerful and makes the sailor feel weightless when sailing. Kiting inspires the X-Games youth of the world, attracting Surfers, Windsurfers, Snowboarders, Wakeboarders, Snow Skiers and Sailors alike. Massive, modern kites are now designed to help generate electricity and power Massive Supertankers across oceans. The options on what you can attach a kite to, for propulsion, are infinite.

Kiteboarding’s simplicity and inexpensive access, worldwide distribution make it inclusive to 'Emerging Nations' (it’s not weight sensitive), bringing the opportunity for new sailing Nations to quickly develop the possibility of competing for Olympic Medals in 2016 and beyond. IOC is always looking to bring more 'Modern and Dynamic Sports' to the Olympic movement. Kiteboarding represents the premier TV/Media event, sailing needs to remain in the Olympic Family, ensuring an exciting show. Kiteboarding is the future of sailing, now! I vote Kitesurfing and Windsurfing for 2016!

A hard fight around the marks
Markus Schwendtner

Christoph Sieber:
2000 Olympic Gold Medallist
1996 Olympic fifth Place
Coaching Windsurfing and Kiteboarding

Change is the only consistent factor in life. As a youth coach I experience the competing relationship between sailing, other sports and plenty of activity options which are offered to kids today in western society. We have to get our Olympic sailing sports up to date today to be able to see the tomorrow - less money, less plastic – and more athletic kids having healthy fun. It’s time for sailing to embrace the future now.

As Austria’s National Youth Sailing Coordinator/Coach - kids want to have fun sailing the fastest and most exciting craft available, like Kiteboarding. I feel that Windsurfing and Kitesurfing both should be in the Olympics for 2016.

Kiteboarding offers amazing visual appeal to the Olympic sailing family. It’s easily to learn, inexpensive, fast, entertaining to watch and its beach culture lifestyle would fit perfectly into the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. I look forward to the IOC and ISAF welcoming Kiteboarding into the Olympic Sailing family. See you on the water!

Jan Boersma:
1988 Olympic Silver Medallist
1988 Netherlands Yachtsman of the Year

In 1988, I competed in the Seoul Summer Olympics, ultimately winning an Olympic Silver Medal, (The one and only for my Country) representing the tiny Caribbean Island group - The Netherlands Antilles- from the Island of Curacao. Windsurfing was the coolest and purest form of sailing sports back then, like Kiting is now, appealing to the youth looking for a fast, fun, inexpensive and modern Olympic sailing experience.

Kiting incorporates tactics like any other sailing class and requires great athleticism and refined skills, like all Olympic sports should. The high performance, ease of use and accessibility to everyone of any size, coupled with it dominant speed around a race course, compared to any other sailing craft, make it spectacular to watch and race. Also the IKA / ISAF proposed 'Olympic Racing Format' for kiting will be awesome to watch, guaranteeing spectacular high speeds, lots of passing and even some cool jumping while racing.

Kiteboarding will attract many new athletes from around the world and allow emerging nations that would never get a chance to compete in other sailing classes, the opportunity to take sailing to the next level. I fully support Kitesurfing’s bid to become an Olympic sailing Medal Discipline. I think Kiteboarding as an Olympic Sailing Class and event would be a great addition to the 2016 RIO Summer Olympics. Kiteboarding is the future of sailing!

Scott Steele:
1984 Olympic Silver Medallist
Represented USA in the first ever Olympic Windsurfing Competition

I sailed boats in college, learning to Windsurf in 1976, ultimately becoming an Olympic windsurfer when the IOC added Windsurfing to the 1984 Olympics. Windsurfing generated a tremendous amount of new youthful interest and participation in the sport of sailing.Kiteboarding , like Windsurfing has many of the same opportunities to appeal to a broad group; as Kitesurfing race equipment is super high performance, inexpensive, can be sailed from anywhere, is easy to travel with and amazingly easy for anyone to be become competitive in a very short period of time.

Kiteboarding is perfect for allowing emerging nations to compete with the superpowers of sailing and can be sailed by a wide range of competitor body weights. Kiteboarding is fast, fun and meets the future imaginations of generations to come. Windsurfing, like Kiting, is the latest and most high performance expression of sailing. Both sports bring unique athletic skills that are perfect to be showcased in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

You can make it happen - for the future of sailing: Vote Kiteboarding for Rio 2016 !

World Champion John Heineken firing down the Santander course
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