IKA Formula Kite North American Championship

Friday, November 9, 2018 -
Sunday, November 11, 2018
South Bay

The 2018 Formula Kite North American Championship is coming to the San Diego Yacht Club November 8-11, 2018 with an estimated 30 kites launching their foil kites from Crown Cove, a beach located in Coronado, and sailing through South San Diego Bay.

Typical San Diego breezes ranging from 8-12 knots make Crown Cove an ideal venue with flat water giving riders the ability to sail faster without worrying about large swells. Crown Cove is a beautiful, clean and protected California State Park. Kiters can loft their kites, walk into the water and take off.

The kiteboarders will challenge each other in six intense races each of the three days and the top ranking countries from North and South America can qualify for the 2019 Pan American Games.

The North American Championships event is fairly new to the kiteboarding community. The first North Americans was held in Puerto Rico in 2010 and the second was held in 2011 at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA, who have done a lot to run local racing and promote big major championships in North America. Other popular kiteboarding destinations include St. Petersburg, FL, Baja California, and Santa Barbara, but the sport has a bright future emerging in other locations.

The event will be raced using the Short Track format, a newer trend in America that was adopted by the French. The format was most recently used in the Kiteboarding Pacific Coast Championships a few months ago and will follow a 1:30 minute beat with approximately 8 minute total length race. The Short Track format is altering the way kiteboarders are sailing by putting emphasis on an important start upwind and fast speed on the long reach following the top mark rounding.

Currently, Foil Kiteboarding is being proposed as an addition to the 2024 Olympics. Race Director Robbie Dean explains to current parameters of the equipment. “The Formula Kite Class has been around for a long time. The broad concept is that there are certain design parameters in terms of dimension that the equipment can be within, like a ‘box rule’. That’s the main feature of the equipment development. You can develop it as long as it fits into this theoretical box, which is what is being proposed for Olympic inclusion going forward. It’s up for discussion whether they have to remain a ‘box rule’ class, rather than a one-design.”

The participants will kick-off the weekend on Thursday, November 8 with an Opening Ceremony. Racing will begin on Friday, November 9 and continue through Sunday, November 11. Kiteboarders can enjoy a Saturday night social on November 10 and the weekend will conclude with awards on Sunday after the races.

San Diego Yacht Club last hosted the Kiteboarding North American Championships in 2014. Commodore Michael Dorgan is thrilled to be hosting the event again. “We are very excited to host the Kiteboarding North American Championships at the SDYC. For over 100 years, SDYC has been leading the charge in the development of racing sailboats of all sizes, shapes and forms. Kiteboarding is an exciting new sport enabling anyone to sail almost anywhere… a pond, lake, or small bay. You can open up your kiteboarding bag, pull the board out, pump up the sail, and head off on a foil above the water reaching ‘power boat’ speeds in a matter of minutes. We are looking forward to seeing some of the best kiteboarders from around the world compete with us in San Diego.”

Kiteboarders can register for the event through the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) website.