As Toby has mentioned, the IKA has changed the rules on 'grandfathering' kit.
"All 2011 (and before) kites as well as all 2010 (and before) production boards are automatically entered on the production registration list so you do not have to worry about that."
This was recently changed to this;
The IKA Technical Committee has extensively discussed the issue of kites currently falling under the "grandfathering rule" of class rule B.1.2
Class Rule B.1.2 states, that 'production kites BUILT before 2012 will be included on the relevant Production Equipment List'.
The intention of this class rule was to allow OLD kites to be continued to be used after the introduction of the Registered Series Production System. The class rule DID NOT intend to allow BRAND NEW kites of an old model to be used in competition for several years. Such kites are not in compliance with the class rules and therefore subject to protests.
The IKA Technical Committee has thereafter been looking for reliable methods to determine the production date of a kite. Any such methods are not reliable enough to determine the exact manufacturing date and would also not allow to identify kites that are newly produced using old materials.
The basic principle of the Registered Production Equipment System is to ensure that every sailor has access to any equipment he wishes to sail, and that all such equipment is the same as others on the same production series. This principle cannot be satisfied by kites falling under the grandfathering rule as kites manufactured before 2012 are not publically available anymore.
To ensure a fair competition at the 2013 kiteracing world championships and beyond, the IKA Technical Committee has therefore recommended to delete the grandfathering rule with immediate effect.
The next edition of the class rules, to be voted on during the next AGM, also has the grandfathering rule deleted. This proposal had been made already before the recent European Championships in Gizzeria.
The IKA Executive Committee will enforce the deletion of class rule B.1.2 for the 2013 World Championships. Only registered series production equipment currently listed on the relevant equipment lists is eligible to race. A corresponding note under Racing Rule 87 will be posted on the Official Notice Board and included in the Notice of Race.
However, the IKA Executive Committee strongly encourages producers of equipment currently not been found on the relevant IKA registered production equipment lists to register their equipment in the next registration cycle (deadline: 01.03.2014) and make them publically available to all interested sailors.
This means that effectively two of the top women racers are now out of the worlds.
This decision was made mid season and was not discussed in the AGM in Rome.
How can an organisation who are trying to build a standard, continue to make terrible decisions that affect smaller brands?
Interesting as both companies are Foil manufacturers.
Markus and the rest of the IKA, you are a joke to kite surfing and you will only kill the sport of kite racing.
Racers will have a more insightful view on this than me as an interested spectator.
There is no doubt that the rule was introduced originally so that those with old equipment would not have to register it to avoid it becoming obsolete. So that was the spirit of the rule. It was not intended that new manufacture of an old design could escape registration, but maybe the wording was bad in that it didn't specify the manufacture but only specified an old design could be used without registration? The wording seems to be capable of being interpreted in different ways.
It depends on exactly how the companies might have got the idea that they didn't need to register newly manufactured equipment of an old manufacturing standard. If the IKA told them that it would be OK to manufacture an old design and not have to register it then the IKA are at fault and should let them have time to use the design until they get it registered. That all depends on the companies being able to prove that the new manufacture is identical in every way to the old equipment when they were made. It has to be the responsibility of the manufacturing company to prove that. If they cant prove its identical, then its a new design/manufacture and should have been registered.
I'm also just an interested spectator, but to answer some of the questions raised, from what I've seen here and on the Facebook thread:
The manufacturers who are not registered do not have a chance to register their kites now.
This only affects Elf kites and Flysurfer kites that I know of. They have longer product cycles. For example, the Flysurfer racers are on Speed 3's first manufactured in 2009.
Gunnar says that the IKA emailed Flysurfer in the past and told them the didn't have to register the Speed 3 because it was an old design.
At the European championships, the women's fleet was being dominated by a new rider on an Elf kite (a very high aspect ratio foil). The Elf kite is a model that has been available for a few years, but the specific kites being used were manufactured recently. It's not entirely clear if the new Elf kites are really the same as old Elf kites even though they have the same model name. Some seem to think every kite is custom made, so they are circumventing the rules that limit development speed of the kites. That's what brought all of this up.
The affected riders will have to get kites that are on the registered list if they want to compete at the world championships coming up. So they can still compete, but not on the equipment they are used to riding.