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Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

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Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

Postby Toby » Wed Oct 11, 2023 9:59 pm

IKA News:

Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023


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Poetto Paradise: Kiters return to one of their favourite beaches

The world’s fastest kiteboarders are launching their kites in Cagliari in the south of Sardinia for Kitefoil World Series Italy. Taking place from 11 to 15 October, the international riders love competing out of Poetto Beach on the south coast of the spectacular Italian island in the Mediterranean. Even so late in the European season the air temperature will be in the high 20s Celsius and the water still warm enough for riding in a shorty wetsuit.

A year ago this was the venue for the Formula Kite World Championships but the difference with a Kitefoil World Series event is there are fewer restrictions on equipment choice. Some will be trialling prototype kites and foil sets while others will want to build up their level of experience and familiarity for the gear they’ll be using at next summer’s Olympic Regatta in Marseille.

With 46 entries from 19 countries and five continents this is a truly international fleet of Olympic aspirants, as well as few who are here for the sheer thrill of flying along at over 30 knots in spectacular summery conditions in mid-October.

With some of the riders fresh from the freshwater challenge of Kitefoil World Series Traunsee in the mountains of Austria, expect to see a strong performance from the medallists who prevailed at the end of a difficult final day of competition on Sunday. Max Maeder narrowly missed out in winning the Worlds in Cagliari a year ago but the 17-year-old from Singapore has enjoyed a stellar season in 2023 and his victory in Traunsee confirms his status as favourite for the title in Sardinia.

Close behind Maeder in Austria was Flo Gruber, the German kiteboarding legend who will be hoping that his silver medal performance means his fortunes are on the up again. After a below-par performance at other recent events, the 29-year-old appeared to be back to his best in Traunsee. It will be interesting to see if he can carry his good form across from the gusty, freshwater demands of Austria to the steadier salt-water conditions in Cagliari.

Maeder was absent from the recent European Championship in Portsmouth, UK, as he was otherwise engaged in China winning a gold medal for Singapore at the Asian Games. Meanwhile Italy’s Riccardo Pianosi won his first senior European title in Portsmouth and Cagliari will be a chance to see if this life-changing victory has given the 18-year-old the confidence for Pianosi to get the better of Maeder who so often has beaten the Italian to the top step of the podium at youth level. There’s little doubt Pianosi is closing the gap on Maeder but will it be enough to turn the tables on home waters? And Italy’s other leading kiter, Lorenzo Boschetti, will be keen to show what he can do in front of a home crowd.

Others who are operating at the top of their game include Denis Taradin of Cyprus and Martin Dolenc of Croatia. There are a few whose stars are on the rise, potential dragon slayers such as Jan Koszowski of Poland who finished 6th in Austria and Max Maeder’s 15-year-old brother Karl who is also discovering a new level of consistency and determination.

Lauriane Nolot finished runner-up at last year’s women’s Worlds in Caglari but with Daniela Moroz of the USA taking time out from kiting for a few months, Nolot will be the clear favourite to take the title this year. Although she started slowly in Traunsee, the French rider overtook Australia’s Breiana Whitehead on the final day to grab gold.

On the bigger open water courses of Sardinia Nolot’s upwind speed advantage will be even more valuable. Whitehead finished with Austrian silver and the Australian is definitely getting better with every event. Julia Damasiewicz will be leading the charge from the Polish squad and Switzerland's Elena Langwiler will also be in the running for a place on the podium.

Competition begins on Thursday 12 October with the Opening Series qualification and culminates in the Medal Series showdown on Sunday 15 October. The final two days of racing will be livestreamed and available to watch from anywhere with an internet connection.

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Re: Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

Postby Toby » Fri Oct 13, 2023 12:48 am

Double-bullet Boschetti gets the measure of Maeder

HIGHLIGHTS
- Four races in 7 to 12 knots of wind gets the event off to a good start
- Boschetti and Maeder matched on points at the top
- Breiana Whitehead narrowly leads the women
- Port-tack starters reap the rewards of their high-risk approach

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Lorenzo Boschetti was fast out of the blocks on day one of Kitefoil World Series Italy in Sardinia. The Italian rider won the first of four races in an afternoon session where the fleet was racing out of Poetto Beach near Cagliari in about 7 to 9 knots of wind. Reigning World Champion Max Maeder from Singapore took the winner’s gun in the next heat but Boschetti bounced back with a win in the next.

The wind built slightly throughout the afternoon until late in the day when it dropped light for the last lap of the fourth and final race of the session. Having started out on the biggest 23 square metre kite Boschetti had changed down to a 15 square metre while Maeder hedged his bets with a more powerful 21 square metre.

Closing in on the finish the wind dropped below 5 knots and Boschetti was still leading but struggling to make it across the line cleanly. “I was gybing, gybing, trying to keep the speed going but the power was going from my kite and Max was catching me. In the end he beat me across the line but overall a pretty good day.”

Maeder admitted he couldn’t have foreseen the breeze softening as much as he did, and acknowledged his good fortune in having chosen the bigger kite to help him across the finish to take his second win of the day. “I couldn’t have known the wind would drop so much so I was lucky to have the 21 rather than Lorenzo’s 15,” said Maeder. “But Lorenzo was very good at the starts, tacking off early at the committee boat and getting out to the right-hand side which had slightly stronger wind and a bit of a lift up to the top mark.”

Bearing in the mind the benefits of getting out to the right-hand side of the course, a few riders took their chances with the bold port tack start option. Cameron Maramenides of Greece and Jannis Maus of Germany got cleanly away out of the start of race two, crossing the rest of the fleet and launching themselves into an early lead. Although they were later caught by Maeder, Maus overtook Maramenides on the final reach to take second across the finish with the Greek flying across in third.

It had been a risk worth taking, according to Maramenides who keeps on improving and draws closer to the possibility of qualifying Greece for next year’s Olympic Games. “Crossing the fleet on a port tack start is a different feeling, it’s amazing,” he smiled. “It’s definitely a risky move and it doesn’t always work but that one was great.” He sits in 10th overall, one place behind his rival port-tack starter Maus in 9th.

The points are very close in the women’s competition. Just as a week ago Breiana Whitehead took the early lead at the previous event in the circuit, Kitefoil World Series Traunsee in Austria, so the Australian is making the early running in Sardinia. However the fast-learning Swiss rider Elena Lengwiler is also going strong, sitting just two points behind Whitehead.

Like Boschetti and many others, Lengwiler struggled with the final 50 metres to the finish line of the last race. “The wind was dying which we noticed on the last downwind. There was no pressure, and around the finish there was no wind, so I was trying everything to cross the finish line gybing four times, pumping, pumping. But I didn’t realise I had done so well on the results until I came ashore, so I’m happy with how things have gone today.”

Just as a week ago in Traunsee, reigning World Champion Lauriane Nolot endured a difficult start to the regatta but was still grinning her trademark grin on the beach. She was trying a few different things than usual, including a 23 square metre kite rather than her standard big kite, the 21. “I tried the 23 today but it was pretty windy and I couldn’t hold on to it, so at the end of the race came back to change for the 15.

“But then my line broke at the top mark,” Nolot continued, “and I was swimming, came back with the boat. I was happy with my speed, top 10 or 15 in the fleet, but I crashed at the top mark in the third race, and I had been in front of Jannis until then. So a lot of things went wrong but we have two days and then the medal series on Sunday so a lot can change.”

Competition continues on Friday with racing due to start at 1400 hours. The final two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday will be live streamed and available to watch online.

by event reporter Andy Rice

RESULTS MEN
1. Maximilian Maeder SGP 4.0 pts
2. Lorenzo Boschetti ITA 4.0 pts
3. Martin Dolenz CRO 12.0 pts

RESULTS WOMEN
1. Breiana Whitehead AUS 68.0 pts
2. Elena Lengwiler SUI 70.0 pts
3. Lauriane Nolot FRA 73.0 pts

FULL RESULTS
https://kitefoilworldseries.com/2023cagliari

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Re: Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

Postby Toby » Fri Oct 13, 2023 12:50 am


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Re: Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

Postby Toby » Fri Oct 13, 2023 7:50 pm

Maramenides takes a seat at the top table

HIGHLIGHTS
- Four races in 9 to 13 knots of southerly wind and blue skies
- Maeder and Boschetti’s duel continues at the front of the men’s fleet
- Lauriane Nolot overtakes Breiana Whitehead in the women
- Cameron Maramenides is the surprise package of the day, climbing to fourth

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© IKA media / Robert Hajduk: Cameron Maramenides leading the last race

Friday the 13th turned out to be full of fortune for the top seeds on day two of Kitefoil World Series Italy in Sardinia. Racing in 9 to 13 knots of southerly wind and unblemished blue skies, French Formula Kite World Champion Lauriane Nolot was first woman in all four races to take the lead from Breiana Whitehead of Australia. Elena Lengwiler continues to impress with her rapid progress as a relative newcomer to the sport, the Swiss rider sitting in third overall after eight races.

The close duel between Max Maeder and Lorenzo Boschetti continued in the men, with the Singaporean 17-year-old narrowly taking three race wins from the four races and the Italian taking the other. Despite the difference in wins, Boschetti is only two points behind Maeder in the overall standings. Martin Dolenc is the most consistently daring starter, the Croatian always pushing the line for maximum advantage yet very rarely picking up any start line disqualifications.

Dolenc continues to hold third place but the young Greek rider Cameron Maramenides is showing growing potential to take on the big boys at their own game. Like the Croatian, Maramenides has been brave with his starting strategy, securing a brilliant port tack start across the fleet on day one and getting three out of four very strong starts on starboard on day two.

Earlier in the day Boschetti had won the pin end of the line in the third race of the session and led from start to finish, taking the winner’s gun. Having seen what worked, Maramenides made sure it was his turn to take pole position out of the start line of the last race of the day.

The Greek put the hammer down and was fast out of the blocks and led until the top of the final windward leg. “I saw the guys coming in pretty hot and there was a pack of them stacked up on starboard and instead of just going below them all, I tacked below Max. I knew that he was in a little bit of a better position so I just tried to point high before the mark, so I could get a really good rounding. I thought I did enough but, you know, Max just always ends up pulling something out of the bag to shock everybody.”

Even if Maramenides is still in awe of Maeder’s Midas touch on the race course, today’s performance certainly marks another step forward for the Greek who only started campaigning seriously in kitefoiling a year ago. He has yet to make it to the top 10 of a major event for the final-day Medal Series, but now lying in fourth in Cagliari, that prospect is starting to look very real for Maramenides. “An old tennis coach told me, ‘Keep your eyes on the prize, and it will despite,” so we’re not gonna think about the final until that time comes. We need to focus on the process and see where it takes us.”

Meanwhile Maeder remains humble whenever he’s asked to analyse his ongoing success. A recovery from 8th place at the halfway point of the final race, and then to climb through to first by the finish was remarkable even for a rider of Maeder’s rare calibre. “A couple of things went right for it to happen, some fortunate circumstances for me. I was first to go out to the right side of the course on the last windward leg after it worked out well for the riders on the first upwind. Then my training partner Martin [Dolenz] caught a plastic bag on this foil, and the rest going too far left on the course, along with a combination of some lucky moments, a touchdown from Lorenzo, a tight layline from Cameron, and things worked out for me.”

While other riders appear to be getting the measure of Maeder on certain points of the course, the mature Singaporean knows that the key to success in all forms of sailing is to be consistent across all conditions. “It’s about playing the averages,” said Maeder. “A lot of riders are really strong in particular conditions and wind strengths but you need to be competitive in everything.”

With the men and women racing in one combined fleet off one busy start line, the women have a new set of road blocks to contend with, not least trying to keep clear air in all the traffic. Breiana Whitehead explained: “I’m finding the starts pretty challenging, just finding a spot and then getting good acceleration.

“Once I get off the start line I’ve got decent speed and I’m generally OK around the course. It’s funny how with all the boys on the course we girls all end up together in the same part of the fleet. It’s like there’s a magnet pulling us back together.”

Competition continues on Saturday with racing due to start at 1400 hours. Four concluding races for the Opening Series are scheduled, with the riders looking to qualify for a place in the Medal Series on Sunday. Racing on Saturday and Sunday will be live streamed and available to watch online.

by event reporter Andy Rice

RESULTS MEN
1. Maximilian Maeder SGP 7.0 pts
2. Lorenzo Boschetti ITA 9.0 pts
3. Martin Dolenz CRO 22.0 pts

RESULTS WOMEN
1. Lauriane Nolot FRA 119.0 pts
2. Breiana Whitehead AUS 139.0 pts
3. Elena Lengwiler SUI 148.0 pts

FULL RESULTS
https://kitefoilworldseries.com/2023cagliari

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Re: Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

Postby Toby » Fri Oct 13, 2023 7:57 pm


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Re: Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

Postby Toby » Sat Oct 14, 2023 1:53 pm

Todays livestream


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Re: Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

Postby Toby » Sat Oct 14, 2023 10:11 pm

Race wins for Damasiewicz & Pescetto before Medal Day

HIGHLIGHTS
- Two races in light, fickle southerly wind of 5 to 8 knots
- Race wins for female riders Julia Damasiewicz and Maggie Pescetto
- Nolot and Whitehead book their spots in the women’s final
- Maeder wins two more races and even tries a port-tack start

Places in the men’s final for Maeder and Boschetti
Light winds brought some different faces to the front of the fleet on day three of Kitefoil World Series Italy in Sardinia. Racing in light, fickle southerly wind of 5 to 8 knots, the key was to get up on the foils and stay on the foils at all possible costs.

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© IKA media / Robert Hajduk: Sofia Tomasoni came in behind Damasiewicz in Race 9

Four races were on the schedule to complete the Opening Series and to decide who would be among the top 10 men and women to contest the final day’s Medal Series this Sunday afternoon.

France’s Maxime Nocher made a great start to the first race of the session, correctly predicting that the right-hand side of the course would bring slightly stronger wind and a better angle to the top mark. Nocher rounded in front of Max Maeder of Singapore and held the lead for the first lap. However there was no holding back the superior straight-line speed of Maeder who was confident enough to shadow Nocher up the second windward leg and sail about a knot faster through the water to take the lead before the top mark second time around.

While Nocher closed the gap again on the lead on the final downwind, Maeder kept the hammer down to reach across the finish line at almost 30 knots in just 7 knots of wind, with Nocher crossing in second and the fast-closing Lorenzo Boschetti in third.

In the women, Julia Damasiewicz of Poland led across the finish line for the first time this week ahead of Sofia Tomasoni, the Italian pressing hard all the way to the chequered flag as she successfully fought to hold on to second place in a photo-finish against Lauriane Nolot of France.

By the end of the first race the fleet had clued into the right-hand side of the course being the stronger bet. Max Maeder elected for a port-hand start, a rare decision for the usually more conservative starboard starter. He was one of about seven or eight riders who decided to go for it and risk gunning across the front of the starboard pack. It worked out beautifully for the merry band of risk-takers and actually Maeder later explained why he didn’t see it as such a brave move. “I figured there would be a lot of people lining up to try and start at the committee boat and they’d all be slowing each other up, so it seemed like a good opportunity to go for the port tack approach.”

For someone so young as 17 and the fact that Maeder has no background in conventional sailboat racing, he always reads the tactical and strategic options so well. His younger brother Karl, aged 15 and representing Switzerland, also went for the port-tack start and did it best of all. “I thought he might have been a UFD [disqualified for starting too early] but if it was a clear start for everybody then Karl did a very good start,” said Max.

It didn’t take long for Max Maeder to exert his boat speed advantage upwind and he led around the top mark and was never challenged by another rider. The greater threat came from the vanishing breeze as the fleet approached the finish line on a beam reach. As the wind collapsed, so kites started to flutter helplessly towards the azure sea. Maeder wished he’d spent more time practising his pump foiling skills as he fought to get his board across the finish.

While Max and Karl Maeder were among those who did manage to scrape across the line in time, others were unable to keep their kites in the sky or their boards above the surface. There were so many downed kites strewn across the finish line that it was barely possible for the rest of the fleet to find a way through the carnage of soggy kite cloth.

Through all the melée the Italians were among the most successful in scoring a finish. Recently crowned Formula Kite European Champion Riccardo Pianosi scored his best finish, a second place behind Maeder and just ahead of the impressively consistent Lorenzo Boschetti. Flo Gruber of Germany showed all his years of experience on the board to record two 4th places from the day and moves to fifth overall.

It was yet another Italian who won her first women’s race in that difficult finish, Maggie Pescetto’s victory moving her up to third overall behind Breiana Whitehead of Australia in second and Lauriane Nolot still holding the yellow bib despite a sub-par day on the water.

With the breeze refusing to settle down for the rest of the afternoon, it was impossible to complete the final two races of the Opening Series. This means Maeder and Boschetti will progress to the men’s four-board Final on Sunday afternoon, while the same is true in the women’s Final for Nolot and Whitehead.
It was a day to celebrate for Kai Calder of the USA who booked his place in the Medal Series in 10th place. It’s Calder’s first time in the Medal Series shootout, and also for 10th placed Karolina Jankowska of Poland. All the more remarkable is that Jankowska is just 13 years old but about to compete against some of the best in the world.

For Calder, Jankowskia and the rest of the top 10 men and women, they will have to be at their best to break through the knockout rounds if they’re to grab one of the remaining places in the Final.

Competition concludes on Sunday afternoon with racing due to start at 1400 hours. All the highs and lows of the Medal Series will be live streamed and available to watch online.

by event reporter Andy Rice

RESULTS MEN
1. Maximilian Maeder SGP 9.0 pts
2. Lorenzo Boschetti ITA 15.0 pts
3. Martin Dolenz CRO 40.0 pts

RESULTS WOMEN
1. Lauriane Nolot FRA 164.0 pts
2. Breiana Whitehead AUS 192.0 pts
3. Maggie Pescetto ITA 208.0 pts

FULL RESULTS
https://kitefoilworldseries.com/2023cagliari

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Re: Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

Postby Toby » Sat Oct 14, 2023 10:58 pm


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Re: Kitefoil World Series Italy 2023

Postby Toby » Mon Oct 16, 2023 10:06 pm

Nolot & Maeder scrap their way to success in Sardinia

HIGHLIGHTS

- Winds of wildly different strengths and directions for the Medal Series
- Julia Damasiewicz & Denis Taradin battle their way to bronze medals
- Nolot and Maeder triumph again, a week after victory in Austria
- Kitefoil World Series set to conclude with big prizemoney climax in China

Kitefoil World Series Italy reached a crescendo of drama as the top 10 men and women contested the new Medal Series format in the south of Sardinia. Ultimately the pre-event favourites, Max Maeder and Lauriane Nolot, prevailed to win gold in the men's and women's events, although there were plenty of twists and turns along the way.

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All day long the thermal sea breeze was fighting a battle with the stronger offshore Mistral breeze, which made it very hard to set a fair race course. It also made it very difficult for the riders and their caddies to choose the right kite for the ever-changing conditions.

The day's competition started with the knockout rounds of a new Medal Series format that was trialled at Kitefoil World Series Traunsee a week earlier in Austria. But this would be the first time both the men and women would contest the knockout format which involves a series of four-rider knockout races, where the first two finishers progress to the next stage while the last two are eliminated from the competition.

To break out of the Repechage, through to the Quarter-Final, the Semi-Final and to the four-rider Final would demand great consistency and ability to deliver under pressure. Yet one man and one woman were able to do exactly that. Denis Taradin of Cyprus and Julia Damasiewicz of Poland are two individuals that probably shouldn't have found themselves so far down the running order in the first place, but neither rider had sailed particularly well by their usual standards during the Opening Series with 45 boards on one busy start line.

However the four-rider race course is a different game that is more speed oriented with a different emphasis on tactics. The port-tack start, for example, can be a strong move on a more open race course. With the wind constantly changing in wind strength and direction, it was a tense afternoon on Poetto Beach which possibly played into the hands of experienced kiteboarders like Taradin and Damasiewicz.

It was a marvel to see the Cypriot and Polish riders muscle their way through one round and into the next, and eventually into their respective Finals. Similarly the other qualifiers to the Finals had their own stories to tell. Cameron Maramenides has been a revelation this week, the Greek rider showing that he can take on the best in the world and give them a good run for their money despite his lack of experience.

Sofia Tomasoni managed to sail through from third to first place in the blink of an eye on the final downwind leg of her Semi-Final to take her place alongside
Damasiewicz and the two who had qualified from the Opening Series - Nolot and Breiana Whitehead of Australia.

In the first race of the women's Final, Damasiewicz decided she was going to do her own thing as she started on port and blasted out to the right-hand side of the course while Nolot, Whitehead and Tomasoni raced out to sea on the left. When they came back together at the top mark the Polish rider was well ahead of her rivals.

However, the irrepressible Nolot just has that extra click of pace, particularly on the upwind leg. On the second lap the French rider exerted her superior pace and height to overtake the Polish pretender. So Nolot won the race, won the championship and celebrated another victory in a hugely successful season for the French favourite. Whitehead took her second silver in two weeks and bronze for Damasiewicz.

In the men's Final it didn't take long for Maeder to establish an early advantage. Lorenzo Boschetti of Italy along with Taradin were always pushing the Singaporean hard all the way to the finish but it wasn't enough to take the contest any further. Maeder won the race, won gold and said: "That feeling of winning never gets old!"

Boschetti had been in second place all week and earned a well deserved silver medal on home waters with Taradin claiming his second bronze in a week after achieving the same in Austria on the previous Sunday.

From the freshwater contest on Lake Traunsee to the salt-water showdown in Sardinia this weekend, the riders have come through two very different challenges, and now a third one awaits in late November. After two events in quick succession in Europe, the circuit moves next month to its big prizemoney conclusion in Zuhai where the 2023 Champions will be crowned at Kitefoil World Series China.

by event reporter Andy Rice

RESULTS MEN
1. Maximilian Maeder SGP Gold
2. Lorenzo Boschetti ITA Silver
3. Denis Taradin CYP Bronze

men.jpg

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

women.jpg

FULL RESULTS
https://kitefoilworldseries.com/2023cagliari


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