Displaying items by tag: Formula Kite

With the top fleet stacked with the world’s fastest kite racers the battles at the Formula Kite World Championships in Oman just got a lot fiercer in awesome conditions that provided a perfect stage for the riders’ supreme athleticism.

France’s Nico Parlier dominated in breezes that freshened and hovered between 9 and 11 knots for much of the day off Muscat’s Al Mouj Beach on the Gulf of Oman, framed by a dramatic mountain backdrop. 

On smooth waters, Parlier was pushed all the way by his friend and countryman Axel Mazella – who managed to overhaul his rival in race one – and Britain’s Olly Bridge. Often with just metres between them, the three had thrillingly-close finishes after high speed sub-eight minute laps of the race track.

In the women’s fleet, the reigning International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite World Champion Daniela Moroz, from the US, showed she is human after all when she missed out on winning two of today’s five races. The 16-year-old’s superiority on the leaderboard is so dominant however, that a second and third place, plus a hat-trick of wins, was enough to cement her top spot. 

The epic day at the 2017 IKA Formula Kite World Championships, hosted by Oman Sail with associate sponsor Al Mouj Muscat, was marked by fractious drama on the water when reigning IKA Formula Kite World Champion Maxime Nocher, from Monaco, collided with a number of other riders while on port tack.
The incident, the subject of a number of protest hearings in the jury room, forced the USA’s Riley Gibbs and France’s Theo Lhostis, to withdraw from racing for the rest of the day. Nocher also changed out of his wetsuit and pulled out of the fray for the remainder of the day. 

Day three of the championship saw the leading riders divided into gold, silver and bronze fleets for the two-day finals series, seeded on the basis of the opening exchanges in the qualifiers. Day five of the competition, dedicated to a medal series, will pit the top 10 men against one another for the crown and the spoils. 

On the basis of Parlier’s near-peerless day, riding on his biggest 19m kite, he would appear to be in the box seat for the title. At one time, Parlier struggled in lighter breezes that perhaps favoured lighter rivals, but he now appears to have mastery of all conditions. 

“It’s definitely been a little bit tighter today,” said Parlier. “It’s mostly between me and Axel Mazella as usual, but now that we’re competing with Olly Bridge and some other good riders, it changes everything.” 

As overnight leader, Bridge, who had been competing in a different fleet in the opening qualifying series, knew he would have his work cut out for him with the French duo in the mix. He finished in second place on the leaderboard, splitting the pair. 

“It’s definitely been more difficult today,” he said. “But I’m getting better. Nico Parlier is just very, very fast. Upwind, downwind, everywhere. But with Axel Mazella, I’m quite close, so I am happy with things.”

Live results and daily minute-by-minute reports from the racing action can be found at:www.formulakite.com

Top five men after six finals series races (one discard)
1 Nico Parlier (FRA)                 9pts
2 Olly Bridge (GBR)               15pts
3 Axel Mazella (FRA)             17pts
4 Julien Kerneur (FRA)          47pts
5 Johnny Heineken (USA)      54pts

Top three women after 17 races (three discards)
1 Daniela Moroz (USA)           15pts
2 Alexia Fancelli (FRA)           29pts
3 Elena Kalinina (RUS)           33pts

The 49er, 49erFX, Men's and Women's RS:X, Nacra 17 and Formula Kite finished their week of competition with Medal Races on the Stadium course in front of the St Kilda Sailing Precinct in a mixed day of breeze.

Last to race on Saturday, the foiling Formula Kite class had the best of the conditions, a 12-knot breeze and beautiful afternoon sunshine which produced a fantastic showcase for the class and some of the best kiteracing footage seen so far.

Oliver Bridge (GBR) took a 14-point lead into the three single-point non-discardable kite Medal Races however, in the first race things did not quite go to plan, "I wasn't at my best in the upwind and I caught something at the second windward mark and just hit the deck. Something was stuck on my foil and I couldn't get started again. It was quite annoying but I managed to catch up a couple of places."

Bridge worked his way up to fifth and a top finish in the second race would confirm him as the World Cup champion. He found his foiling feet again and won the final two races with relative ease. He concluded, "In the last two I was able to sail my own race from the front. It was difficult as there was a lot of seaweed on the course which made it hard to handle but I was able to get in front and stay there."

Florian Trittel (ESP) pushed up to second overall after a 1-2-4 scoreline. This relegated Guy Bridge (GBR), younger brother of Oliver, to third overall.

Top 10 results Formula Kite Open:
1. Oliver Bridge (GBR) - 24 pts
2. Florian Trittel (ESP) - 40 pts
3. Guy Bridge (GBR) - 41 pts
4. Florian Gruber (GER) - 43 pts
5. Martin Dolenc (CRO) - 71 pts
6. Alejandro Climent (ESP) - 92 pts
7. Sam Bullock (NZL) - 96 pts
8. Marvin Baumeister (GER) - 110 pts
9. Mani Bisschops (AUS) - 118 pts
10. Jordan Girdis (AUS) - 126 pts

Full results:

Full World Sailing Press Release: http://www.sailing.org/news/41369.php#.WEyt6hrhBnI

Rewatch the live coverage of the Kiteboarding Medal Races here: 

Tracking replay of all races is available here: 
https://swc2016-melbourne.sapsailing.com/gwt/Home.html?#/regatta/races/:eventId=dd2edeed-b9eb-483e-b3e9-d4761d0d58d2&regattaId=SWC 2016 Melbourne - Formula Kite

Pictures of the event can be downloaded here:
Credits: Sailing Energy / World Sailing

The 2016 Sailing World Cup Final set to be held out of St. Kilda sailing precinct in Melbourne, Australia from 4-11 December will see Kiteboarders fly once again on Port Philip but this time, on foils.

The IKA Formula Kite (foil) class event will feature 20 competitors, 16 male and 4 female, the same as the Olympic events. In addition, there will be an Open Kiteracing event for riders who have not qualified for the Sailing World Cup Final. This will be open to an unlimited number of male and female competitors.

The Qualification System for Kiteboarders wanting to compete at the 2016 Sailing World Cup Final is available here -http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/onb.php

Riders who have qualified include:
• The winner of Sailing World Cup Melbourne 2015;
• The best ranked Oceanic competitor of Sailing World Cup Melbourne;
• The top 3 ranked male from the IKA Formula Kite World Championships;
• The top 3 ranked female from the IKA Formula Kite World Championships.

The remaining places will be assigned through the World Sailing Rankings -http://www.sailing.org/rankings/fleet/index.php

Invitations will be sent to qualified riders on Friday 14 October 2016.

The competition format will be fleet racing in a qualifying/final series plus medal series. New course configurations (all based on windward/leeward courses) as discussed by the IKA formats working party will be used.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016 15:42

Riders Talk Olympics Aspirations as Wind Stays Away

Light breezes tantalised racers at the Formula Kite (foil) World Champions for a second straight day, but remained stubbornly insufficient to get off any races in the women’s or men’s “gold” and “silver” fleets.

In the absence of action, the 60 riders for 19 countries were briefed on the status of kiting’s bid for a slot in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and voiced concerns over some possible strategies apparently unfolding.

Markus Schwendtner, International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) CEO, outlined the possible pathway to an Olympics berth and the potential pitfalls that could lie in the way.

Key among the elite racers’ fears is that the Neil Pryde group — Cabrinha’s parent company — is attempting to establish a “one design” CR:X class with its convertible low performance foil and twin-tip board, and tube kite, in the hope of establishing a “class” and offering if for Olympics inclusion.

Riders were told that in line with their wishes, the IKA’s favoured option is to hold a “beauty contest” of leading high-performance hydrofoils and kites, choosing one of each eligible for mass production two-and-a-half years out from the Olympics as a one design model to be used in the Olympic Games and it’s qualifier events, so all athletes could train and compete on the same equipment while keeping the costs for World Sailing MNAs (National Sailing Associations) low.

Outside the Olympic pathway events, development of foils and kites would continue apace as normal to ensure equipment keeps going forward and does not become quickly dated and outmoded.

If kiting jumped the hurdles, any equipment could ultimately be chosen by the equipment and events committees of World Sailing (WS), kiting’s governing body under the International Olympic Committee (IOC), possibly in May next year.

But first comes the thorny issue of inclusion. WS is under pressure from the IOC to include kiting in its line-up (and to achieve gender equality), but is not able to increase the 10 medals available, which means that some creative work needs to be done with regard to the events of the current classes to get kiting into the Olympics.

WS is due to discuss its plans for the medals line-up at its annual conference in Barcelona in November, which will give a strong indication as to kiting’s prospects. A final decision will be taken at a WS special assembly in February by delegates from Member National Authorities (MNA).

A decision to include kiting would then have to be agreed by the IOC in June.

Most of the racers are extremely keen to see kiting win an Olympics slot, and were comfortable with the plan outlined. But they were anxious to get the message out that concerned kiters needed to push and educate their own country’s MNA delegates on the kiting’s merits, and stressed the desirability IKA should launch its own sophisticated media and PR drive to ensure success.

Similarly, the brands represented, Flysurfer and particularly Ozone, were alarmed at the prospect of one company cornering the Olympic market.

Neil Pryde has IOC connections as the maker of windsurfing’s RS:X class, and industry rivals and riders alike fear it could use their new CR:X one design hybrid class as a bridgehead to be chosen for the 2020 Games.

MEN Overall standings after five races (one discard):

1 Nico Parlier (FRA, Ozone/Mike’s Lab) — 4pts
2 Riccardo Leccese (ITA, Ozone/Mike’s Lab) — 5pts
3 Maxime Nocher (MON, F-One/Banga) — 8pts

WOMEN Overall standings after four races (one discard):

1 Daniela Moroz (USA, Ozone/Mike’s Lab) — 4pts
2 Elena Kalinina (RUS, Elf/Banga) — 8pts
3 Steph Bridge (GBR, Flysurfer/Levitaz) —16pts

Full results men:http://formulakite.com/images/documents/2016FormulaKiteWorldsOverallMen.pdf
Full results women:http://formulakite.com/images/documents/2016FormulaKiteWorldsOverallWomen.pdf

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