A championship fleet of 105 competitors will be a part of the Formula Kite World Championships in Oman, to be held from November 19 to 24
Oman is set to become an international kiteboarding destination, following the successful Kite Speed World Championship held in August on Masirah Island and the forthcoming prestigious Formula Kite World Championships in November.
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 the International Kiteboarding Association is campaigning for it to be included as an Olympic showcase event at Tokyo 2020 with full medal inclusion in the 2024 Games.
Earlier on, Oman was hailed as a ‘kiteboarding paradise’ by competitors at the Kite Speed World Championship held at the Masirah Island. That event attracted some of the world’s best known kite boarders who gave the Masirah Beach Camp venue and ideal kiteboarding conditions in the flat and shallow lagoon an unconditional vote of approval.
Following the event, Alex Caizergues, the winner and new Kite Speed World Champion, said, “The feeling of speed is amazing because here you have very flat water and no chop – we can go 100 per cent without risking ourselves. I was ready and super motivated and this place just makes you want to go faster.” He set a new championship record of 48.5 knots, almost 90 kilometres an hour.
Organised and run by Oman Sail, the Masirah Island test event is now set to become an annual fixture in the kiteboarding calendar, catering to one of the fastest growing sports around the globe. The rapidly growing sport of kiteboarding has an estimated 1.5 million participants worldwide.
The forthcoming Formula Kite World Championships in November, to be held for the first time in the Sultanate, is expected to include some of the biggest names in the fast-growing sport. 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 USA rider Daniela Moroz and Russia’s Elena Kalinina.
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.