An MoU has been signed between two kiteboarding bodies ©Getty Images

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between two kiteboarding bodies in order to boost the organisation of a World Sailing-approved World Championship series taking place this year, it has been announced.

Consensus was reached between the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and Kiteboard Rider United (KRU), a union set up earlier this year seeking to represent athlete interests.

The partnership will "ensure a bright future for professional kiteboarding and the disciplines of freestyle, big air, wave, and slalom", a statement claimed.

Talks also involved the organisers of the six events which will make up the "only official World Sailing-recognised" Kiteboarding World Championships.

Legs are due to take place in El Gouna in Egypt, Leucate in France, Dakhla in the Western Sahara, Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands and Fehmarn off the Baltic coast of Germany.

"KRU is fully satisfied that the commercial interests of the riders are protected and can be marketed to grow," the statement added.

"IKA has ensured that the contest management and judging is completely independent from outside influence and conflict of interest, and will also ensure contest management and competition formats to the world’s highest standards through World Sailing procedures and officials."

Kiteboarding has been locked in a dispute between two rival Federations ©Getty Images
Kiteboarding has been locked in a dispute between two rival Federations ©Getty Images

The MoU was amid the opening of a schism in the sport between the IKA and the Portuguese-based International Federation of Kitesports Organisations (IFKO), set up last October as a direct rival.

Having the "responsibility and duty to manage and to monitor the everyday running of the world's various sports disciplines" are cited as objectives on the IFKO website, along with obtaining International Olympic Committee recognition and becoming a member of SportAccord.

World Sailing chief executive Andy Hunt came down on the side of the IKA last month, warning the IFKO they do not have the right to seek to build relations with either the IOC or SportAccord, the umbrella organisation for world governing bodies.

Kiteboarding - an extreme sport which combines wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics - was briefly chosen in May 2012 to replace windsurfing on the Olympic programme for Rio 2016 by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), now rebranded as World Sailing last year. 

This decision was overturned, however, amid fierce opposition from the sailing community just six months later.