The ISAF Equipment Committee approved Submission 048-12 which relates to the equipment to be used at the men's and women's kiteboarding events for Rio 2016.
This refers to the Formula Kite as the equipment to be used in Rio, in effect this is the Box Rule kites used in present International Kite Association racing events. Kites and boards are made by builders working to the Box Rule, and sailors register their eqiuipment for the whole Sailing World Cup Season. One board and three kites may be registered, ball-park cost is 5,190 USD.
The submission assumes that sailors and equipment suppliers would work together, and the suppliers would "invest in sailors and sponsor them, minimizing or even eliminating equipment purchase costs for MNAs." Rather unnecessarily it includes the heavy handed threat that if such a rule is not used it "would result in losing the top sailors support."
This concept will change the present One Design rule that is observed in the other sailing classes, with the equipment produced to tight rules or even supplied to competitors from one source - Laser, Radial and RS:X - at major events.
In the battle of the boards - windsurfer v kiteboarding - neither is very subtle in their language about the other. There is undoubtedly a lot of money at stake in getting the board berth at the next Olympics and the interested parties do not seem to be too worried in how they get it. The party in Rio is just hotting up . . .
Submission 048-12 is available here
6 November 2012 17:40 GMT