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KiteFoil World Series Austria 2023

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KiteFoil World Series Austria 2023

Postby Toby » Thu Oct 05, 2023 12:05 am

IKA News:

KiteFoil World Series Austria 2023


ika.jpg

Kitefoilers ready for freshwater challenge in Austria

Riders are ready for four days of freshwater competition on Lake Traunsee where they're about to start competing in KiteFoil World Series Austria.

Wednesday's breeze picked up for some good training sessions on the 12km-long lake near Salzburg, although even women’s World Champion Lauriane Nolot went for a swim in her early session. “It was getting pretty light and I went for a tack and then didn’t quite manage to stay up. But I didn't get a RIB ride back to the shore, so my professional pride is intact,” grinned the French rider who has enjoyed such a dominant season so far. “Anyway, it’s nice to wash the salt water out of the kite. I had a good swim, the kite is clean, so mission accomplished!”

Nolot has been taking a bit of time away from competition after winning her first world title in The Hague a couple of months ago. “I have been walking in the Alps with my parents, enjoying some holiday, drinking some beer, and it’s been good to take a bit of time out but now I’m really looking forward to getting back on the board and on the race course here in Traunsee.”

Recently turned 17, the men’s World Champion Max Maeder is freshly returned from China where the Singaporean superstar won gold at the Asian Games. “It was great to represent Singapore at the event, and an honour to compete there. Now it’s good to be back in Europe, back with my friends and competitors on the circuit and looking forward to racing again at Traunsee.”

Last year Maeder finished runner-up to his training partner Martin Dolenc who has now qualified to compete for Croatia at next year’s Olympic Games. Local fans will be watching out for Valentin Bontus who hit the highest point of his career with a fourth place at the World Championships and is looking forward to showing what he can do on his home waters in Austria.

While Nolot will start as favourite in the women, last year’s event on Traunsee was won by former World Champion and current Youth World Champion, Julia Damasiewicz from Poland. One of the challenges of competing on the lake is keeping foiling when the wind starts to disappear. Damasiewicz proved the master of such tough conditions in last year’s event and she could yet prove the threat to Nolot who missed out on the podium in 2022.

Racing is scheduled to begin at midday on Thursday 5 October, and the event reaches its climax on Sunday 8 October. The final two days of competition will be live streamed this Saturday and Sunday.



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Re: KiteFoil World Series Austria 2023

Postby Toby » Fri Oct 06, 2023 1:38 am

Return of the Traunsee King

HIGHLIGHTS
- Three opening heats in 6 to 9 knot soft breeze
- Martin Dolenc leads overall and looks comfortable on Traunsee
- Breiana Whitehead is the top placed female rider
- Lauriane Nolot learns the lesson of ‘instant karma’

ika.jpg

After three light-air races on day one of KiteFoil World Series Austria, Martin Dolenc opened his scoresheet with a strong defence of last year’s victory on Lake Traunsee. “We call him the Traunsee King,” said Swiss rider Karl Maeder of his Croatian friend and rival.

There is a particular style of riding and racing that is required for the soft and mysterious breeze at the southern end of the Austrian Lake, and Dolenc does appear to be the master while others struggle with the conditions.

Chased hard in the first two heats by his training partner, the reigning World Champion Max Maeder from Singapore, Dolenc always looked in control and took two winner’s guns. In the third race it was Jannis Maus of Germany who leapt to the front, with Maeder again in second and Dolenc across the line in third but still leading overall.

Even Dolenc himself can’t quite identify the winning ingredient. “I don’t think it’s speed, but obviously it doesn’t hurt,” said the Croatian. “Really I think it’s that I read the course really well, and I made some good decisions about when to tack.”

On such a short two-lap race course where the races lasted around seven to eight minutes, every decision had to be spot on if you were going to make it around the course in good shape. Aside from Dolenc’s solid performance it was a good outing for the Maeder brothers with 17-year-old Max currently in second and 15-year-old Karl in fifth. Sandwiched between the brothers in third and fourth respectively are Denis Taradin of Cyprus and local talent Valentin Bontus of Austria.

The women were racing off the same start line as the men and like Dolenc, last year’s winner Julia Damasiewicz is feeling happy to be back on the tricky waters of Traunsee. “I feel really comfortable, I like it a lot and after winning here last year the place has happy memories for me,” said the Polish rider whose 2022 victory in Traunsee marked the first time that USA six-time World Champion Daniela Moroz had been beaten in competition for six years.

“That was like a huge deal. I was so impressed with myself and I will always remember it as a really good memory. It gives you confidence on days like today. It was good fun racing with the boys too, but it’s very difficult on the start line because they are faster and then you are fighting to keep clean air on your kite. So I am tacking away on to port earlier than I would do normally.”

While Damasiewicz had a very good day in the women’s fleet, Australia’s Breiana Whitehead did even better. She sits in ninth overall in the combined rankings and is the top placed female rider, a remarkable achievement considering this is her first time visiting Traunsee. “I really wanted to keep looking for the best bits of [wind] pressure, moving from one bit to the next, trying to keep good pressure on the foil,” said Whitehead, keen to avoid the pitfalls of sinking into the water or even letting the kite drop out of the sky.

This was easier said than done, even for the best in the world like Lauriane Nolot. “I am hurting,” grinned the new women’s World Champion from France. “I need to remember how to race again,” she said, reflecting on a well-earned holiday away from kiting and competition. Nolot is deliberately not taking the competition too seriously, so she’s unfazed by only being fourth best in the women’s fleet.

At one point she laughed at her friend’s failure to complete a tack as British rider Sam Dickinson crashed into the water. Five seconds later Nolot committed the same error. Crashed and burned. “I learned not to laugh at other people when they screw up,” she giggled. “I learned the lesson of bad karma, instant karma!”

Racing is scheduled to continue at 1300 hours on Friday with the Medal Series set to take place on Sunday 8 October. The final two days of competition will be live streamed this Saturday and Sunday.

by event reporter Andy Rice

RESULTS MEN
1. Martin Dolenc CRO 5.0
2. Maximilian Maeder SGP 10.0
3. Denis Taradin CYP 12.0

RESULTS WOMEN
1. Breiana Whitehead AUS 32.0
2. Julia Damasiewicz POL 39.0
3. Alina Kornelli AUT 40.0



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Re: KiteFoil World Series Austria 2023

Postby Toby » Sat Oct 07, 2023 1:43 am

Gruber rediscovers the Flo State

HIGHLIGHTS

- Six back-to-back races in 8 to 14 knot breeze and bright blue skies
- Max Maeder and Flo Gruber tied at the top
- But only 1 point between the top four men
- Lauriane Nolot closes to 2 points of top female rider Breiana Whitehead

ika.jpg

“If you want the win, you need to grab the pin,” said Denis Taradin, with just the hint of a grin. The Cypriot sailor prevailed with a vital victory in the last of six short, sharp races on day two of KiteFoil World Series Austria.

He was being pushed hard all the way by Max Maeder from Singapore until the 17-year-old crashed on the final slalom gybe turn. “I heard the crash, looked back and saw the splash as Max hit the water,” said Taradin who is excited about the two days of racing yet to come on the picturesque lake near Salzburg.

“Just 1 point separating the top four riders,” Taradin observed. “Everything is up for grabs and it’s hard to say if I can win because we are all so close in these flat-water conditions.” For Taradin, winning the left-hand of the start line - the pin end - was the key to success across the finish line. Which is why all the frontrunners were beginning to congregate at the same spot on the busy start line.

The race wins went four different ways, with first blood going to Flo Gruber from Germany, another win for yellow bib wearer Martin Dolenc from Croatia, two wins for Maeder and the last two wins of the day going to Taradin. Despite his last-gasp crash in the final race, Maeder leads the overall standings although on equal points with Gruber who moved up to second place after a phenomenally consistent day. “Today I tried to do my thing, not focus on the others,” said Gruber.

“The racing was so tight, it was hard not to do any mistakes. But I really enjoyed it. The last three events have been not that good for me, I struggled to do well on the scoreboard, so now I’m happy to have some good race days. Here I wanted to show up and have a good time, and my family is here today.

“My girlfriend really supports me, she knows how to handle the kites and prepare the equipment, so I’m already super lucky and very happy. I’m turning 30 this year, it’s not so easy anymore but it’s great to race against the young riders like Max. It’s nice to see them growing up and doing well. But I’m keen for the fight and we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the days here.”

Lauriane Nolot enjoyed racing off the same start line as the men and the French rider had a very successful day on the water, despite a tangle with two other riders at the pin end of the start line. “I was a minute late starting in that race after one of the riders hit the mark and got caught up with us, but it was a really fun day on the water,” said the reigning women’s World Champion who has now closed to within two points of the top female rider on the scoreboard, Australia’s Breiana Whitehead.

Like the leading men, Whitehead was favouring the left-hand of the start line. “I was choosing the pin end most of the time but I wanted to try a few different things so it was a good day to test other options,” said Whitehead who is enjoying the battle with Nolot. “She’s really fast and it’s nice to be competing against her in these conditions.”

Another big name from the kitefoiling world here in Traunsee is Theo de Ramecourt, the 2021 World Champion from France who is sitting out this competition but using Traunsee as a testing ground for a new design of kite from Flysurfer. Flo Gruber is another Flysurfer rider who’s using the Kitefoil World Series Austria to test the latest designs.

They’re not legal for Formula Kite competition, although that’s the point of the Kitefoil World Series, not just to provide great racing but to give the fleet an opportunity to test new equipment before the next four-year Olympic cycle leading up to Los Angeles 2028. It’s all part of the ever-evolving sport of kitefoil racing.

Racing is scheduled to continue at midday on Saturday, and the racing will be livestreamed online for fans to watch the action from all around the world.

by event reporter Andy Rice

RESULTS MEN
1. Maximilian Maeder SGP 16.0
2. Flo Gruber GER 16.0
3. Martin Dolenc CRO 17.0

RESULTS WOMEN
1. Breiana Whitehead AUS 68.0
2. Lauriane Nolot FRA 70.0
3. Alina Kornelli AUT 95.0



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Re: KiteFoil World Series Austria 2023

Postby Toby » Sat Oct 07, 2023 7:15 pm


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Re: KiteFoil World Series Austria 2023

Postby Toby » Sun Oct 08, 2023 2:06 am

A Chicken called Nugget

HIGHLIGHTS
- World Champion Lauriane Nolot has a chicken called Nugget
- The growing ambition of Karl Maeder
- Wet ’n Dry ‘hair flick’ competition [men only]
- It was a slow news day, with lack of wind meaning no racing on Traunsee
- Lauriane Nolot has another chicken called Brochette

ika.jpg

The top of the fleet is steeling itself for a Medal Series showdown on Sunday after a no-race day on day three KiteFoil World Series Austria. Occasionally the breeze wafted in across the southern reaches of Lake Traunsee, but never established itself sufficiently for reliable racing conditions.

No day is ever wasted in the kitefoiling community however, with some of the boys engaging in a hair-flicking contest in both the dry and the wet categories. While Germany’s Jannis Maus was the champion of the dry flick, the coordinated team hair flick of Orangeman [aka Italian rider Simone Romano], along with his Polish sidekicks Jan Koszowski and Jakub Balewicz made them joint champions of the wet category.

The 15-year-old Karl Maeder is enjoying one of the best competitions of his kiting career, the Swiss rider sitting in 7th place just three points back from Maus who recently qualified Germany for a place at the Olympic Games next summer. Maeder had been hoping to race today and overtake Maus in the standings. The lack of racing meant he didn’t get his opportunity, which means Maeder will go up against three other riders in 8th, 9th and 10th places from the opening series in a one-race repechage round.

The repechage is part of a new experiment to trial an alternative format for the Medal Series. The four-rider Final remains unchanged, but how the riders progress to that Final is what has been streamlined. It’s a more quick-fire elimination process which will demand the riders are at the top of their game if they’re to join the top two who have already qualified their places in the four-rider. That’s Max Maeder [Karl’s brother and reigning World Champion] who wears the yellow bib and takes through two wins into the Final, and second placed Flo Gruber from Germany who will wear the blue bib and starts the Final with one race win. Similarly in the women, Breiana Whitehead from Australia goes through as top seed while women’s World Champion Lauriane Nolot goes through in second.

Nolot revealed today that she has two chickens whose names, Nugget and Brochette, suggest they might one day end up on the barbecue. But Nolot insists that will never happen.

The Medal Series is scheduled to start at midday on Sunday, and the racing will be livestreamed online for fans to cheer their favourites on to victory in Traunsee.

RESULTS MEN
1. Maximilian Maeder SGP 16.0
2. Flo Gruber GER 16.0
3. Martin Dolenc CRO 17.0

RESULTS WOMEN
1. Breiana Whitehead AUS 68.0
2. Lauriane Nolot FRA 70.0
3. Alina Kornelli AUT 95.0

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Re: KiteFoil World Series Austria 2023

Postby Toby » Sun Oct 08, 2023 2:59 pm

Today’s livestream



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Re: KiteFoil World Series Austria 2023

Postby Toby » Sun Oct 08, 2023 9:05 pm

Nolot & Maeder prevail in Traunsee's toughest test

HIGHLIGHTS

- A very start-stop-start kind of day with wildly variable wind on the lake
- Dramatic Medal Series for the men
- Max Maeder ends up winning gold in the men
- Lauriane Nolot seals gold in the women
- The bandwagon moves immediately to Sardinia for Kitefoil World Series Cagliari

ika.jpg

A gusty, whirlwind final day of KiteFoil World Series Austria tested the riders to the limits of their physical and emotional abilities. After a frenetic Medal Series with a new knockout format, the four-rider final saw Max Maeder take gold in the men’s fleet. In the women Lauriane Nolot won two straight races in the final to overtake yellow bib wearer Breiana Whitehead and take gold.

This means the two reigning Formula Kite World Champions prevailed in the ever-changing mountain wind of Traunsee which never stayed the same for more than a minute. Selecting kite size was harder than ever, although the medium-size 15 square metre ended up being the most successful compromise.

Maeder and Nolot showed their class to beat some ambitious international competition to the top step of the podium. The six-race day on Friday was the highlight of the four-day competition, and it was the day that Maeder managed to rise to the top of the rankings, displacing his friend and training partner Martin Dolenc from Croatia for the yellow bib. “I have used this week to find out how far I could push my speed in difficult conditions without crashing, and I did crash in the last race that day, but mostly the approach worked well for me,” said Maeder. “It was hard to be consistent this week, and working my way out of difficult positions both tactically and strategically, that was the challenge of this week and that’s what I’m most pleased about.”

Taking the other places on the men’s podium were Flo Gruber of Germany in silver, the best result so far this year for the kiting veteran and multiple world champion, and Denis Taradin of Cyprus in bronze. After working together for exactly 10 years, Alexei Chibizov set Taradin a regatta target of ‘no crashing’. The Cypriot rider has crashed every regatta for the past decade but this was the event where he managed to stay on the foil when all around him others were falling off theirs, so mission accomplished for the Cypriot rider.

Nolot won here two years ago but slipped to seventh in 2022 when the winds were very light. Although she didn’t particularly enjoy last year’s event she returned this year with a different attitude. “I have realised I need to learn to enjoy racing in the light conditions because in Marseille for the Olympics we will need to be ready for anything and you can’t afford to go into any race with a bad attitude about the wind conditions. Here we had leaves in the water and I thought I was going to crash on one of the downwinds today with leaves stuck to my foil but I held on and it’s nice to win again after taking a break from competition. It’s really nice to be back and I’m looking forward to Cagliari next week.”

After a really strong performance in the lighter winds earlier in the week, Whitehead couldn’t quite hold on to Nolot but the Australian still sailed brilliantly for silver and last year’s Traunsee winner Julia Damasiewicz took bronze for Poland.

It was an action-packed day from start to finish. One of the stand-out performers who rose from 10th to 6th overall was Jan Koszowski, the Polish rider seizing his chances in the new-format Medal Series and winning the repechage round. Sam Dickinson of Great Britain had a tough day on the water which only got worse as he was about to step off a rib on to a wooden pontoon only to lose his footing. Still clutching his wet kite in his arms, Dickinson fell awkwardly between the boat and the pontoon and into the water, dislocating his shoulder in the process. A quick trip in the ambulance to the nearest hospital and the British rider’s shoulder was successfully relocated and he was back to the venue in time to receive his 8th place medal at the closing ceremony.

Traunsee always serves up the most challenging of kiting conditions but the riders love coming back here year after year. There is almost zero time for rest and recuperation as the roadshow moves on to Kitefoil World Series Cagliari in the south of Sardinia, with racing set to begin this Thursday, 12 October.

by event reporter Andy Rice

RESULTS MEN
1. Maximilian Maeder SGP Gold
2. Flo Gruber GER Silver
3. Denis Taradin CYP Bronze

RESULTS WOMEN
1. Lauriane Nolot FRA Gold
2. Breiana Whitehead AUS Silver
3. Julia Damasiewicz POL Bronze




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