By James Crook

KitesurfinJune 13 - Western Australian coastal city Perth has been chosen as the host for the first two International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Kiteracing Oceanic Championships both this year and next, which will also feature an accompanying festival.

The event, at Leighton Beach, will become part of the IKA annual racing calendar from when it makes its debut in Perth this December, and will be overseen by the Warren Jones Foundation, who played a starting role in bringing the 2011 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Championship to the city, as well as delivering the event.

Perth 2011 chairman Ian Campbell is also due to oversee the inaugural Championship, which will take place from December 10 and 15 this year.

"We have followed the European, the Asian and the other regional tours, and this event in Perth can only grow." said Campbell.

"The Championships will not only provide excellent exposure of Western Australia around the world through TV and social media, but will also feature a vibrant event village with great viewing opportunities at Leighton to witness the action",

Along with the main event will be a national event, which will give locals the opportunity to compete, and a festival featuring an array of family entertainment, including live music, street performers, kiting clinics and beach sports.

Perth sailing 2011Perth, which held the ISAF Sailing World Championship in 2011 (pictured), will host the 2013 and 2014 Kiteracing Oceanic Championships

Perth 2011 event director and Western Australian sports Citizen of the Year in the same year John Longley spoke of how he believes the championship will seamlessly fit into Western Australia's distinguished sailing calendar.

"The Kiteracing Oceanic Championship is a natural addition to Western Australia's rich sailing history," he said.

"WA's ideal weather conditions and peerless beaches have long attracted sailing enthusiasts with the Fremantle Doctor making it the perfect location for wind-driven sports.

"Kiteracing is a new and exciting discipline, igniting interest in the sailing community and I look forward to welcoming a new breed of sailing athlete to Fremantle in December 2013."

Eventscorp Executive Director Gwyn Dolphin outlined the ambition to boost the profile of kiteracing, as well as have the opportunity to establish the Western Australian coast as an idyllic location for watersport enthusiasts.

"With favourable wind conditions and great weather, Western Australia is an excellent location to host these growing championships," he said.

"The Kiteracing Oceanic Championships will also elevate the status of a rapidly-developing sport in WA, add vibrancy to the State, increase visitation and provide excellent media exposure of our extraordinary coastline."

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