Since 1998 this has been going on. At the time of the creation of the kiteboarding , the French Sailing Federation had not wanted this new sport, probably thinking of a fashion effect... But given the number of practitioners and the potential licensees that it represents, the FFV wanted to recover in its bosom this potential manna. Only, the French Federation of Free Flight which had worked to develop this sport did not hear it from this ear. Hence the numerous and interminable procedures since 2004.
But this time the FFV just won the game. The kite is back in his lap. How did she do it? Based on a ministerial decision. Nothing but that! Indeed, by adopting this organisation, France had put itself in a blocking situation. To be in conformity with the international federations and to be able to participate and organize competitions, the kite had to return under the FFV.
This decision of the Ministry of Sports published on January 11, 2017 in the official journal allows France to align itself with international decisions, and particularly those of the International Olympic Committee and World Sailing which consider kitesurfing as a sailing discipline and officially registered at the next Youth Olympic Games in 2018. Hence the urgency of the situation... Without this decision, it was not possible to present a French team at these games.
Concerning the number of licensees at stake, the FFV answered us only with vague estimates; indicating that it was not seeking by this operation to increase this figure (Editor's note - Now we know that the more licensees it has, the more powerful a federation is...). According to the FFVL, they would be 13,000 to be licensed kitesurfers. But this practice includes both water kites (the one we are interested in) and kites on land (including the one on skis for example which remains in the bosom of the FFVL). And in this number of sailors, how many already have a sailing licence? It will therefore only be possible to read the meters at the end of 2017.
For the practitioner, things should not change much. He will just change federation to take his license and future competitions will now be on the FFV calendar.
This change is not to everyone's taste. The FFVL issued a laconic press release immediately following the announcement of the decision:
We have just learned that the ministry in charge of Sports withdraws us the delegation of the water kite (JORF of January 11, 2017 n° 9 - decree of December 31, 2016). This order is made
- in defiance of the 13 000 kite licensees gathered today in our federation, who trust him and some of whom practice on different surfaces..;
- to the contempt of the sportsmen and champions who represent France at the international level by giving its notoriety to the discipline ;
- in defiance of the volunteers invested daily in the development of kitesurfing ;
- in defiance of the coherence of the sports disciplines which have forged strong links around this common element which is traction by air ;
- in defiance of a federation which has invested itself financially and humanly since 1998 to develop and structure this sporting discipline and which has always respected its obligations as a delegated federation.
This decision breaks the dynamic that the FFVL and all its volunteers have created to develop and secure this practice by setting up training courses that have allowed beginners to discover this practice in good conditions and our high-level athletes to excel internationally in multiple competition formats.
Our course has always been determined by the interest of the practitioners and the opening on sports which have very strong points in common between them.
We will very soon bring our governing bodies together to draw all the consequences of this serious and inconsistent decision with those taken earlier, with the Sport Code (article L131-22) and the 2014 arbitration by the Council of State.
We will also have the opportunity to hear the voice of the licensees at the next general meetings of our leagues as well as at the kite convention on January 13 and 14, 2017.
Informed by these various opinions and beyond the immediate measures that will be taken by the Steering Committee, our General Assembly of 25 March 2017 will decide the orientations for the Olympiad that is beginning."