For immediate release:
Taking place in Pak Nam Pran, Thailand 13-18 March 2018, the KTA and the Kiteboarding Association Thailand (KAT) will be co-hosting the Asia-Oceania regional Youth Olympic kiteboard qualifiers for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games, which are set to be held in Buenos Aires in October of this year.
The World is watching
This event, supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand and Iconic Studio, will be the third and final regional qualifier for the IKA Youth Olympic trials, following on from the Americas event in Cabarete, and the European-African event in Dakhla. Should there be any young Olympic hopefuls who still have yet to make the cut, they will have a final chance at qualifying during the TTR Youth Slalom World Championships in Boao, China at the beginning of May.
Kiteboarding’s Crusade to the Olympics
As many are well aware of, kiteboarding’s road to the Olympics has been a rocky one so far. It briefly looked as though kiteboarding would be included in the 2012 Olympic Games, but a quick-fire decision from the powers that be reversed the vote, and sent kiteboarding back to the bench for another few years. Yet 2018 sees the tables turning as the sport makes its way to the Olympic arena this October for the very first time.
The Lowdown on the YOG Competition Format
After much speculation from many in the sport, it’s been decided and approved by the IOC that the format for the Youth Olympic competition will be TTR (twin tip racing) Slalom/Boarder X. This action-packed, high speed style of downwind racing brings riders right up to the shoreline as they navigate their way through a zig-zag of buoys and obstacle
The TTR Slalom/ Boarder X format was officially trailed for the first time in Pak Nam Pran in March 2017 with great success. It was a new format for everybody, so initially, there were plenty of struggles for the riders to overcome while they adjusted to the new style of riding.
But with only a few tangles and crashes later, riders were loving the quick-fire style of racing. We heard plenty of feedback from riders around the world, about how enjoyable (and challenging) it was to work on their downwind technique and slalom racing strategy. Meanwhile, spectators on the beach were thrilled to have the race action brought so close to the shoreline, truly an Olympic race format that Olympic viewers will love
What to Expect at the Event in Pak Nam Pran
The upcoming competition will take place at Pak Nam Pran Pranburi, the same location as the used for the first IKA trial of the Youth Olympic format during last year’s Moose IKA Asian Championships. Asia has been at the forefront of the development of this class, helping the IKA to gain recognition for it from World Sailing after founding its first international races via the KTA back in 2009.
TTR is strong in all of the national events that take place around the region, as will be demonstrated by KAT, who will be launching the first round of their 2018 Thai National Series at Pak Nam Pran also, with two days of racing on the March 10th and 11th.
To be eligible to enter for the 2018 Youth Olympics, riders must have born between the years of 200 – 2003. This represents the 4 years of each Olympic Games and ensure a fair balance in the age range of competitors. It does limit the potential number of riders we might have expected to see at a TTR event in Asia, with many hopefuls either just too young or too old to enter.
During the event, any riders who are registered to compete in the YOG qualifiers will be eligible to walk away with their very own pro-athlete website provided by one of this year’s sponsors, Dot Asia.
International Media Interest
The Asia-Oceania Youth Olympic Kiteboard Qualifier can expect a high level of international media interest. Not only from an Olympic sports news point of view, but also from the broad range of cross-platform outputs created by the KTA Media team. This will included a large social media engagement, worldwide print syndication, video IPTV output and international TV broadcasts reaching in excess of 150 million households in more than 140 countries - including a full follow-up TV documentary.
Looking Ahead to the Big Day
From all of us at the KTA, we invite you to come and join us on the beach in Pak Nam Pran. The more the merrier! In the meantime, we’re collectively sending massive support to all of the young riders who are already preparing for the big day.
Get the latest news in the lead up to the event on the event Facebook page. Looking forward to seeing you all in a few short weeks!
Asia-Oceania Video Promo’s:
Follow the Event:
KTA Event Page - https://ymi.asia/ktaevents
Kiteboard Youth Olympic Information:
IKA TTR Class Page – https://ymi.asia/ikattr