Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Asia wants windsurfing reinstated
by Tan Yo-Hinn
04:45 AM Jul 03, 2012
At an Asian Sailing Federation (ASAF) meeting here last Saturday, member nations reached a unanimous decision to call for a re-vote by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) at its next meeting in Ireland this November to re-instate windsurfing as a medal event for the Rio Games.
"We're now finding out the process to present a strong case for windsurfing to ISAF," said SingaporeSailing CEO Tan Wearn Haw.
"There has been talk the International Olympic Committee may drop sailing from the Olympics because it is not the most spectator-friendly sport, so for ISAF to drop one of sailing's more popular disciplines is surprising."
Thirty-four delegates representing 17 member nations attended Saturday's meeting at ONE15 Marina.
In a shock decision at the ISAF mid-year meeting in Italy, windsurfing was axed from the 2016 Olympics and replaced with kiteboarding.
However, Israel sailing chief Yehuda Maayan claimed the shock result came after a Spanish delegate made a wrong vote during the meeting, possibly due to confusion and the language barrier.
Singaporean Audrey Yong's bronze at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games helped promote interest in the sport here.
Timothy Khoo, president of Windsurfing Association Singapore - an affiliate of SingaporeSailing - said: "The decision to drop windsurfing was a devastating blow and there are concerns interest could dwindle as it is no longer an Olympic sport.
"It is a wake-up call for windsurfing to keep re-inventing ourselves to stay relevant." TAN YO-HINN
Sunday, July 1, 2012
A Kiteboarder’s Look at the Technical Report
By Ian Collenette
Founder, DVNT Kiteboarding, Orewa Beach, New Zealand
Experience has taught me and my kiteboarding friends not to underplay the safety side of kiteboarding when representing it to kiteboarders, non-kiting public and potential new kiteboarders. We have found that honesty and transparency in learning from our experiences (close calls/accidents etc.) has kept us safer. These are quotes from the reports given to non-kiting voters, and for those thinking of getting into kiteboarding to read and learn from.
Kiteboarding Evaluation report – IKA/ISAF
|“Safety issues are slightly different for kiteboarding”||They are not slightly different, they are vastly different because you are dealing with a kitesport. Kites are unique in that they can generate relative huge apparent wind power compared to sailing (this means kite movement through air/wind window that translates to FAR higher apparent wind speed) to jump 100kg 60ft in the air! An accidental 15cm movement of a kitebar due to rider or equipment error (deathloop, bridle tangle, wing tip tangle/pulley jam/line half hitch on bar) can result in rider being thrown 40ft+. Kite lines have nearly drowned me and my friends (for sure less likely in racing than waves) and have caught up a kiter under a rescue boat that drowned recently (not wave riding). There are many more examples of why kitesport safety is so vastly different from sailing safety but I realize that long posts put people off reading whatsoever…|
Kiteboarding Technical report – IKA/ISAF
|“There have been safety issues in the past which have been overcome since approx eight years.”||This statement generalizes about all safety
issues and therefore simply is not true. eg Deathloops (uncontrolled
spinning kites pulling you due to bridle tangle, wing tip tangle, 1/2
inside out kite, line half hitch on bar, depower system tangle) which
may result in collisions with buildings / other riders/spectators /
objects at sea or at the launch area. Nothing can overcome the danger of
2 tangled kites in some situations – this area is not known well (I am
aware of the kite racing clubs that do have some experience) – kiting
will bring kiteboard racers closer together than they ever have been in
history (traditionally that have learned to stay as far apart from each
other as possible). Fortunately in racing in higher winds the riders
tend to get spread out more – but to say there is no safety factor in
limiting entrants of kiterace compared to a sailing race is ridiculous!
|“There is no difference to standard sailing regattas in respect of numbers of boats, marks etc, no additional resources or facilities are needed.”||Yes there is – Launching and landing safety
buffer zone from all things that are not flat beach – people,
buildings, objects – anything you could have a collision with if pulled
forward for example 60ft in 1 second due to possible user, equipment
malfunction, or change in weather conditions. Most kiteracers around the
world do not have access to boats and quite frankly couldn’t be
bothered to go to the trouble of boat launching. Sure Olympic rsx
sailors have their support boats but how is that making kiteboarding
accessible. Sailing boats can launch in unsteady (gusty wind launch
areas are dangerous for kiteboard launching), offshore (usually too much
wind shadow) and very light winds (kite falls out of sky – approx 10
knots required for water relaunch) – Kiteboarders cannot safely or
reliably do this. Can you imagine sailing clubs needing one boat per
kiter! Traditional sailing clubs and kiteboarding usually do not mix
well from a safety point of view simply due to safe launching and
landing buffer zone, due to having inexperienced kiters (sailors) around
kites (eg trying to help a kiteboarder and instead getting them hurt
grabbing wrong side of kite / kite lines / wrong safety line / trying to
grab kite detached from rider).
|“kiteboards are always planing.”||No they are not – I have been in lulls on
raceboard not planing! Instead of pumping – we sine wave the kite to
generate apparent wind and get planing again – for sure they plane more
than windsurfers though – difference is that most kites cannot relaunch
from the water in under approx 10 knots if wind lulls and kite falls
from sky. This point was not mentioned in report, an ambiguous statement
that said kites can be lauched in 4 knots I think it was, little did
anyone know this referred to launching from a boat or land with human
assistance, and not an unassisted water relaunch. Report makes no
mention of rider having face split in 2 during freestyle competition
(Vincent Tiger) as it was not considered serious (3 months recovery) –
The report does not refer specifically to kiteboard racing safety
records, of which incidentally there has been very little relative
activity in racing worldwide to be able to analyze it properly – simply
because kiteboard racing has been very niche with very few participants
|Report says kites flag out when releasing safety system (“kite will have no more power whatsoever”)||That is simply not the case for many riders riding various kite brands in current IKA/ISAF kiteboard racing. They are not safely flagged out onto one line, some use a suicide leash and rely on the high depower of the kite design! This makes the statement “kite will have no more power whatsoever” untrue.|
|“Although kiteboarding accidents still happen, they are rare.”||No they are not, they are far more common
than sailing accidents and far more likely to result in severe injuries
or death. Sure people get hit hard by gybing masts in sailing but
nothing of the scale of kite accidents. Analogies to other sports are
ridiculous (cars motorcross skiing..?!?!), kiteboarding is unique in
that it deals with both the erratic nature of the weather AND the fact
that a kite can throw a 100kg human 60ft through the air from an
accidental or deliberate mechanical movement of just 15cm on the bar/due
to tip wrap/bridle tangle/bar line half hitch/ kites tangled together.
Saw someone launch kite recently and due to bridle tip wrap tangle flew
30ft onto their head as kite deathlooped at launch – a bit late for a
safety system. They were out cold for 10 mins and injured.
|“It is no more dangerous than any other sport.”||That is just the most utterly stupid
statement and totally untrue. Kiteboarding while safer than is used to
be due to advancement in equipment design will always have the inherent
additional risks of the huge relative power kites can generate both at
ground level and more importantly upwards! Particularly at launch and
landing. These dangers are increased by the erratic nature of the