September 21, 2018

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. : Why the creation of this new international federation?

Jean-Pierre Pouleau : Today, the report is obvious, the ISAF (International Federation of Sailing) is interested only in the kitesurf on the water, and still not all the disciplines. So, it was decided to create the IFKO ( International Federation Kitesurf Organisation) to manage at the international level the kitesurf in all its disciplines: on ground, on snow but also on the water with the disciplines which are not recognized by the ISAF today. So disciplines as Landkite, Snowkite, Freestyle, Slalom, Speed, Boarder Cross and Hydrofoil are going to be recognized finally by an international federation, the IFKO! These disciplines have more and more followers and events which take more and more scale over the years and nevertheless they don’t still have of representing to the international level. This will change with IFKO. : Who is at the origin of this international federation?

Jean-Pierre Pouleau : They are Portuguese through the president of the Portuguese federation of kitesurf who are at the origin of the creation of the IFKO. The FFVL was requested to participate in it and I answered positively. : Did other national federations join the IFKO besides the FFVL and the Portuguese federation?

Jean-Pierre Pouleau : At the moment we have not communicated on the creation of the IFKO yet, you are the first ones to speak about it. On the other hand there are already about ten countries which answered positively because they are faced with a regulations or a representativeness which they don’t consider as carrier. There is in particular Algeria, Spain, Italy and others who don’t find some benefit in the federations which represent them at the international level! We are going to take advantage of the gathering of the EHPU (European Hang Gloding and Paragliding Union) which is going to take place in Lisbon in February to present this new international federation and to make so that all the countries. : The main idea is to be able to develop kiteboarding without the ISAF?

Jean-Pierre Pouleau : Yes even if there is already at present the competitions held under the ISAF label (Race for exemple) and I think it will unfortunately be very difficult to go back. So I think that “Race” will stay at the ISAF. However for the other disciplines, the IFKO has a role to play and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) has a say and we hope that it will be in our way.

IOC is particularly dissatisfied with the functioning of the ISAF and several IOC’s leaders will joyfully welcome the idea of ​​the creation of this new international federation (IFKO) : You’re saying that the IOC will approve and recognize the IFKO?

Jean-Pierre Pouleau : The contacts we have had with important members of the IOC are very revealing because ISAF didn’t clearly met the expectations of the IOC who had asked to dust Olympic sailing. But so far there has been a sudden forward, suddenly backward and Rio Olympic sailing disciplines will be the same as in London! IOC is particularly dissatisfied with the functioning of the ISAF and several IOC’s leaders will joyfully welcome the idea of ​​the creation of this new international federation (IFKO) to dust off all that and bring out kitesurfing. : And one purely French point of view, is that the arrival of the IFKO is going to put an end to the conflict FFVL / FFV (French Sailing Federation) ?

Jean-Pierre Pouleau : No because the conflict will persist but it will become « minor » in my opinion. It will persist because I am someone legalist in front of the ISAF which locked several things, we are not going to return above. Nonetheless, ISAF represents only 10% of the sport of kiteboarding and to preserve and develop the other 90%, we will have to sacrifice the 10% ! : About the conflict FFVL / FFV, something new for 2016?

Jean-Pierre Pouleau : We hope a relative statu quo, but hope, like promises, engages only those who believe. The word statu quo doesn’t suit me because the attitude of the FFV prevents French clubs from organizing international competitions in kitesurf. This blocking is thus going to last still in 2016 until the next Olympiads. The creation of the IFKO is going to allow to prepare the next Olympiad and to demonstrate to the youth ministry and Sport that we are capable of continuing and especially of making our essential work: the democratization and the access to the practice of the kitesurf. Competitors and competitions are important for the federation but don’t forget the lambda practicing and it is the essence of FFVL. : So in summary, no evolution for 2016, there he was still reconciliations and discussions between the two French federations FFV and FFVL?

Jean-Pierre Pouleau : Not absolutely not, we had no answer on behalf of the FFV and of his president to all our requests. The last time when I discussed by the telephone with Mr. Champion, president of the FFV, the discussion was courteous but nevertheless very dry and there is apparently nothing to wait on that side and unless a change of the presidency of the FFV, I don’t see possible improvement in this conflict.

Jeff Valet

Jeff Valet

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