Posts Tagged ‘2019 IKA’

Check here the results of the final day of competition in China, at the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships.

IKA Report:

POLISH TEENAGER GRABS HER FIRST TITLE WHILE RUSSIAN VETERAN CRUISES TO VICTORY

Poland’s Magda Woyciechowska landed her first international title when she sealed victory in the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships “open” division with a steely performance in fickle breezes in China.

The 14-year-old was able to see off a strong challenge from her training partner and fellow countrywoman, Julia Damasiewicz, also 14, over four intense days of competition and 16 hard-fought races off Guangxi province’s Beihai city.

Both finished ahead of China’s Jingle Chen who racked up a formidable haul of bullets and looked as if she could storm to victory at one point. But she stumbled in the light airs, failing to finish some races. It proved costly and she ended fourth, though it was enough to secure the Formula Kite Asian crown.

By contrast Russian veteran racer Denis Taradin barely put a foot wrong. He seized a remarkable 12 bullets that gave a commanding points lead by the finish that landed him the 2019 International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Asians “open” title.

Italy’s Mario Calbucci pushed Taradin and pounced on any error by the Russian, snatching three bullets to add to his haul of high-placed finishes that saw him cruise to the podium’s second spot.

Ejder Ginyol (TUR) traded blows with Calbucci in an enthralling battle on the water in breezes that varied between 6kts and 10kts. Ginyol’s gritty performance earned him the third podium spot.

The regatta’s youngest racer, Max Maeder (SNG), 12, found a turn of pace and tactical assurance to challenge and occasionally beat the leading trio, finishing sixth overall and securing the Formula Kite Asian crown.

But on the final day of the scheduled six, unsettled tropical conditions over the track off Beihai city beach meant the wind failed to build, preventing any racing.

By then, however, with 16 races each for the men and women on the rhomboid windward-leeward course, the victors had done enough to prove worthy winners in the sometimes marginal conditions.

Still, on the regatta’s second and fourth days race officials managed to get six races away each for the men and women. The ideal foiling conditions of 8kts to 10kts for the competitors’ 19m and 21m kites sparked breath-takingly quick action.

For women’s champion Woyciechowska, who revels in the lighter airs, the conditions were perfect. She was a model of consistency, racking up four bullets and a raft of seconds with few of the costly errors that undid her rivals.

“I’m really, really happy,” said a delighted Woyciechowska. “But it hasn’t really sunk in yet. This is the first international competition where I’ve won. I had many second places and Jingle Chen was good, but unlucky when her kite went down. It’s so important to be consistent.”

Chen was slightly subdued despite lifting the Asian championship title, realising that her Achilles heal had been the lighter airs. In slightly stronger breezes she had looked unbeatable.

“I’m a little bit disappointed,” said Chen. “But now I know I have to do a lot of practice in the lighter winds. I got eight bullets, but also many poor scores when I didn’t finish the races.”

Taradin used his experience to the full grinding out wins in all conditions, but acknowledged that his ability to make the most of the lighter breezes gave him the edge.

“It was a great regatta,” said Taradin. “I can’t remember the last time we had 16 races, so it was nice. It was good racing. I felt for me it was extreme because of the light wind. But with my experience I could make it work even in 5kts or 6kts when it was difficult for the others. I’m pleased with the result.”

2019 IKA Formula Kite Asian Championships

Men (Open)
1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 14pts
2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 30pts
3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 39pts

Women (Open)
1 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 22pts
2 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 32pts
3 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 41pts

Men (Asia)
1 Max Maeder (SNG) 57pts
2 Qibin Huang (CHN) 86pts
3 Zhang Hao Ran (CHN) 95pts

Women (Asia)
1 Jingle Chen (CHN) 44pts
2 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 55pts

Source: formulakite.com

Day Five of the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships had mixed team races on the water. Check the report below.

IKA Report:

KITEFOIL ATHLETES GRAPPLE WITH FRESH CHALLENGES OF MIXED TEAM RACING

Ambitious kitefoil athletes have had to reset their approach to top-level competition in the face of a new set of challenges since national mixed team racing was chosen as an Olympic discipline for the Paris 2024 Games.

In what has until now been an essentially-individual sport, Formula Kite relay racing that will feature when kiteboarding makes its historic debut at the XXXII Olympiad’s Marseille sailing venue demands a fresh mindset.

For Formula Kite veterans and ingenues alike, the mixed discipline is an exciting and intriguing breath of fresh air that adds an unexpected layer of complexity to already tricky windward-leeward racing on stratospherically-quick hydrofoils.

But as elite racers at the 2019 Formula Kite Asians in Beihai, China, gathered to trial the new format—whereby the teams of one man and woman each complete one lap of a “short-track” course, with a “flying” handover—the wind refused to play ball and racing was cancelled.

One day of the six scheduled for the regatta had been set aside to give athletes a chance to practise and International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) officials an opportunity to refine the format. It was to have been only the second international outing after the first test at the World Championships in Lake Garda, Italy, last month.

Still, Formula Kite Asians’ leader Denis Taradin (RUS) remains completely sold on the mixed team relay format after his experience in Garda, taking the third podium spot when he teamed with former world champion Elena Kalinina.

“It’s so different from the racing we usually do,” said Taradin. “It brings veterans like me fresh energy, fresh juice. I’ve been competing for years and the top ten are always the same. Now it’s a whole new field. When either the man or woman’s in front, it changes everything and brings lots of emotion. It’s so much fun. What changes is that you can share secrets.”

For the Beihai trial, Taradin had by coincidence teamed with the women’s fleet leader, Poland’s Magda Woyciechowska, 14. She was thrilled by her experience in Garda when the level of teamwork needed and the importance of a seamless, split-second handover became obvious.

“All the guys were finishing at nearly the same time and there were many orange Ozone kites, so it was tricky to spot my partner Blazej Ozog coming so we could make a quick changeover,” said Woyciechowska. “We only had about one day to practise, but still we got 10th overall, which was OK.”

Her training partner, Julia Damasiewicz, also 14, took part in the first tests in Poland and teamed with Jakub Jurkowksi in Garda. She was delighted to win one race, beating a German team led by veteran former world champion, Florian Gruber.

“In one race we won against Florian Gruber, one of the best in the world,” said Damasiewicz. “In individual races we’re not as fast as we are when we’re together as a team. It’s hard to explain it. Perhaps he shares things that I don’t know, and vice versa.”

But beyond pure motivation and shared knowledge Sam Bullock (AUS), sitting fourth overall in the Asians, sees the potential for tactical match racing to assist a weaker team-mate.

“I think there might be an opportunity to match race in the pre-start phase to help your team-mate,” said Bullock. “It certainly adds another element. But I think the most important bit of the teamwork might be working with your partner to get them up to speed. The gaps between the women in Garda was far larger than the men and had big bearing on the outcome.”

Top five men after 16 races (three discards)

1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 14pts
2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 30pts
3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 37.6pts
4 Sam Bullock (NZL) 45pts
5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 55pts

Top five women after 16 races (three discards)

1 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 22pts
2 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 32pts
3 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 41pts
4 Jingle Chen (CHN) 44pts
5 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 57pts

Source: formulakite.com

Check bellow IKA report from the fourth day of competition in China.

IKA Report:

FLYING POLISH TEENAGER CEMENTS HER POSITION AT HEAD OF ORDER

Poland’s Magda Woyciechowska stretched her lead at the 2019 Formula Kite Asians, just besting her countrywoman and training partner Julia Damasiewicz in a day of scintillating racing in perfect foiling conditions in China.

Local favourite and key rival, Jingle Chen (CHN), threatened to unseat the Pole when she exploded out of the blocks on the regatta’s fourth day at Guangxi province’s Beihai city—taking three bullets, two in the opening races.

But even after pipping Woyciechowksa in a photo finish after audaciously stealing the lead on the final downwind leg in the day’s race four, Chen suffered disaster when she twice dropped her kite before the start and failed to start the final two contests.

The catastrophe put her down the order to leave in her fourth overall, leaving the door open for Natalie Flintrop-Clarke who moved up to third after she scooped up a bullet and three third places in ideal 9 to 10 kts tropical breezes on the Gulf of Beibu’s flat waters.

Russia’s Denis Taradin also made hay in the sunshine, continuing his winning ways in the men’s fleet’s six races, taking four bullets that gave him a lock on the top on the leaderboard, despite a disastrous first race when he crashed and could only manage eleventh.

The championship’s youngest racer, 12-year-old Max Maeder (SNG), looks ever faster and landed a bullet, a second and third-placed finishes that left him just adrift of the top five, comfortable in sixth overall.

The fourth of the scheduled six-day regatta offered the best of the so-far slightly stuttering conditions that enabled International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) race officers to get six races away each for the men’s and women’s fleets.

Many of the athletes are going not only for glory in the Asians championships, but are trying to accrue enough ranking points to allow themselves a tilt at the Formula Kite kite medals at the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in San Diego in October.

In the men’s fleet New Zealanders Sam Bullock and Lukas Walton-Keim are battling near the top of the order, hoping to land a Games’ spot. Bullock finished the day strongly in fourth overall after earning two thirds at the death, though he had seen Walton-Keim ahead take the early honours with a second and a third.

“That’s much better today,” said Walton-Keim. “I’m starting much better. A little bit of match racing there. That helped. When I’m clear I have good speed and good angles. In the last few days I was punished when I was behind a little. I’m a lot happier.”

Maeder was happy, too, with his breakthrough success on the rhomboid windward-leeward track, though his joy was tempered by the knowledge consistency is the name of the game and that the regatta still has some way to run.

“I got lucky in a few races,” he said, downplaying his finishes. “But I’m really happy. I feel I’ve been riding my new foil, so it was a process of getting used to it. I don’t want to let this carry me away. A lot can still happen and everything could change.”

Woyciechowska, 14, was similarly grounded despite finishing the day with a bullet after being a model of consistency with five successive seconds that gave her a comfortable lead at the top of the order.

“It’s OK, but I can do better,” said Woyciechowska, ruing one loss to Chen after misjudging the final, vital gybe. “That race was very sad. I just went too far and gybed too late to make the finish line. So many seconds is not so good.”

But Australia’s Natalie Flintrop-Clarke, sitting in third spot overall just behind Damasiewicz, 14, was elated with her first bullet and a trio of thirds that lifted her closer to her somewhat younger rivals. She was even able to shrug off her costly misfortune in one race when she crashed tacking while leading.

“Finally, a bullet,” said Flintrop-Clarke. “I was lucky to finish in one race. I tacked in a ‘hole’. I had real difficulty getting going again. I was lucky to finish at all. I think after finishing first in the previous race my confidence got the better of me.”

Top five men after 16 races (three discards)

1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 14pts
2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 30pts
3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 37.6pts
4 Sam Bullock (NZL) 45pts
5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 55pts

Top five women after 16 races (three discards)

1 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 22pts
2 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 32pts
3 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 41pts
4 Jingle Chen (CHN) 44pts
5 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 57pts

Source: formulakite.com

Find out all about the third day of competition in China.

IKA Report:

POLISH TEENAGERS SURGE TO TOP OF ORDER IN TOUGH CONDITIONS AT FORMULA KITE ASIANS

Polish training partners Magda Woyciechowska and Julia Damasiewicz grabbed the top spots in the standings in the women’s fleet at the Formula Kite World Championships in China in fickle breezes that got the best of most of their rivals.

The duo, both just 14, leap-frogged overnight leader, local favourite Jingle Chen (CHN), to secure the leaderboard’s first and second spots respectively in finely judged racing.

In breezes that toyed with race officials, often dipping below 6kts and rarely getting above 8kts, Woyciechowska scored two bullets from the only two races possible in the start-stop racing off Guangxi province’s Beihai city.

On day three of the scheduled six at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Asians, the men’s fleet racing separately also only managed to get in two races, with a third abandoned when the already light breeze completely died on parts of the course.

Still, Russia’s Denis Taradin had used the opening two contests to extend his points lead. Rivals in 17-strong fleet had few answers to his pace and tactical awareness that gave him healthy leads and earned him two bullets.

Many of the athletes in the 26-strong roster from 11 nations, including the Polish teenagers, hope to post sufficiently-strong performances to win enough ranking points to secure themselves a spot at the inaugural World Beach Games in San Diego where kiting will make its debut.

But first Woyciechowska and Damasiewicz had to make up for lost ground after they were obliged to retire for mistakenly sailing the wrong course on day one. Woyceichowska did that in style on day three taking wins as others failed to complete the course, finishing long before rivals—alternately Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) and Damasiewicz.

In her day’s second race she was harried by Chen and Damasiewicz all the way round the rhomboid track just off the beach. But Chen failed to ley the final top mark and put her kite down in a lull, never to recover.

“It was really really light, but it was OK,” said Woyciechowska, who revels in the light airs. “I was fighting with Jingle Chen all the way round in the second race, but then she couldn’t make the mark. I’m really happy. It’s my first international competition where I’m in the top three.”

Even though Damasiewicz stumbled in the day’s first race and failed to finish, eking out a second spot in the day’s final race earned her valuable position that kept her just ahead of Chen on the leaderboard.

“That was cool,” said Damasiewicz. “The wind is tricky here and you don’t know where it’s going. I was second in the last race and I was happy to finish. Magda’s my friend and we’re always fighting on the water. If one of us makes a mistake, the other wins. I prefer strong wind, but when it’s light she’s the hero.”

The youngest competitor Max Maeder (SNG), just 12, was equally happy. He had been second in the day’s last race, before it was abandoned. “I was second and I wanted it to go on so that I could finish it,” he said. “I was really happy I made it back to the beach without swimming. I’m certainly learning a lot in every race.”

Top five men after ten races (two discards)

1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 8pts
2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 18pts
3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 21pts
4 Sam Bullock (NZL) 25pts
5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 33pts

Top five women after ten races (two discards)

1 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 14pts
2 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 26pts
3 Jingle Chen (CHN) 27pts
4 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 28pts
5 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 39pts

Source: formulakite.com

Follow here the report from the second day of competition in China, at the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships.

CHEN THRILLS HOME FANS WITH NEAR FLAWLESS OUTING AT FORMULA KITE ASIANS IN CHINA

China’s Jingle Chen shrugged off her forgettable first foray at the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships and threw down the gauntlet to rivals with an almost perfect performance on the regatta’s second day to surge convincingly to the head of the order.

The 18-year-old scooped five bullets and a second spot in her day’s six races in ideal foiling conditions of breezes that varied from 8kts to 11kts on the flat waters off Guangxi province’s Beihai city, south-west China.

Her stellar racing when she barely put a foot wrong and had enough speed to leave the others in the women’s fleet trailing was the mirror opposite of her first day’s efforts after she was forced to retire from both races, once for following the leaders’ wrong track.

“I’m at the front today, so I have to follow my own course and that’s good for me,” she said. “The wind is much better today, perfect for my 21m kite. I’m getting good starts, which I think has helped a lot.”

Day two of the scheduled six at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Asians—sponsored by Beihai City—offered the 26 athletes from 11 nations the ideal opportunity to advance their positions in the high-octane foiling discipline.

Russia’s Denis Taradin was among those who rose to the challenge. Like Chen, after some slight misfortune on the championships’ opening day, Taradin hit his stride with four bullets in the men’s fleet’s five races.

Taradin’s superior pace on his 21m foil kite around the rhomboid windward-leeward track helped him leap up the standings as the others just behind him traded places in the scrap for the top places.

“I feel I have good speed today,” said Taradin. “In the races I won I had 10 or 15 seconds’ lead on the others. But when I came in fourth I’d rounded the top mark first, but Mario Calbucci was very close. I crashed a gybe downwind and just couldn’t get back up on terms.”

Calbucci (ITA) scooped a bullet when Taradin faltered in one race and was able to add a clutch of high-placed finishes that were enough to keep him touch with the Russian in second spot on the leaderboard with all still to play for.

“It’s good racing today,” said Calbucci. “The wind’s not too light and I had good speed. I made mistakes but got some good results, though I hit a jelly fish just before the finish in the day’s third race. I ended up fifth, but that’s how it goes.”

Overnight leader, Turkey’s Ejder Ginyol had a slightly more mixed outing and slipped to third overall. But his performance was still good enough to notch up a second and third that kept him in the hunt.

Just behind him New Zealand’s Sam Bullock, hunting points to earn a slot at the World Beach Games in San Diego in October, also found his groove and earned two seconds and a third-placed finish.

“I got behind my countryman Lukas [Walton-Kiem] in one race,” said Bullock. “I’m not used to that and I pushed really hard. I think I was able to carry that speed into the next races. I definitely went better today.”

Top five men after eight races (two discards)

1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 6pts
2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 13pts
3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 16pts
4 Sam Bullock (NZL) 17pts
5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 23pts

Top five women after eight races (two discards)

1 Jingle Chen (CHN) 7pts
2 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 12pts
3 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 14pts
4 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 21pts
5 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 24pts

Source: formulakite.com

Check here IKA report from the action of Day One in China, at the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships.

DRAMA AT FORMULA KITE ASIANS AS LEADING WOMEN DEMOTED FOR ERRORS

The four women who topped the standings at the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships found themselves dramatically pushed down the order when they were forced to retire from one race after discovering they failed to sail the proper course.

For the young Polish pair—Julia Damasiewicz and Magdalen Woyciechowska, both 14—the mistake was a rude awakening to the complexity of top-level racing. Until their withdrawal for missing a mark and failing to complete a lap in the opening day’s second race, they stood first and second with respectively.

Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) and China’s Jingle Chen conceded that they had suffered crashes on the track off south-western China’s Beihai city beach and had followed the leaders, failing to realise they too had made their own mistakes and shortened the course.

The errors handed Benyapa “Fon” Jantawan (THA) the lead, with a bemused Bilge Ozturk (TUR) close behind in second after two races in the opening skirmishes of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Asians.

But with a further five days of the Beihai City-sponsored competition and many races in the offing, any of the leading athletes should have more than enough opportunity to claw back any deficit and reassert their dominance.

The Polish duo in particular had a near perfect record of two bullets and two seconds until their demotion and looked quick around the rhomboid track in the tropical breezes of around 12kts, that dropped to around just 7kts before racing was halted in early afternoon.

Damasiewicz and Woyciechowska, like many of the men racing in a separate fleet, are hoping their placings at the regatta’s end will earn them enough points to secure a place in kiteboarding’s appearance at the inaugural World Beach Games in San Diego in October.

The men’s fleet fared slightly better, squeezing in three races. But some suffered their own misfortunes. Russia’s Denis Taradin notched up two wins, but his opening foray came to grief when he struck a large jelly fish with his hydrofoil, crashed and finished down the order, leaving him poised in fourth overall.

Turkey’s Ejder Ginyol put in a good shift, taking three second spots that were enough to give him pole position just ahead of Italy’s Mario Calbucci, who opened his campaign with a bullet.

“It’s pretty good,” said Calbucci, riding his 21m foil kite. “In the first race the wind wasn’t so gusty. The other two were very technical. The wind was shifty, left and right by as much as 25 degrees and I missed the layline two times. But I’m quite happy.”

New Zealand’s Sam Bullock sits third overall with two third-placed finishes, but accepted that Taradin’s ill-luck had given him a leg up in the day’s opening race.

“I got lucky in the first when Denis Taradin hit something,” said Bullock. “In the third race I was struggling a bit for power on my 19m. But I still managed to hang in there. To be honest I’m still suffering from jet lag a bit. But I’m looking forward to better breezes that are forecast.”

Ozturk was similarly pleased to find herself second overall, thanks to some good fortune of her own. “I had bad starts for both races. But in the second race I hit something and fell off badly. The girls ahead me just got further away really quickly. I didn’t understand why. It turned out they hadn’t sailed the proper course. You have to sail your own race sometimes and experience comes in handy.”

Top five men after three races (no discards)

1 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 6pts
2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 8pts
3 Sam Bullock (NZL) 10pts
4 Denis Taradin (RUS) 13pts
5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 14pts

Top five women after two races (no discards)

1 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 6pts
2 Bilge Ozturk (TUR) 6pts
3 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 11pts
4 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 12pts
5 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 13pts

Source: formulakite.com/

Nico Parlier and Daniela Moroz claim the 2019 Pascucci Formula Kite World tittles on Lake Garda, Italy. Check here the report.

Reigning Champions Successfully Defend Crowns at Formula Kite Worlds in Italy

France’s Nico Parlier and the US’s Daniela Moroz mounted successful defences of their titles in difficult conditions at the 2019 Pascucci Formula Kite World Championships played out on the waters of northern Italy’s stunning Lake Garda.

For 18-year-old Moroz the crown was a remarkable fourth in succession, while Parlier could bask in the glow of three back-to-back Formula Kite world titles in the face of increasingly-stiff challenges from ever-quicker fleets stacked with talent.

Moroz came into the five days of competition in a relaxed frame of mind, but was nonetheless stoked with her unbroken haul of titles against a growing women’s fleet eager to break her dominance.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said a beaming Moroz. “It was challenging and I learned a tonne. I know it’s only going to get harder from here as more girls start getting into it and begin training with more intensity. It was pretty cool racing on iconic Lake Garda for the first time, too.”

Likewise, Parlier sees that kiteboarding’s inclusion in the line-up for the 2024 Olympics in Paris has made the competition even tougher with a host of new young faces, which only serves to make his third championship victory sweeter.

“I’m really happy as I didn’t expect it much,” said Parlier. “It’s definitely getting harder. The guys are getting quicker and it’s pretty tight. I felt really fast, but many are close to me. The starts were insane with 30 in the ‘gold’ fleet. The racing was really interesting here under the cliffs.”

The championships—hosted by Campione Univela and supported by Regione Lombardia—fizzled out in slightly disappointing fashion when an icy 40kts storm blew over the track, coating the overlooking mountains with snow and preventing racing on the final day.

The opening men’s qualifying series for the 87 athletes had been shortened, too, by a lack of wind on day three, with another day given over to the first trial of the mixed team relay format to be used when kiteboarding debuts at the Olympics’ Marseilles sailing venue.

But with enough races on day one to seed the top men’s “gold” flight, the athletes and the women’s fleet had each enjoyed four pulsating races on the championship’s fourth and penultimate day.

While Parlier and Moroz had dominated the opening races, they found the competition tougher towards the close. Parlier could only manage one bullet to match his second and two third placed finishes in breathtakingly quick and close racing.

Britain’s Olly Bridge, returning after break when he seems to have recharged his batteries, took a bullet, second and fifth spots that were just enough to maintain his second place overall.

“I’m pretty happy to be honest; it’s a good result,” said Bridge. “I wasn’t expecting too much. I was riding well and making good moves in the races, so I was pretty relaxed. I felt good and I think that helped.”

Bridge just edged out fellow countryman Connor Bainbridge. He finished equal on points but lost out on count backs and took the third podium spot with what was still stellar racing in the ultra-competitive fleet.

“I’m super-happy with the result,” said Bainbridge. “I definitely wanted to be on the podium, and it’s nice to be there with Olly Bridge and Nico Parlier—two others at the top of their game. But the next stop I want is top of the podium.”

Former world champion Russia’s Elena Kalinina was equally pleased with her second podium spot, clinched in such a spectacular setting at Lake Garda against such a tough fleet.

“I liked this competition a lot, and I’m happy with my progress,” said Kalinina. “I really enjoyed this spot and racing in the girls’ fleet. It’s got so big it will definitely push the level, which makes it interesting.”

2019 Pascucci Formula Kite World Championships—Results

Men
1 Nico Parlier (FRA)
2 Olly Bridge (GBR)
3 Connor Bainbridge (GBR)

Women
1 Daniela Moroz (USA)
2 Elena Kalinina (RUS)
3 Breiana Whitehead (AUS)

Mixed KiteFoil Team Relay
1 USA (Daniela Moroz / Evan Heffernan)
2 FRA (Alexia Fancelli / Maxime Nocher)
3 RUS (Elena Kalinina / Denis Taradin)

Men U19
1 Arthur Lhez (FRA)
2 Oliver Hansen (DEN)
3 Scott Whitehead (AUS)

Women U19
1 Daniela Moroz (USA)
2 Valeria Garashenko (RUS)
3 Julia Damasiewicz (POL)

Men U16
1 Maximilian Maeder (SGP)
2 Jakub Jurkowski (POL)
3 Michal Wojciechowski (POL)

Women U16
1 Julia Damasiewicz (POL)
2 Magdalena Wojciechowska (POL)
3 Nina Arcisz (POL)

Men (Masters)
1 James Johnson (DEN)
2 Nico Landauer (URU)
3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR)

Women (Masters)
1 Steph Bridge (GBR)
2 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS)
3 Claire Durand (FRA)

Men (Grand Masters)
1 James Johnson (DEN)
2 Wilson Veloso Junior (BRA)
3 Pierluigi Capozzi (ITA)

Source: formulakite.com

The fourth day of the 2019 Pascucci Formula Kite World Championships was intense. Check IKA report below.

CHAMPIONS POISED TO RETAIN CROWNS DESPITE INTENSE PRESSURE AT KITEFOIL WORLDS

The current men’s and women’s title holders, France’s Nico Parlier and the US’s Daniela Moroz, are sitting in pole position to retain their crowns after a scintillating penultimate day of hydrofoil racing at the 2019 Pascucci Formula Kite Worlds fought out in Italy.

But the pair both stumbled in several races under stiff challenges from ever-faster kitefoil rivals. The slips blotted their previously-perfect records at the world championships being contested on Lago di Garda with its breath-taking mountain backcloth.

In near-perfect foiling conditions, in breezes that built during the afternoon from 6kts to around 11kts, Britain’s returning Olly Bridge picked up a bullet and a second in his day’s four races to leave him second overall.

It was an audacious move that landed him the vital win in his day’s final race. He gybed early on the last downwind leg and surged past Parlier and fellow countryman Connor Bainbridge as they were preoccupied battling one another for the lead.

Yet Bainbridge was still able to hold the third spot overall that he had begun the day with, courtesy of a hard-fought bullet, a second and third placed finishes in what he admitted was fastest and toughest kitefoil fleet ever assembled.

For Moroz, still just 18 and tilting at her fourth successive Formula Kite World title, her day was slightly mixed when she opened with two second placed finishes, losing out to Russia’s Elena Kalinina, 21, in each case.

The former world champion inflicted fatal damage on her US rival when she twice opted for a gutsy port-tack start to give her the advantage of the better pressure and “lift” under the spectacular cliffs on the right side of the track.

In the first instance Kalinina made the bold move stick when she was able to pass ahead of the 30-strong women’s fleet and cruised to victory after two high-octane laps of the trapezoid course.

But the second time she tried the same manoeuvre, she lost the advantage and had to duck behind the fleet at the start line. Still, the advantage on the right side of the course earned her a hundreds-of-metres lead and she was able to hold off Moroz’s relentless pace, winning by a whisker after a drag-race to the line and a photo-finish.

The uncharacteristic defeats lit a fire under Moroz and she translated that anger into two convincing wins in her day’s final two races in the five days of competition at the Campione Univela-hosted Worlds—supported by Regione Lombardia.

After the opening four-race qualifying series that was disrupted by storms off Campione del Garda, the 87 men were seeded in “gold”, “silver” and “bronze” flights, while the women battled in their own separate series.

Parlier carried a slight points advantage in the closing two days’ finals’ series, but was all too aware that Bridge and Bainbridge were breathing down down his neck and the slightest slip could cost dearly.

Bainbridge immediately put down a marker with a well-earned win in day four’s opening race and kept up the pressure. But he, too, faltered when he placed 11th in his day’s second race, though he was able to discard the score.

“It was great,” said Bainbridge. “That’s the hardest fleet ever in hydrofoil. It was so tight and I got pushed out to the side in one race and it put me down the order. It just feels faster and everyone is closer than ever. Olly Bridge has been out for four months and come back with a vengeance which is great to see.”

Bridge himself was more circumspect, but pleased with his lightning pace and the move that secured him victory over his closest rivals in the last race.

“Everyone’s doing really well now,” said Bridge. “Before I came here I hadn’t really concentrated or trained, so I didn’t come with any expectations. But I’m still going well, which I’m happy with.”

Kalinina, too, was pleased to have finally stolen a march on Moroz, but was under no illusions that she needed all her experience to outwit her rival’s undoubtedly superior pace.

“Daniela Moroz is just faster than me, so I had to do something, like catch a big wind shift by going to the right of the course,” said Kalinina. “It was fun racing and I’m happy to use some tactics and strategy. That’s when it becomes more challenging. It’s great.”

2019 Formula Kite Worlds top five men after four Final Serries races (two carry forward, one discard)

1 Nico Parlier (FRA) 8.0pts
2 Olly Bridge (GBR) 12.0pts
3 Connor Bainbridge (GBR) 12.0pts
4 Théo de Ramecourt (FRA) 16.0pts
5 Toni Vodisek (SLO) 29.0pts

2019 Formula Kite Worlds top five women after seven races (two discards)

1 Daniela Moroz (USA) 5.0pts
2 Elena Kalinina (RUS) 8.0pts
3 Breiana Whitehead (AUS) 19.0pts
4 Kirstyn O’Brien (USA) 23.0pts
5 Alexia Fancelli (FRA) 23.0pts

Source: formulakite.com

Here is IKA report from Day Two of the 2019 Pascucci Formula Kite World Championships.

NOVEL MIXED KITEFOIL RELAY TESTER FOR OLYMPICS DEBUT PROVES A HIT

A special test event to trial the new mixed relay race format that will be used when kiteboarding makes its historic debut at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games saw the US’s reigning Formula Kite world champion Daniela Moroz and partner Evan Heffernan top the standings.

But the pair edged out France’s Alexia Fancelli and former world champion Maxime Nocher by just one point in a day of thrillingly close race action on northern Italy’s breath-taking Lago di Garda on the sidelines of the 2019 Pascucci Formula Kite World Championships.

With all the world’s fastest kiteboarders gathered to contest the world championships—hosted by Campione Univela and supported by Regione Lombardia—most who could muster a mixed team joined the trial for which one day was set aside.

The crop of former world champions teamed with their fellow countrymen added to the drama and intensity of the nail-biting format, with Russia’s Elena Kalinina and highly-ranked Denis Taradin taking the third place overall.

In the case of Britain’s multiple former world champion Steph Bridge, she teamed up with middle son Guy, the current European Formula Kite champion. Despite their top-notch pedigree, they could only place seventh.

The novel round-robin format involves the man and the woman racing one lap each of the track against half the 22 teams, with the added complexity of a “flying” handover when the second team member begins their lap just as the other finishes.

It certainly spiced up the action when stronger team members handed big leads to their weaker partners, or vice versa, only to see them slip back, or charge to the head of the order. The result was a far greater shuffling of the order than is common even in kitefoil racing.

The adoption of the new mixed team relay format—which will no doubt be refined until 2024—was necessary after kiteboarding was allocated one Olympic medal, coupled with a stipulation that there should be gender parity in the event.

Nonetheless, the prospect of Olympics inclusion has spurred national sailing federations to pour unprecedented resources into kiteboarding in the quest for coveted medals.

The 2019 World Championships off Campione del Garda can already boast the biggest foiling fleet ever assembled, with 87 men and 30 women from 29 countries. But many nations like Britain, France, Poland and China also have funded coaches on the water for their many young racers.

Steph Bridge, long a supporter of kiteboarding’s Olympics inclusion, was sold on the mixed relay format even after a chilly afternoon on the water when ten near back-to-back races were contested.

“I enjoyed it,” said Bridge. “Of course it’s frustrating if you’re winning and the other person doesn’t do well. But that brings teamwork to the sport, which is something new and very welcome.”

Russian Denis Taradin, lucky enough to partner Elena Kalinina, is another convert. “Hands down I’m in love with this new discipline,” he said. “It completely changes the dynamic. I’ve long raced with the guys, but to put girls in the mix changes everything. It’s really, really fun.”

Evan Heffernan had the added pressure of teaming with Daniela Moroz and crossing the line early to earn a disqualification, squandering the lead she handed him in their first race. But with a discard, the pair were able to claw back the overall win.

“This format’s pretty cool,” he said. “The changeovers were very smooth, though we could do better. And perhaps the races could be a little longer, so that they’re more tactical and enable you to make up for mistakes. But it was great fun.”

Top five Mixed Relay Teams after five round-robin flights (one discard)

1 USA (Daniela Moroz / Evan Heffernan) 6pts
2 FRA (Alexia Fancelli / Maxime Nocher) 7pts
3 RUS (Elena Kalinina / Denis Taradin) 7pts
4 GER (Leonie Meyer / Florian Gruber) 9pts
5 POL (Julia Damasiewicz / Jakub Jurkowski) 10pts

2019 Formula Kite Worlds top five men after four races (one discard)

1 Nico Parlier (FRA) 3.0pts
2 Olly Bridge (GBR) 4.0pts
3 Connor Bainbridge (GBR) 4.0pts
4 Théo de Ramecourt (FRA) 5.0pts
5 Maxime Nocher (FRA) 5.0pts

2019 Formula Kite Worlds top five women after three races

1 Daniela Moroz (USA) 3.0pts
2 Elena Kalinina (RUS) 6.0pts
3 Breiana Whitehead (AUS) 14.0pts
4 Kirstyn O’Brien (USA) 15.0pts
5 Alexia Fancelli (FRA) 15.0pts

Source: formulakite.com

Check the IKA report from the first day of competition on Lake Garda, Italy.

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS OPEN ACCOUNTS WITH FLAWLESS RUNS AT FORMULA KITE WORLDS

Reigning kitefoil title holders France’s Nico Parlier and the US’s Daniela Moroz got the defence of their crowns off to a perfect start in stellar conditions at the Pascucci Formula Kite World Championships played out on the splendour of northern Italy’s Lake Garda.

Both dominated their respective fleets, with a delighted Parlier taking all four of his races, while Moroz left the other women in the fleet of 30 trailing far in her wake on the trapezoid course in 10kts to 12kts of breeze.

The opening exchanges of the 2019 edition of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Worlds were fought out by the athletes in the largest and fastest foiling fleet ever assembled.

The championship battles to be disputed over four days of high-octane action off Campione del Garda have drawn 87 men and 30 women from 29 nations, many spurred by the prospect of kitefoil racing making its debut at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

With such a large men’s fleet, it was divided into three seeded flights for the first of the two-day qualification series. The top of the order will ultimately fight for the crown in the closing finals’ series, while the women race in their own separate series.

Britons Olly Bridge and Connor Bainbridge, racing in the same “red” flight, had a good day on the water with each taking two bullets and two seconds to leave them second and third respectively in the overall rankings.

Equally, France’s Théo de Ramecourt opened his account racing in the “blue” flight with a pair of bullets that helped propel him to fourth spot overall. He had found himself up against former world champion Maxime Nocher (MON) and the pacy Denis Taradin (RUS).

Nocher, racing in the thermal mountain breeze that kicked-in like clockwork in early afternoon, picked up a bullet himself and sits in a comfortable fifth place overall after the total of 15 races run back-to-back at a dizzying pace.

Most of the racers quickly figured that the right of the track on the first upwind leg under the spectacular cliffs afforded a “lift” and better pressure in the slightly shifty conditions that provided scintillating foiling conditions for the athletes’ 18m and 21m kites.

Perhaps one of the day’s biggest surprises was French novice Benoit Gomez capturing the sixth spot overall, competing in the same “blue” flight as Parlier. Gomez, who cut his competition teeth in the Twin-Tip: Racing discipline, racked up two seconds and two fourths.

But it was two-time defending world champion Parlier who put down a marker showing he will be the one asking all the questions of the young pretenders to his crown, with his superior pace and tactical nous very much on display.

“The wind was pretty light—a nice thermal breeze,” said Parlier. “But it’s a super-interesting wind. It spreads the course very wide. You just had to go to the cliff—very interesting. I won the four races in my fleet, so it couldn’t be better. I’m very happy.”

Moroz was similarly pleased with her outing in the women’s three races, adopting the same strategy as Parlier in seeking the better pressure under the cliff, while gybing early to go inside on the downwind legs, on the track’s left.

“It was super nice out there,” said Moroz. “I was on my 18m kite feeling well powered, but downwind was really nice. So it’s a good start for me and I’m feeling pretty happy.”

2019 Formula Kite Worlds top five men after four races (one discard)
1 Nico Parlier (FRA) 3.0pts
2 Olly Bridge (GBR) 4.0pts
3 Connor Bainbridge (GBR) 4.0pts
4 Théo de Ramecourt (FRA) 5.0pts
5 Maxime Nocher (FRA) 5.0pts

2019 Formula Kite Worlds top five women after three races
1 Daniela Moroz (USA) 3.0pts
2 Elena Kalinina (RUS) 6.0pts
3 Breiana Whitehead (AUS) 14.0pts
4 Kirstyn O’Brien (USA) 15.0pts
5 Alexia Fancelli (FRA) 15.0pts

Source: formulakite.com