Weifang is set to host the first Formula Kite World Championships ©Getty Images

A rare meeting between the world's leading kiteboarding stars is due to take place at the inaugural Formula Kite World Championships beginning in Weifang this week.

The event will see the best athletes from both the International Kiteboarding Association's (IKA) KiteFoil GoldCup and the Hydrofoil Pro Tour (HPT) come together for six days of competition.

France's Nico Parlier, the current HPT leader, is set to be among the leading contenders on the Chinese coast.

Fellow countryman Axel Mazella, the KiteFoil GoldCup standings' leader, is likely to be among other challengers.

Last year's GoldCup champion Maxime Nocher of Monaco should also feature along with Britain's Olly Bridge.

United States teenager Daniela Moroz is set to star in a mouthwatering clash against reigning world champion Elena Kalinina of Russia in the corresponding women's competition.

The event should mark an opportunity to raise the profile of kiteboarding ©Getty Images
The event should mark an opportunity to raise the profile of kiteboarding ©Getty Images

Moroz beat Kilinina and French star Alexia Fancelli at the last HPT stop in Mauritius last month.

Another leading contender will be five-time former world champion Steph Bridge, the mother of Olly.

Unlike at most other events, the women will compete separately rather than in a mixed fleet with the men.

Kiteboarding - an extreme sport which combines wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding and gymnastics - is seeking to raise its profile in pursuit of a place on the Olympic programme.

It was briefly chosen to replace windsurfing for Rio 2016 in May 2012 before the decision was overturned amid fierce opposition from the sailing community just six months later.

Leading critics include Canada's former International Sailing Federation President Paul Henderson, who has this week announced plans to stand once again for the Presidency of the world governing body, now called World Sailing, on an anti-kiteboarding agenda. 

Action is due to take place in Weifang from September 9 to 15.