Kristin Boese Speaks Out About Competition Fines

World Champion kitesurfer Kristin Boese sheds light on the conflicts behind-the-scenes in the kitesurfing world and hopes to set the story about her 2008 competition fines straight.

Kristin Boese.  Photo: Event HostIn 2008, Kristin Boese had fines taken out of her prize money at Essaouira for multiple reasons, which was recently made public by Frederic Gravoille, a KPWT promoter.  In a letter addressed to Gravoille, the kitesurfing champion responds to the fines and explains their unfair and inappropriate nature.

"I am especially surprised because the fines have already been withheld from the prize money and because you have nothing more to gain. Although I don't really see the point in you resurrecting these dead issues, I do feel the need now to make the facts of your false accusations known."

Kristin Boese continues in the letter to itemize the fines and clarify each point.

1. Kiteboarding in the competition area without a lycra.

"This was at the wave competition in Moulay. I don't recall that there were any buoys set to mark off the competition area and I was riding well down wind of the competition area doing a private photo shoot that was not affiliated with the KPWT. I always wore my competition lycra during competition in my heats. There were in fact also other riders doing the exact same thing that did not receive any fines. I believe that you singled me out and tried to intimidate me for reasons I will outline below."

2. Insulting judges.

"I can only guess that this refers to me simply asking to see the judges sheets since a lot of my fellow competitors who had watched my heat thought that the result was very questionable."

3. Damage To Kiteboarding And KPWT Image.

"I assume that this refers to me not looking into the camera at the prize giving ceremony. My reasons for this were well known to you at the time. I had a lot of pressing issues that I wanted to discuss with you, both from my side and from other riders and all concerning your tour."

Kristin also wrote an email prior to the distribution of prizes, hoping to discuss these issues with GravoilIe.

"You never replied to my email and also refused to discuss any of the issues we (the riders) were having in person. I was so disgraced to be part of a competition and an organization that treats its riders this way and just couldn't bring myself to look into those cameras and smile knowing what was going on behind the scenes."

4. Damage To Event Property.

"I have no idea what this is in reference to."

Similar fines were given to fellow kitesurfer Sean Farley and Kristin Boese speaks in the second half of the letter more generally about the treatment of both Sean and herself.  She assures Frederic Gravoille of their professionalism and heartfelt devotion to the sport.

"We have been competing in world cup events for many years, have always followed the rules and never had any trouble like this with any organizers other than you," explains Boese. "Sean and I have stood up for the best interest of the riders on tour, the fairness of the judging criteria, fair distribution of prize money and the integrity of kiteboarding's image as a whole."

For these reasons, Boese believes that Gravoille singled them out and "used intimidation tactics (fines and false accusations) to prevent other riders from speaking their minds in the future."

"Over the past 8 years I have been sitting on riders committees, communicating rider's interests to contest organizers and encouraging open dialogue between IKA, KPWT, PKRA etc." continued Boese.  "I have always tried to bring our sport forward and to give back as much as I could to a sport that has given me so much."

Kristin earnestly describes her extensive involvement in the kitesurfing community and underlines the importance of communication between coordinators and riders.

"I believe that our conflict with you, if anything, enforces the fact that Sean and I have stood up for the professionalism of our sport and have not damaged the image of kiteboarding in any way but only tried to protect it in every way possible."

The hardwork and dedication of Kristin Boese is made especially clear by her KB4girls clinics, as she inspires female kitesurfers throughout the world.

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