BRING FUN BACK TO THE TABLE
The International Funboard Class Association (IFCA) presents the structure of the IFCA slalom competition. The concept includes competition formats for fin slalom and slalom foil. It offers a unique platform from the ground up of the sport with weekend riders and youth development on regattas and national championships and international Grand Prix events up to the official IFCA World Slalom Championships. The IFCA concept is the result of intense discussions among board members, National class associations, Representatives of the sector, the organizers, windsurfing media and riders.
The process was driven by the evident crisis of the sport of performance-oriented windsurfing. The combination of fin slalom and foil in a combined discipline managed by the PWA and also by some Authorities’ National teams led to a decline in competitors and competitions. Reality has shown that to be successful it was necessary to use the foil at ever higher wind speeds.. What some people might consider a natural development has been the de facto overcoming of anyone unable or willing to switch to foil.. Many people appreciate foiling in light wind conditions as it helps increase the number of water days or is the”Life insurance for events”. But there are very few riders who really like to sail in strong winds.. Many people feel insecure and do not want to hurt themselves or even others in conditions beyond their control.. Then, instead of accessing foil, Many of these runners decide to quit competitions.
The windsurfing industry is also facing significant challenges, mainly induced by windfoiling. Sales figures in this segment are out of step with development and production costs. At the same time, Combined format prevents industry and organisers from unleashing the full potential of the two disciplines. The combination of fin and foil in a single discipline is blocking the natural thrill that fin slalom offers to competitors and “Normal windsurfers” representing the key market for brands. Without a solid platform for fin slalom, Brands even feel negative effects in their slalom and freerace products.
IFCA brings fun back to the table. Foiling is an enrichment for the sport of windsurfing. But when the wind really blows, The vast majority of riders prefer the direct sensation of jumping on the waves with a fin board. IFCA slalom disciplines represent what normal windsurfers would use in their spots in different conditions. Foiling with light wind and fin with medium and strong wind to enjoy fast runs.
The IFCA concept responds to the challenge with two key elements:
1. The disciplines Foil Slalom and Fin Slalom are separate disciplines
2. Event formats and equipment must ensure fun
As a first step for the 2023, IFCA will separate slalom into two independent disciplines:
• Fin Slalom as real fun with medium and strong wind (min 11 nodes)
• Foil Slalom as a light wind option (by 7 a 15 nodes) to ensure official competitions in the widest possible range of conditions
Events can be arranged for the fin slalom, the foil slalom or as combined events. But disciplines will have a separate ranking to ensure runners can choose whether they want to compete in one or the other format or both..
As an official international class, IFCA to organize the official IFCA International Tour calendar for fin and foil slalom. IFCA will also maintain official IFCA world ranking lists for fin slalom and foil slalom.. The calendar and rankings will include the official IFCA World and Continental Championships as annual highlights., as well as the national events of the IFCA National Class Associations. In addition, IFCA may sanction events to contribute to the structure or organize Grand Prix events in collaboration with selected organizers. With this unique vertical integration, IFCA offers the largest competition platforms for fin slalom and foil.
For the 2024 a process will be initiated in collaboration with the windsurfing industry to optimize equipment formats and rules to ensure that the format and equipment of IFCA competitions have a relevance compared to what windsurfers “Normal” are using instead of promoting artificial formats and complicated equipment that very few people can use, IFCA competitions will offer the perfect competition platform for fun on the water.
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