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2016 IKA KiteFoil Gold Cup Italy – Day Four

High Drama at Thrilling Climax of KiteFoil World Championships’ First Act French teenager Axel Mazella snatched victory at the KiteFoil GoldCup by the finest of margins after a series misfortunes and mistakes on the contest’s final day that saw his overnight lead evaporate in the tightest races of the world championships’ opening tour stop in Italy. But the 18-year-old’s performances in the “gold” fleet’s six races were just enough to pip his great rival and training partner, reigning Formula kite world champion Maxime Nocher, by a single point. Mazella’s victory was assured only at the death. A tangle with Olly Bridge (GBR) in the “gold” fleet’s penultimate race cost both riders dearly. Bridge’s kite inverted as he pushed hard on an upwind leg and Mazella was unable to avoid it, forcing Bridge to retire while Mazella finished last after disentangling himself. Both were able to dispense with the poor result when discards kicked-in after five races. But for 18-year-old Bridge — who scored four bullets and a second on the day with sizzling pace on his Levitaz foil and Elf Joker kites — the slip may have cost him at least one podium spot, though ultimately he was content with …

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2016 IKA KiteFoil Gold Cup Italy – Day Three

French Teenager Almost Flawless at KiteFoil World Championships The young French rider Axel Mazella showed his class and growing pace at the KiteFoil GoldCup with a string of bullets on a day when all the top racers found themselves competing in the same fleet for the first time. Mazella used his Taaroa Sword2 foil and F-one Diablo2 kite to clinical effect taking three wins from the “gold” fleet’s four races, with even a misstep in the day’s final race when he posted fifth, failing to prevent him topping the leaderboard. For the most part in the difficult gusty and shifty conditions with large waves on the track off Hang Loose Beach, Gizzeria, in southern Italy, he seemed to have the measure of his old foe Maxime Nocher (MON), the reigning International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil GoldCup champion. The Italian-Colombian kite racing veteran Riccardo Leccese also seemed to have few answers to the French teenager’s scorching pace, though the four third places he snatched from four races earned him a solid second place in the standings just ahead of Nocher. Racers, who were divided into three fleets for the medals series on day three of the IKA kitefoil world championships’ opening …

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2016 IKA KiteFoil Gold Cup Italy – Day Two

Former Title Holder Gruber Revels in Tricky Conditions at KiteFoil World Championships Opener Germany’s Florian Gruber shrugged off the mixed bag of weather that played havoc with the racing schedule at the KiteFoil GoldCup in Italy to snatch a flawless two victories from two races. In a break-neck dash for the line in his day’s final race the former Formula kite world champion crashed spectacularly just as he crossed to see off rival, reigning International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil GoldCup title holder, Maxime Nocher (MON). It was the second time of the day the invariably imperious Nocher had just lost out to Gruber, who feels he is finding his a winning grove on his prototype Flysurfer Sonic foil kites and Levitaz Aspect Bionic hydrofoil in the shifty and gusty conditions that mirror his home training spot. Day two of the four-day competition, the first of a four-stop world tour, began with light on-shore breezes that built quickly to allow the three fleets out on the track off Gizzeria’s Hang Loose Beach on their biggest 15m and 18m kites. But after three races, one for each fleet, racing was suspended with the approach of squalls that swirled around the Calabrian hills …

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2016 IKA KiteFoil Gold Cup Italy – Day One

Gusty Winds and Tough Conditions Test Racers’ Mettle at KiteFoil World Championships Act 1 Margins separating the world’s leading kitefoilers are extremely fine. Reigning European and KiteFoil GoldCup champion, Monegasque rider Maxime Nocher, almost had a perfect day but was literally pipped at the post. Florian Trittel (ESP) just overhauled Nocher on a searing reach to the finish on their last race of the day, but in doing so the Spaniard caught a mark line with his foil and was catapulted off his board. Still, it was enough to secure a win and deprive Nocher of five bullets from five races. French rider Axel Mazella and Italian Riccardo Leccese, competing in the other two of three race fleets on day one of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil GoldCup at Gizzeria, southern Italy, suffered no similar misfortunes. Each racked up five wins in their respective fleets to leave them equal top in the standings. By dint of Nocher’s second place finish, which was dispensed with when discards kicked-in after five races, he found himself in third position but remained equal in the day’s overall points’ standings. On the track off Hang Loose Beach, in the shadow of dramatic Calabrian hills, …

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2016 IKA KiteFoil Gold Cup Italy – Day One

Gusty Winds and Tough Conditions Test Racers’ Mettle at KiteFoil World Championships Act 1 Margins separating the world’s leading kitefoilers are extremely fine. Reigning European and KiteFoil GoldCup champion, Monegasque rider Maxime Nocher, almost had a perfect day but was literally pipped at the post. Florian Trittel (ESP) just overhauled Nocher on a searing reach to the finish on their last race of the day, but in doing so the Spaniard caught a mark line with his foil and was catapulted off his board. Still, it was enough to secure a win and deprive Nocher of five bullets from five races. French rider Axel Mazella and Italian Riccardo Leccese, competing in the other two of three race fleets on day one of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil GoldCup at Gizzeria, southern Italy, suffered no similar misfortunes. Each racked up five wins in their respective fleets to leave them equal top in the standings. By dint of Nocher’s second place finish, which was dispensed with when discards kicked-in after five races, he found himself in third position but remained equal in the day’s overall points’ standings. On the track off Hang Loose Beach, in the shadow of dramatic Calabrian hills, …

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