In recent days there has been a big controversy on facebook concerning the rules of precedence between kiters and windsurfers especially in the engagement between the waves.
The controversy was fuelled by a photo posted on the company's Facebook page’ Iko (International Kiteboarding Organization which is a private company for commercial purposes - www.facebook.com/ikointl/photos/a.169737913075169/2233808743334732/?Type = 3&Theater), according to which the kite without engagement in the waves should always give precedence to other boats regardless of the walls while in the waves the kite in surf would take precedence over the outgoing kite.
The first rule has sparked the ire of many kiters who on facebook have accused the’ IKO to share false information, while the second rule has sparked the wrath of windsurfers that the outgoing boat has precedence and that this rule between kiters generates confusion, discussions and incidents in case of crossing kiters with windsurfers. Hence the controversy in which several windsurfers and kiters of respect have expressed themselves without being able to explain by thread and by sign all the cases imaginable and possible.
And’ that's why we at RIWmag allowed ourselves to reach Mirco Babini by phone, strong windsurfer of the 90s, today's president of the’ IKA (International Kiteboarding Association).
Mirco is the one who has fought over the years for the kite to be recognized as a sailing boat and not a towing vessel and it is thanks to him that the kite has also become an Olympic discipline.
The association of which he is international president, IKA, International Kiteboarding Association ( http://internationalkiteboarding.org/ ) is the only kite association recognized by World Sailing (international sailing federation) and then by the IOC (International Olympic Committee), and it's the only association that has the expertise, the ability and responsibility to define the rules and regulations of regatta and/or contests from which the basic rules that kiters around the world must abide in order to navigate safely.
So we could not have more prestigious and better prepared interlocutor to be able to clarify all possible misunderstandings and to make information in order to contribute in our small to a navigation more’ more peaceful and respectful coexistence between kiters and windsurfers and beyond.
Before we left mirco we would repeat and emphasize a fundamental point: Kiteboard/kitesurfing is considered a sailing vessel as recognized by all national and world sailing federations from World Sailing to the IOC.
Mirco Babini: "The drafting of the rules and ordinances on navigation, remember this, is by law the responsibility ministries or government agencies in charge of the, I'm going to take the example in Italy, the Ministry of Transport in conjunction with the Central Office of the Coast Guard/ Port Authority with the support of the reference federations for certain sports define the guidelines and consequently the texts for ordinances. I would like to point out that it is a mammoth and not at all simple work to which we are putting our hand thanks to the Kiteboard National Class and technical group in the Italian Sailing Federation to align the differences that exist in the national ordinances. This as an example to show how extremely difficult it is to have rules that work at the world level.
Many forget that general rules on navigation are regulated by the NIPAM, inside which we find a section on sailboats to prevent boarding at sea. I invite you to consult it for your information and on this link an excerpt of a colleague www.eziofonda.it/download/pdf/nipambarcheavela.pdf highlighting the parts of the sail.
The kite is a sailing vessel and as such has the right and duty to respect the priority mure starboard (Rule 10 RRS World Sailing). This rule and’ enriched by the rule 14 that obliges everyone to avoid collisions. If we're starboard mure, regardless of the sail support we sail on, we have the right of way but the obligation at all costs to avoid confrontation. And’ it is true that going downwind to a kite can be risky but when you leave the precedence or when you claim precedence you must also consider the water space necessary for such a maneuver considering also the footprint of the cables. It is up to everyone's common sense to apply this rule in the protection of safety and respect for the spaces necessary for security itself.
As I remembered earlier, all the rules that determine the precedence between the same means, in this case between Kiteboard, during regattas or contests are those of the regulation drawn up by World Sailing, RRS Racing Rules of Sailing, where its own Appendix named F determines the specific sherm of the event. Each Race Call may highlight or modify certain rules in derogation from certain parts, every kiters is required to inquire.
Different is the whole universe of FREERIDING, where in normal navigation we take back the rules expressed in the general manuals trying to give a uniqueness as widespread. The precincts between kiters even in the waves is taken up by the general rules. www.kitegeneration.com/right-way-kitesurfing/
In this video we did a long time ago with IKA and World Sailing ( ISAF at the time ) there's an explanation of the right of way rules among kiters.
All windsurfers who do not know how to accept this definition among kiters in fact are first lacking the kiters themselves and therefore, allow us to affirm, they can't in turn demand compliance with the rules.
We don't want to moralize anyone or even be patronising, we want to respect everything and everyone, but the respect that is demanded and demanded can only arise from the respect that we are first able to give a priori to others as a starting point for our discussion.
In the waves, since this seems to be the crux of the situation, between kiters is definitely simpler, while among different "boats" , first of all, the rule to prevent the boarding, that is, collision should be avoided in the first place. And’ difficult to handle other rules between waves because there can be a lot of different situations with different parameters and priorities, that's why in general it's better to separate spots into areas overhead for windsurfing and downwind for kites. Unfortunately, there is no simple and definitive rule and we here cannot invent it’ impose it.
The root of the rule on precedence in the waves right of course to those who are disadvantaged and therefore to those who take off on those who are returning to shore, as long as the conditions of the wave allow those returning to govern, otherwise it is worth the obligation to avoid collision. Other exemptions may be defined by local regulations specific to the various spots. An example is Hookipa, Historic Hawaii windsurfing spot on the island of Maui.
The normal rules of navigation are the basis of everything, pretend to regulate "traffic" between different boats by type , example between windsurfing and kite, on a wave peak it's virtually impossible, one or the other would always be at fault ... ergo every commercial has its own story.
Referring to www.mauikiteboardingassociation.com/hookipa-kite-rules/, having well or badly shot a lot too I, in Hookipa which is considered the temple of historical wave riding, the rules are the same ... with some LOCAL details, kind of like we try to do in our commercials.
Pretending something different would be CAOS, this excerpt of the text is definitely a reference:
*Access is from launching at Lanes beach west of Hookipa.
These common-sense rules will keep us all safer and create a better rapport with windsurfers and surfers.
Be aware of the potential dangers at Ho‘okipa! The wave is powerful, the lineup is small, and the rocks are close. Hookipa is strictly for advanced Kiters only. Know the ROW rules and surfing etiquette before riding there.
Caution: A downed kite will present a danger to those on the inside, so always keep kite in control.
CHECK IN WITH THE LIFEGUARDS BEFORE KITING HO‘OKIPA ! The lifeguards want to know everyone who kites here and want to share their safety concerns
Surfers always have right-of-way. Stay at least one kite length away from surfers, and off any wave they catch
Windsurfers and kiters have equal priority when catching waves. The rider who catches the wave first has right-of-way. If a wave is caught simultaneously, the upwind rider has right-of-way
Sharing a wave is common in both windsurfing and kiting, IF BOTH RIDERS AGREE. However, because of a kiter’s lines, it is recommended that the kiter surf downwind of the windsurfer
Be aware that windsurfers do not catch as many waves in light and fluky conditions, so show some aloha and give them the waves they can catch.
Detto tutto questo fra kiters o windsurfers dovrebbe sempre PREVALERE il BUON SENSO.
I siti di riferimento istituzionale sono:
RIWmag: “per quanto riguarda lo spazio d’acqua di sicurezza necessario, come richiesto da un nostro lettore, although it remains a very difficult parameter to discuss in retrospect in the event of an accident, as a guideline you can refer to the "Minimum Clearing Distance for Most Watercrafts" scheme on www.surfertoday.com/kiteboarding/the-kiteboarding-rules-and-safety-sailing-procedures?fbclid-IwAR2bgysJo9MQTqFUMa_4V5rWW-RG6748C9C0UQ8bkAQbGZJChildQwMZqU .
With this contribution of the highest authority by Mirco Babini we hope to have clarified all the technical doubts and possible misunderstandings regarding the international regulation of the precedence between sailing vessels. For this reason we thank Mirco Babini in the first place for all the time and the work dedicated to us, as well as Sergio Cantagalli, Max Galtarossa, Frank Baracca, Maura Piece, Gigi The Colombo Wagon, Christian Ferraro and Giuseppe Scire for their contribution to the discussion on facebook.
To this content, before concluding, but we would still like to add some reflection on common sense. Everyone talks about it, everyone mentions it and invokes it but in concrete terms what is common sense?
Specifically to navigation, where the scenarios that develop are always different and change at such a speed that the time to reflect is sometimes reduced too much beyond the minimum necessary, to explain what common sense is we want to start from another concept, field of view.
The field of view is an area that represents the part of the outside world that is visible when you fix a point. You have to, Obviously, Distinguish, between binocular field of view, representing what is visible with both eyes, from the monocular field of view, that refers to one eye. The monocular visual fields of the two eyes partially overlap in the binocular area. The field of view is approximated as an elliptical cone with angular opening that varies according to the peripheral vision considered. Excluding the distant periphery, tends to approach the field of binocular vision, i.e. a cone of about 95 degrees horizontal and about 80 degrees vertical. Considering the maximum possible peripheral vision, add horizontally an additional 60 to 70 degrees covered by only one eye at a time. The field of view can reach 130 degrees to 135 degrees vertical and 200 degrees to 220 degrees horizontal. (https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campo_visivo)
This medical/physiological definition already suggests that the breadth of the field of vision is partially variable not only depending on the morphological factors of each but also in dependence on factors related to the level of concentration, calmanding and self-awareness of each individual.
To make this concept easier we take two extreme examples. A martial artist who alone faces many opponents at the same time, as Bruce Lee showed in his films, In order to not succumb, it will have to have a field of view expanded to the maximum. It will even be able to have a sensory field wider than the optical one thanks to the education it has developed of its concentration, of his instincts and his non-visual perceptual sensations. On the contrary, in an emotional sensation altered by stress, Adrenaline, take over by your ego, instead the field of view will be minimized because’ the brain, not finding himself in a state of quiet and lucidity, won't be able to handle too much information, And then for “Survive” will critically select the visual information that comes to it starting with the limit of the field of view.
Have you ever noticed that in the water some sailors are so "closed" on their route that they do not even see you if you pass by a few meters while others can locate you and recognize you even a few hundred meters away and with the rough seas?
To top it up, we can say that common sense is also (but not only) directly proportional to the field of view: the calmer we are, Shiny, Aware, Trained, focused and educated to recognize and respect the rules, the wider our field of view will be, the better our common sense will be and the better we will be as sailors.
In fact, have you ever noticed that it is rare to see a high-level sample involved in accidents and discussions? Just to become champion he/she will have to develop before and better than others a field of vision as wide as possible, a little’ like Bruce Lee in martial arts, that allows him to properly receive and manage as much visual and perceptive information as possible.
If we want to make one last small comparison it's like trying to make the weather forecast with a single mathematical model available or cross-reference the results of the largest possible number of mathematical models available. In this last case we will certainly have on average more accurate and accurate predictions that will allow us to minimize the possibility of error.
So the wider our field of vision, the easier it will be to find and express common sense. On the ground with hindsight they are all good at analyzing and judging, while at sea without a good field of view you end up with unacceptable excuses like “I did not know” or “I hadn't seen”.
Finally we conclude by recommending that we go to sea with love, passion, sharing, enjoying the unique beauty that sea sports offer in full respect of safety for themselves and for all those around us. We urge ourselves to sail to find the best of ourselves and to bring the best of ourselves back to shore at the end of the exit leaving behind tensions, Problems, concerns and conflicts. Good navigation at all!”
photo courtesy Mirco Babini, IVF, IKA
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