In 1999, the three major flier’s associations AKA (North America), STACK (Europe), and AJSKA (Japan) started work on developing the event that came to be known as the World Sport Kite Championships.
The goals for this event were simple, yet ambitious: A traveling showcase event would be organized to promote the sport and reward the best sport kite teams in the world.
AKA, STACK, and AJSKA would select participants based on results of national and regional competitions. A three-day competition schedule was planned with each team performing ballet and precision three times. The top two scores in each discipline were then averaged for a final score. All results were based on the International Rule Book
The inaugural Championship was held in 2002. Chairman David Gomberg and Organizer Gerard Clement were able to secure funding for a dozen teams to travel to Europe and perform at the huge international festival held in Berck sur Mer, France. Gomberg introduced the competition with the announcement, “We wish the officials good judgment, the fliers good winds, and the public a good show!”.
The first WSKC event was magical. The top twelve teams in the world performed before huge crowds on the French beach. Overdrive of France was named champion with a final score of 86.00. And the world of sport kiting rose a notch.
WSKC returned to France the two following years. Overdrive was again named champion in 2003 with a final score of 81.65. In 2004, the number of competitors increased to 17 teams, straining the schedule, the budget, and the endurance of the judges. The winner was Element’Air of France with a score of 82.89.
In 2005, WSKC shifted to the United States. A competitive bid was won by Lincoln City Oregon. Record crowds gathered for the competition on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Winners were Team Cutting Edge with a final score of 82.32.
In February, 2006, fliers and organizers received the sad news that 2005 Chief Judge, former IRBC Chairman, and long time WSKC supporter Mike Gillard had passed away. The 2006 competitions were named in his honor.
For 2006, the contest returned to Berck. Sixteen teams participated representing eight nations from Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. Winners were again Team Cutting Edge with a final score of 82.98.
A late cancellation by the selected host resulted in no competition for 2007. For 2008, the event returned to France where AirRex of Japan bested 13 teams with an incredible performance.