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Jul 18, 2016

Top KiteFoilers Stage Enthralling Show in High-Octane Racing

The world's fastest kitefoilers put a thrilling display of tight racing as they battled each other and the conditions that spanned the full gamut of possibilities for a…
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Jun 29, 2016

Globe's Fastest Kitefoil Racers Line Up For World Championship Series' Opening Salvo Just Two Weeks Away

The keenly-awaited first act of the KiteFoil GoldCup kicks off in just two weeks with the planet's leading racers honing their skills and tuning equipment in preparation for what…

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Top KiteFoilers Stage Enthralling Show in High-Octane Racing

Written by Editor on . Posted in News

The world's fastest kitefoilers put a thrilling display of tight racing as they battled each other and the conditions that spanned the full gamut of possibilities for a Mediterranean summer over four scintillating days of competition.

But in the end the talented French teenager Axel Mazella maintained his poise to grab victory by the slimmest of margins to take the opening round of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil GoldCup in southern Italy.

The 18-year-old was pushed all the way by the reigning KiteFoil GoldCup champion, Maxime Nocher (MON), and Olly Bridge (GBR), who both trailed by only a few points after a final day etched with nail-biting drama on the Hang Loose Beach track.

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Yet, a clutch of other riders had shown themselves capable of being in with a title shout right to the climax of the event that saw 45 scorching races as riders' skill levels have grown apace and equipment in the "open" kitefoil class gets ever-faster.

The Italy stop was set to be the first of four. The next event scheduled for Turkey next month seems likely to be shelved because of the political unrest, but stops are still slated for South Korea and Qatar, where the kitefoil world champion will be crowned in November.

On the opening two days of competition the 62 racers from 26 nations were seeded by rankings into three fleets for the qualifying series. But the riders found themselves fighting the uncharacteristically strong, shifty and gusty winds as much as each other.

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In the course of tight action on the azure windward-leeward track framed by the Calabrian hills' olive groves, several new faces emerged. Italian Mario Calbucci, 19, riding a Banga foil, posted a strong showing, while Titouan Galea (FRA), a relative new-comer from New Caledonia, also proved he was a force to be reckoned with.

Yet when the fleets were reorganised into the medals series' "gold", "silver" and "bronze" fleets for the concluding two days, the conditions again threw a curve ball. A vicious shore-break that race officials feared posed a risk to riders delayed the action until mid-afternoon.

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It was in the "gold" fleet's opening four races up against the leading riders that Mazella demonstrated his sheer sizzling speed and consistency, taking three "bullets" on his F-one Diablo2 kites and flat-winged Taaroa Sword2 hydrofoil.

The Italian-Colombian rider Riccardo Leccese, on his Ozone R1V2 and Mike's Lab foil, chased the Frenchman relentlessly with four third spots from four. Such tight racing and consistency only served to highlight how narrow the margins at the top of kitefoil racing have become with a tactical slip-up or a gear failure proving catastrophically costly.

Few know that better than Olly Bridge, 18. A broken bridle and subsequent tangle after his kite inverted delivered costly poor results and used up his two discards available after ten races, but left no room for error.

The young Briton gave it everything right to the death on his Levitaz Aspect Bionic foil and Elf Joker kites, racking up four bullets and second in the "gold" fleet's concluding six races. It was not quite enough and in the end he took a well-earned third podium spot trailing, runner-up Nocher by a mere three points.

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The margin of Nocher's loss was even closer, just one point separated him from his training partner, Mazella. Nocher, on identical Taaroa Sword2 foil and F-one Diablo2 kites, pressurised the French teenager, but he held his nerve to seal victory.

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In the compact women's division of just eight riders, Russia's Elena came through to clinch the win after a rocky start to the regatta, while Alexia Fancelli (FRA) took the runner-up spot just ahead of a delighted Jade O'Connor (IRL).13710495 311093829279959 7259576057517726829 o

Writer: Ian MacKinnon

Overall standings after ten "gold" fleet series races (two discards) and eight "silver" races (one discard).

MEN

1 Axel Mazella (FRA, F-one/Taaroa) — 22pts
2 Maxime Nocher (MON, F-One/Taaroa) — 23pts
3 Oliver Bridge (GBR, Elf/Levitaz) — 26pts
4 Riccardo Leccese (ITA, Ozone/MikesLab) — 36pts
5 Florian Gruber (GER, Flysurfer/Levitaz) — 44pts

WOMEN

1 Elena Kalinina (RUS, Elf/Moses) — 103pts
2 Alexia Fancelli (FRA, Airush/Flysurfer/Taaroa) — 125pts
3 Jade O'Connor (IRL, Elf/Banga) — 141pts

Full results:
http://kitefoilgoldcup.com/images/documents/2016_KFGC_Italy_Results.pdf

Low resolution pictures can be downloaded from https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4ncyw6qxmqgi23r/AAAbMNaNvuwtanSnjt8B8DKHa?dl=0

Daily highlight videos are available from our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNAFyjJcjSsas1OHL6hyM8w

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Globe's Fastest Kitefoil Racers Line Up For World Championship Series' Opening Salvo Just Two Weeks Away

Written by Editor on . Posted in News

The keenly-awaited first act of the KiteFoil GoldCup kicks off in just two weeks with the planet's leading racers honing their skills and tuning equipment in preparation for what is sure to be an utterly engrossing contest.

With southern Italy's rolling Calabrian hills framing the blue Mediterranean race track, the riders from all corners of the globe will line-up on the warm, flat waters off Gizzeria's party-fuelled Hang Loose Beach.

The venue — with its reliable summer thermal winds that regularly hit 15kts to 18kts — is fast becoming a favourite for the racers, many of whom are returning to do battle again following last year's exhilarating International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) GoldCup tour stop.

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The Monegasque rider Maxime Nocher, who proved peerless over four days of hard-fought racing last July and went on to triumph in the KiteFoil GoldCup series, will again be on the starting line.

But since the Formula kite class has now essentially been transformed into a hydrofoil discipline, most of the highly-accomplished racers who had previously focused on course boards have switched their attention solely to foils.

None more so than Britain's Olly Bridge, 18, who demonstrated his ability to learn fast at the first stop of the Hydrofoil Pro Tour in La Ventana, Mexico, and the kitefoil European Championships in Sardinia, where he snatched the second podium spot, growing quicker and more consistent as the event progressed.

Only Nocher on his F-one Diablo foil kites and Taaroa Sword2 hydrofoil outpointed the British teenager riding for Northkiteboarding, but using a Levitaz Aspect Bionic hydrofoil and Elf foils kites.

Spain's Florian Trittel will also be a force to be reckoned with on his KFA hydrofoil and Elf Joker kites after his increasingly-assured performances as the Europeans reached their thrilling climax, earning him the third podium spot.

With World Sailing's decision not to bar a number of riders who participated in prohibited IFKO events, the stage is now set for leading French racers Axel Mazella and Julien Kerneur — who placed second and third last year — to enter the fray. Compatriot Nico Parlier, injured last year, is also eligible.

Yet the wild-card could still be Riccardo Leccese, the veteran Italian-Colombian racer. On his Ozone R1V2 foil kites and MikesLab hydrofoil he dedicated himself to foil racing last year and placed fifth overall in the GoldCup Italy stop and fourth in this year's Europeans after a blistering start where he racked up numerous bullets.

For the women the battle is bound to be tight in the warm breezes of southern Italy in July. Multiple Formula world champion Britain's Steph Bridge has the pedigree and clinched the Italy GoldCup win last year, trumping Russia's Elena Kalinina.

But the reigning Formula world champion Kalinina, just 18, repaid the compliment at the recent kitefoil Europeans, besting her old foe to grab the top podium spot. Bridge admitted she has yet to fine tune her riding in the new foiling environment if she is not to see her teenage rival disappear into the distance.

For riders and spectators who will pack the weekend beach for the Sunday showdown finale of the opening IKA GoldCup stop, it will inevitably be an enthralling encounter.

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Calendar Update: Freestyle and Big Air World Championship Final to be held in famous Porto Pollo

Written by Editor on . Posted in News

portopollo

Halfway through another challenging season, the 2016 IKA Kiteboarding World Championships calendar has been updated with the possible line up of events for the second half of the year.

While the final event - where the 2016 World Champions will be crowned - has been confirmed to be held in Porto Pollo from 16 to 22 October 2016, the upcoming three events in Germany, Morocco and China are still to be confirmed. We hope to have final confirmation in the next few weeks.

Porto Pollo is probably one of the windiest spots in Europe, and the event site features prevailing side/side-offshore winds often reaching 30-40 knots in perfectly flat water.

Freestyle and Big Air is scheduled to be held at the Final, with a total of 50.000 EUR prize money up for grabs.

Also, at the World Championships Final, the 2016 World Champions in both disciplines will be crowned. Currently the ranking consists of the successful events in El Gouna and Leucate.

The Notice of Race has been updated to reflect the changes in the calendar. There is also an improved elimination ladder for Freestyle and a few minor changes in the assignments of tricks to the trick categories, so it is definitely worth having a read.

Registration will open soon. Accomodation options will also available in the nearby surfers village.

Notice of Race: http://worldkiteleague.com/index.php/documents-and-rules

Website: http://worldkiteleague.com/

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