Wednesday, 19 July 2023 07:59


Calabria STRAORDINARIA IKA media / Robert Hajduk

After a big week of racing for the A’s YouthFoil class, Gizzeria promises to deliver glamour conditions for the Formula Kite U21 Worlds.
Strong entry with 63 boys and 23 girls from 27 countries and six continents
Last year's champions Maximilian Maeder from Singapore, and Polish rider Nina Arcisz, return to defend their titles.





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Young kitefoilers from across the globe have gathered in Gizzeria for the Formula Kite Youth World Championships taking place from the 18th to the 23rd of July. The riders will be battling it out on the crystal waters off Hang Loose Beach, one of the fleet's favourite destinations with perfect kitefoiling conditions from around midday; flat, warm water, thermic wind of 11-15 knots and warm hospitality. “We have been hosting kite racing events since 2011 and we are super happy to host the Formula Kite U21 World Championships this year at Hang Loose Beach” says Luca Valentini, owner of Hang Loose. 

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With a fantastic turnout of under-21-year-olds from 27 countries across six continents, we’ve got faces new and old, including last year's champions Maximilian Maeder (SGP) and Nina Arcisz (POL) hoping to defend their titles. Coming straight from the Olympic Test Event in Marseille, where he earned the bronze medal, Maeder says he made sure to get some rest leading up to this event. "Marseille was draining but definitely kept me in the racing mindset! There won’t be lack of action here either, the whole fleet has upgraded and improved. I’m looking forward to what this week brings”. 

Arcisz is also excited about the week, “last year I made an amazing job on the water and I’m so happy to be back. For sure it’s not gonna be easy, the girls are very strong. Gizzeria is difficult because of the high temperature but I will try my best on the water”. 

Newer kids on the block include New Zealand brothers Hugo and Toby Wigglesworth, Cuban rider Adriano Castro Ortiz, Marie Prevot from Columbia and JJ Rice all the way from Tonga, who says, “I’m really enjoying the training here so far, I’m having a great time learning and racing with everyone”

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Return of the YouthFoilers

After last week's success in the A’s YouthFoil worlds, Swiss rider Gian Andrea Stragiotti is excited to take things up a level in the Formula kite class. Other returning riders, hoping to repeat their strong performances, include the talented Carlos Espi Blat from Spain and Columbia’s up and coming Jean Paul Villegas. At just 11years old, the youngest competitor in the fleet says “I am very happy because I was 3rd in  A’s YouthFoil Under 15s category! And now it’s time for Formula Kite which is my favourite because it’s faster and it’s Olympic!”

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Level up for the girls 

After an incredible performance at the European Championships, Heloise Pegourie says “it was an amazing feeling to win the last competition, but all the girls have trained a lot in one month to become stronger and level up”. The French rider is studying Math, Physics and Chemistry at university and had her final exams this month, “I didn’t train that much because I had to study, but I’m glad I could come to Gizzeria 2 weeks early to try and get used to the heat!“

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Battle of the boys 

After some incredibly close racing at the Formula Kite Youth Europeans earlier in the year, Italy’s Riccardo Pianosi and China’s Qibin Huang are no strangers when fighting for the top spot! “I can’t wait to start this regatta. I’m ready and motivated. The level is very high as Quibin and Max are among the strongest at the senior level. It’s a youth championship, but with athletes making podiums at international competitions of Olympic class. It will be a great warm up for the [senior] world championship” said Pianosi.

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Will we see yet another podium from the experienced riders or will there be switch up in this years Youth U21 World Championships? Stay tuned this week to find out!

Last modified on Thursday, 20 July 2023 20:49
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