Posts Tagged ‘racers’

The action continues in China at the KiteFoil World Series in Weifang Binhai. Check IKA report.

WAFER THIN MARGINS DIVIDE LEADING KITEFOIL RACERS AT WORLD SERIES IN CHINA

Little separates the leading pack at the head of the order at the KiteFoil World Series in Weifang Binhai, north-east China, after another day of scintillating racing where the top athletes traded high-placed finishes.

Just two points lie between the top three men after 11 high-octane races at the half-way point of the four-day competition being played out on the Yellow Sea off Shandong Province.

With 2019 World Series’ tour leader, Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek, 19, claiming three bullets from the second day’s six races, it appeared he could steal a march on the leading trio, before some misfortune and a couple of mixed performances left him in fourth spot overall.

France’s former multiple world champion, Maxime Nocher, just held his lead in the standings with four remarkably consistent second-placed finishes in breezes that began the day averaging 15kts, gusting to 18kts, before easing back to 9kts.

Another former world champion, Germany’s Florian Gruber, retained his second spot by a whisker with an impressive outing that racked up two bullets, a third and three fourth places, a performance that proved his prototype Levitaz race foil has the pace to match the Mike’s Lab Bullet foils under the feet of most of the leading athletes.

France’s Axel Mazella, also just one point adrift, closed out the leading trio. His day was a model of consistency with scores that included a bullet, two seconds and two thirds in the increasingly-tight and ever-quicker kitefoil fleet.

The early promise of strong winds fuelled by a typhoon skirting the windward-leeward track failed to materialise, but the breezes that prompted many of the competitors to eventually put up their largest 21m kites were more than enough to foster searingly-quick racing.

The Weifang Binhai World Series’ regatta—with its €60,000 prize purse—is the first of back-to-back tour stops in China, ahead of the climactic finale on the Italian resort island of Sardinia next month when the best overall riders will be crowned KiteFoil world champions.

Reigning KiteFoil title holder, the US’s Kirstyn O’Brien, one of 15 women racing among the 35-strong mixed fleet from 15 nations, has shown growing pace and consistency in Weifang to the point where she currently sits between Formula Kite world champion, Daniela Moroz (USA) and former title holder, Russia’s Elena Kalinina, on the leaderboard.

“The competition here in this fleet is great,” said O’Brien. “Now everyone is closer together all the way round the course. That’s why I like racing with the guys. You have others close by to measure yourself against. It helps a lot that I’ve been training with some guys in the Dominican Republic, rather than on my own in the US.”

Mazella, sitting in third spot overall, was also happier with his improved performance on day two that kept him hot on the heels of the leaders, though like the others he was looking over his shoulder at the charge of Vodisek in fourth overall.

“After the first day everyone was super-close,” said Mazella. “And again today it will be tight on points. But I feel I’m going better today. I made better starts for sure, which helped a lot. As the wind got lighter, if you had a poor start, there was just no way to make a comeback. I was pretty consistent.”

Top five overall after 11 races (two discards)

1 Maxime Nocher (FRA) 23pts
2 Florian Gruber (GER) 24pts
3 Axel Mazella (FRA) 25pts
4 Toni Vodisek (SLO) 34pts
5 Connor Bainbridge (GBR) 42pts

Top five women after 11 races (two discards)

1 Daniela Moroz (USA) 89pts
2 Kirstyn O’Brien (USA) 154pts
3 Elena Kalinina (RUS) 160pts
4 Ellie Aldridge (GBR) 183pts
5 Maddy Anderson (GBR) 220pts

Full results:www.kitefoilworldseries.com/results

Source: http://kitefoilgoldcup.com

The 2019 edition of the KiteFoil World Series has already started in China. Check IKA report below.

IKA Report:

TOP KITEFOIL RACERS PLAY LEADERBOARD SNAKES AND LADDERS AT WORLD SERIES IN CHINA

The opening skirmishes at the Weifang Binhai stop of the KiteFoil World Series in north-eastern China saw the leading contenders play Snakes and Ladders as they traded places at the top of the order in stellar conditions.

But when the dust settled, France’s multiple former world champion, Maxime Nocher, riding his own Flymaax brand kites, topped the standings with a solid tally of scores that included a bullet, a second and third-placed finishes in breezes that built from 7kts to 13kts.

Former world champion, Germany’s Florian Gruber, also opened his account at the second of the four-stop “open” kitefoil tour with an assured bullet and a second that were enough to secure him second spot overall in the standings.

Four-time female Formula Kite world champion, the US’s Daniela Moroz, in the 15-strong women’s fleet racing among the men, finished day one in Shandong province’s Weifang in ninth overall, partly thanks to a remarkable third in the second race.

The first of four days’ competition at the opening of back-to-back World Series’ China stops got off to an unpromising start with stubbornly light airs, but they eventually filled perfectly to allow the race director to squeeze in five high-intensity races.

The second stop following the opening act in Gizzeria, Italy, in July, is sponsored by the Weifang Binhai Tourism Group, whose ambition for the region is reflected in the total prize purse of €60,000, by far the richest in kiteboarding.

The rich pickings have drawn most of the world’s fastest kiteboarders—35 athletes from 15 countries worldwide—eager to battle on the Yellow Sea’s smooth waters. Among their number is a clutch of reigning and former world champions, and the tour’s current leader, 19-year-old Slovenian Toni Vodisek, who triumphed spectacularly in Italy.

Yet his Weifang campaign got off to a faltering start before he found his groove, rounding out the day with two wins that left him fifth overall. He complained cheerfully that his opening races had been marred when his foil, like the other athletes, had struck fish.

“In the first three races I hit things in the water and it cost me, putting me down the order a bit,” said Vodisek. “In the last two races everything was the same, but I didn’t hit anything, that was the difference. So I guess I’m ‘two-fifths’ happy.”

Second-placed Gruber encountered his share of fish too, but his opening win and second-placed finish were enough to put him on track for a good result if he can repeat the feat over the coming three days of competition.

“I hit a lot of fish,” said Gruber. “They were even jumping out of the water. But I had a good start to the day with a bullet. And when the wind got stronger towards the close I felt more confident. I’m super-happy. Good start. Let’s push for the next days.”

Leader Nocher also crashed a couple of costly times, courtesy of the fish, he believes. But his speed and consistent scores were sufficient to give him the top spot, though he knows all is still to play for.

“I’m quite happy about my day,” said Nocher. “My kites are going well. Perhaps I don’t have quite the angles of the others. But I’m going fast and my VMG is good. I’m quite happy about the start.”

A beaming Moroz, still 18, was also delighted with her day and the third-placed finish among the men in the ever-faster and more competitive foiling fleet.

“The third—I’ve no idea where that came from,” said Moroz. “I was so stoked. I’d rounded the first top mark in the lead, but Maxime Nocher got ahead by the bottom mark. Still, afterwards the guys were all asking which way I’d gone? I said I wasn’t telling them, as they never tell when they beat me.”

Top five overall after five races (one discard)

1 Maxime Nocher (FRA) 10pts
2 Florian Gruber (GER) 13pts
3 Axel Mazella (FRA) 14pts
4 Nico Parlier (FRA) 14pts
5 Toni Vodisek (SLO) 20pts

Top five women after five races (one discard)

1 Daniela Moroz (USA) 34pts
2 Kirstyn O’Brien (USA) 63pts
3 Elena Kalinina (RUS) 73pts
4 Ellie Aldridge (GBR) 83pts
5 Valeria Garashchenko (RUS) 91pts

Full results:www.kitefoilworldseries.com/results

Source: http://kitefoilgoldcup.com/

The quickest kitefoil racers are ready for the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships, taking place in Beihai, China.

Check IKA report:

ASIA’S FASTEST KITEFOIL RACERS SQUARE OFF IN FIGHT FOR CONTINENTAL TITLE AND WORLD BEACH GAMES’ SPOTS

The quickest kitefoil racers in Asia are set to battle for the continental crown in a week of enthralling action on the smooth waters off the south-western Chinese beach city of Beihai.

The continent’s finest athletes will be pushed hard by a sprinkling of international kitefoil racers who have made the journey to fight for glory on Guangxi province’s Beibu Gulf.

Many of the racers hope their endeavours over six days of competition at the 2019 Formula Kite Asia Championships will be enough to land them a coveted spot in the lineup at October’s inaugural World Beach Games in San Diego, organised by the Association of National Olympic Committees.

Inevitably China is well represented at the Asian championships, sponsored by the City of Beihai, with eight athletes among the 26-strong field from 11 nations around the region and the world, who will likely face light tropical breezes.

Among Team China’s racers vying to secure a Beach Games spot, where the Formula Kite format limits athletes to series production hydrofoils and kites, Jingle Chen and Hao Ran Zhang are favourites to come out on top.

Chen has already tasted the thrill of Olympic competition when she represented China in the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TwinTip: Racing (TT:R) slalom competition at the Youth Games in Buenos Aires last October.

With a team-mate she will be competing in the Formula Kite mixed team relay format to be used when kiteboarding makes its historic debut at the Paris 2024 Olympics’ Marseille venue.

Part of the Asian championship regatta will be given over to testing the mixed relay format, where teams of one man and one woman each race one lap of the track, conducting a “flying” handover. It is only the format’s second trial, following the groundbreaking first outing at the Formula Kite Worlds in Italy last month.

The prospect of a slot at the Beach Games and looking further forward to the Olympics has drawn an ever-younger fleet who will hit their peak by the time the Games roll around.

Max Maeder (SNG), just 12, and Qibin Huang (CHN), 13, are closely followed by two Polish girls, Julia Damasiewicz and Magdalena Woyciechowska, both 14. Each girl could earn a Beach Games spot if they can finish in the top half of the women’s fleet in the championships.

In the men’s fleet, which will race separately, highly-ranked Russia’s Denis Taradin must be odds on favourite to come out on top, though Italy’s Mario Calbucci will no doubt give him a run or his money.

Source: formulakite.com/

Here is the video highlights of Day 2 at the 2018 TT:R World Championships. Check it out.

Catch a glimpse of the Olympic dreams of the boys from 26 nations and the girls from 14 nations fighting for the remaining 4 spots each for the Youth Olympic Games. From tomorrow it’s going to be full on!

The appeal of the relatively new kiteboarding discipline of TwinTip:Racing (TT:R) Slalom for young athletes is underscored by the number of competitors who have travelled from all over the globe to battle for the Youth World titles in China.

The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TT:R Slalom World Championships—which also doubles as the final qualification event for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Argentina—sees 23 nations fighting for four spots in the boys’ division and 14 nations going after another four in the girls’ group on the tropical island of Hainan.

For the 62 athletes all born between 2000 and 2003 the chance to land the remaining spots to compete for kiteboarding’s inaugural medals in Buenos Aires in October was an irresistible opportunity.

The downwind TT:R slalom/boardercross format specially-developed for YOG to foster easy accessibility for young kiteboarders is proving a perfect springboard to high-end kite hydrofoil kiteracing competition among the athletes who have caught the racing bug.

But on the second of five scheduled days of racing at the Youth Worlds the onshore breeze again failed to blow with sufficient consistency to allow any racing. But the forecast breezes for the closing three days appear good.

For most of the competitors who flocked to the YOG regional qualifiers in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, Dakhla, Morocco, and Pranburi, Thailand, the TT:R Slalom discipline was their first taste of racing.

The vast majority of the athletes come from a freestyle kiting background—some like Christian Tio (PHI) and Adeuri Corniel (DOM) at the highest levels—and were surprised by the thrill of competing in races.

Part of the draw is that the equipment they must use, four registered series production inflatable “tube” kites, and one production twin-tip board, is familiar to every kiteboarder over the world.

The high-octane downwind TT:R slalom/boardercross format races that are run in as little as 10kts breeze was developed to optimise the performance of the “tube” kites and twin-tip boards, with the added drama and spectacle of obstacles to be jumped to showcase kiteboarding’s unique qualities.

The 10-strong Italian team’s coach, Simone Vannucci, has seen a sea-change in the young kiteboarders who have been under his guidance for more than a year.

“I absolutely believe this style of racing is a pathway to high-end kite hydrofoil racing,” said Vannucci. “I’ve seen the proof with my own kids. Some are already looking to the next step, and some have hydrofoils.”

For Vannucci, the key to the format’s success in attracting so many young competitors was the choice of equipment that was easy to use, accessible, affordable and familiar.

“I think the winning aspect of this class was selecting the equipment that was totally familiar to the kids,” he said. “It was the only way to get them out from the beach and teach them some sailing and to get them on to kitefoiling. It was guaranteed this was the best way to do it.

“In doing so we taught them competitiveness. I see in their eyes the desire to compete. Once they catch the bug they’re hooked. My point is that if we want to create new kite hydrofoil sailors, the only way is to look for them in kiting because it requires such good kite handling skills.”

Connor Bainbridge, the British team’s coach, was skeptical at first that TT:R would act as a springboard. But the top kitefoil racer, with long experience in windsurfing and sailing, has been converted by what he has seen.

“I wasn’t a believer before, but what I’ve seen here and over the last year convinced me it’s a great pathway to high performance racing,” he said. “The simple equipment and accessibility make it ideal.”

Now, all involved are looking for the future when they hope kite hydrofoil racing will be included in the medals line-up for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 when the young TT:R competitors have graduated.

Full results, all elimination series results, and live scoring will be available atwww.twintipracing.com

Most of the globe’s quickest young kiteboarders have gathered on China’s tropical Hainan island for an intriguing showdown to fight for the final spots to compete at the upcoming Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Argentina.

The coveted TwinTip: Racing (TT:R) Slalom Youth World Championship titles to be fought out over the next five days of intense action will also serve as the stage for the YOG qualifiers, with four slots each available for boys and girls all under 19.

Twelve of the total of 24 places at the youth games in Buenos Aires in October have already been allocated at three International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) qualifiers in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, Dakhla, Morocco, and Pranburi, Thailand.

But with so many strong boys and girls still looking for a YOG berth to contest the inaugural kiteboarding medals after just missing out in their continental regional qualifiers, the world’s fastest have made the journey to Bo’ao’s Asia Bay to bid for spots.

Thirty-eight boys and 24 girls from 32 countries and all six continents will battle in the TT:R format of spectacular downwind slalom races specially-developed for the YOG to best showcase the sheer exhilaration of kiting.

Scores of six or eight-person heats run over five downwind legs that last barely three scintillating minutes sort the quickest sailors. When the wind permits, metre-high obstacles to be jumped are laid on the third and fourth legs, adding to the drama and lending a boardercross feel.

Yet the beauty of the format is its accessibility. The competitors, all born between 2000 and 2003, must use registered production inflatable “tube” kites and registered twin-tip boards similar to the equipment used by most kiteboarders.

In the girls’ division China’s Jingle Chen, the reigning IKA TT:R Open World Champion will be up against the TT:R Youth World Champion, Italy’s Sofia Tomasoni. Both have already secured YOG slots but are looking to land the prized world title while honing their skills in the still-embryonic discipline.

Both will be pushed all the way by the current European TT:R Youth Champion, Spain’s Nina Font Castells and Germany’s Alina Kornelli But others in the strong Italian, French and Spanish teams will certainly be in the hunt for the Olympics places too.

Similarly, the boys’ TT:R fleet is the strongest assembled this year. Antigua and Barbuda’s Tiger Tyson and Mani Bisschops of Australia have already qualified, but are eager to measure their pace against the world’s fastest while hoping to bag the world title in the process.

France’s Benoit Gomez and Croatia’s Martin Dolenc, the European TT:R Open Champion, both missed out on Olympics places in Dakhla and will be hoping to put matters right in Asia Bay over the coming days.

But, as with the girls, the contests will be fierce. Freestyle star Adeuri Corniel (DOM) and the Cameron Maramenides (USA) were pipped in the North American qualifiers, while Thailand’s Sarun “Nai” Rupchom also came within a whisker of taking a YOG place at the Asia qualifiers.

The scene was set for the what is bound to be thrilling action on the water in the days ahead with a glittering opening ceremony overlooking the race track at Bo’ao’s Asia Bay Resort.

Full results, all elimination series results, and live scoring will be available atwww.twintipracing.com