The Virgin Kitesurf World Championships

In the previous article, we explained you the new rules of the upcoming season. Today we want to tell you, why the “PKRA World Tour” is not called “PKRA World Tour” anymore in the future.

Last year, the best kitesurfers of the year denied their season in the context of the “PKRA World Tour”. In 2015, Tack, Winkowska, Pulido and co. will start the season under a different slogan.

The contest becomes “Virgin Kitesurf World Championships” (VKWC) this year since the British corporation “Virgin Group”, whose owner is Sir Richard Branson, a passionate kitesurfer, acquired the rights and became the new partner.

It doesn’t matter under which name the athletes will start their season as we are sure the performance of them will be as good as last year.

New year, new rules

A few days ago, the PKRA released the official tour schedule 2015 and beside the new event stops such as Cape Town or Cabarete (Dominican Republic) the PKRA presented some new rules for the new season. We will show you a short overview about the most important changes in the rule book.

Competition area:

In the past, the competition areas were very wide so that the athletes sometimes performed their tricks far away of the judge tower and sometimes the judges wasn’t able to score the trick faire and detailed. To stop this, the PKRA is going to reduce the competition area and relocate it closer to the beach. Additionally, they decided that only one athlete is allowed to show his tricks in the area.

Interferences

Adopting new rules means also there are new ways to break them. Therefore the PKRA defined how and when an athlete can get interference. Interference may call if:

  • a kiteboard changes course to obstruct another kiteboard
  • a kiteboard enters the competition area when another kiteboard is already inside.
  • a kiteboard that has crossed or jumped inside the competition area changes direction and enters the competition area again when another kiteboard is approaching the competition area.
  • there is deliberate unsportsmanlike action with the competitors in the heat.

Interference penalty

If an athlete is going to break a rule, the judges are allowed to penalize him:

  • If interference is called on a Competitor, then the Competitor’s final score will be penalized with a loss of 50% of his best scoring trick.
  • If a Competitor incurs a second interference penalty during the heat, they must immediately leave the competition area and won’t be scored from this point losing 100% of his best scoring trick.

Another change the PKRA made is modifying the scoring system. Summarized, the new system is based on individual tricks (similar to the previous one), but breaks down the current and re-worked judging criteria into seven scoring criteria:

  • technical difficulty
  • power
  • height
  • variety
  • risk factor
  • smoothness
  • innovation

These judging criteria are going to be divided into three categories, each being judged by two or one judges:

40% Technical; technical difficulty level and execution – Reflects the technical difficulty of the executed trick.

40% Intensity; power and height – Reflects how big and powerful the trick is performed.

20% Performance; smoothness, innovation and risk factor – Reflects the performance in terms of fluidity, originality and energy for each trick.

Also crashes have been re-defined and clarified:

A crash will be considered when:

  • a competitor is capsized, losing control of the board or bar when landing a trick.
  • a competitor grabs the bar leash to regain control of the bar.
  • a competitor lands a trick but did not control the kite throughout the execution of the trick resulting in the release of the bar and/or the crashing of the kite into water after landing the trick.
  • a competitor sinks and is completely stopped when landing a trick.
  • a competitor lands on their back and the board is completely out of the water.

The Judges may give credit to a landed trick that is not a crash when:

  • a competitor butt-checks when landing the trick but keeps riding and control the kite.
  • a competitor grabs the chicken loop to regain control of the bar.

Overall title
Last but not least, the PKRA is going to introduce the prestigious Overall title of the 2015 Tour.
Points will be given according to the end of year ranking results for each discipline.
Disciplines that will count towards the 2015 Overall title are:
•    Freestyle
•    Wave
•    Big Air
•    Slalom
The best 3 end of year ranking results for each discipline will count towards the Overall Ranking.
In order to be entitled for the Overall Title, a competitor has to finish within the top 5 position from the end of year ranking for at least one of the disciplines.

These are some of the most important rule changes for 2015. We hope, that we could give you a good and understandable view, so that you will know what happen on the water.

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