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Nocher and Kalinina win the 2015 IKA Formula Kite World Championships

Nocher and Kalinina Crowned after Fraught Final Day at Kite Race Worlds

The IKA kite race worlds went right to the wire, but Monaco rider Maxime Nocher clinched back-to-back world titles in a thrillingly tight final day's competition on the water in southern Italy.

His victory ultimately hung on a jury call that went against second-placed rider, Britain's Olly Bridge. He tangled with Blazej Ozog (POL) on a tack while ahead in the third of the day's four men's "platinum" fleet medal races and was awarded a costly disqualification.

36796-Podium Men overall

Ozog, who raced quickly and consistently over the five days of competition hosted by Hang Loose Beach, was given redress for the incident that was enough to ensure he secured the third podium spot.

The jury's decision after the fleet's last race was completed was sufficient to give Nocher the edge over Bridge after the Monegasque rider caught an a plastic bag in the water, broke a fin and placed eighth in his day's final race.

"I'm really pleased to win," said Nocher. "In this competition you have to be careful and ride fair. You just never know what's going to happen. It's about not making mistakes. I'm afraid Olly Bridge made a big mistake when he looped his kite into Blazej Ozog's lines."

By contrast Bridge, 17, was inconsolable after seeing his title bid evaporate for the second year in succession. Mother Steph Bridge (GBR), who earned the second podium spot in the women's "platinum" fleet, accepted that tiny errors through the week had proved costly for him.

Nocher, who was also victorious in the KiteFoil GoldCup Italy a week earlier and hence wins the overall Kite Grand Slam title, offered the teenager consoling words as he lay prostrate on the beach that had witnessed the enthralling battles on windward-leeward track in light airs that struggled to reach 10kts.


The top ten men were seeded into the "platinum" fleet's four shootout races on the two laps of a shortened track, that the winners scorched around in less than eight minutes.

In the cross-onshore thermal the fastest men on their 18m foil kites invariably chose a port tack start to take advantage of the lift near the beach while where possible avoiding the left side of the track where the breeze tended to be fickle with big lulls.

Nocher scored a bullet, second and third to cement his pole position from the start of the day, when the riders carried forward their points' tally from the finals' series of the third and fourth days.

Bridge had begun the final day just three points adrift of Nocher. So, with his stellar speed around the track that secured him three bullets from four, his grief and anger after seeing another title slip from his grasp when so tantalizingly close was perhaps understandable.

If anything, the young Russian Elena Kalinina's subdued celebrations over her victory in the women's "platinum" fleet were a model of understatement in comparison to the histrionics elsewhere on the beach.


Kalinina had been pushed all the way by reigning world champion Steph Bridge, but three bullets from four in medal races secured her the IKA Formula Kite World Championship crown and gave her an early present one day ahead of her eighteenth birthday.

"I'm happy it's over because I so tired," she said of her victory. "It was very interesting for me to race against Steph Bridge because she is such a good racer, both tactically and sailing. We were always close and she pushed me always. But I feel happy with the competition. We had no protests, we just raced hard on the water."

36794-Podium Women Overall (1)


1. Maxime Nocher (MON, ML/Elf) - 37 points
2. Oliver Bridge (GBR, North/Elf) - 42 points
3. Blazej Ozog (POL, North/North) - 52 points
4. Florian Trittel (ESP, ML/Elf) - 59 points
5. Alexander Bachev (BUL, ML/Elf) - 81.7 points


1. Elena Kalinina (RUS, TMV/Elf) - 21 points
2. Steph Bridge (GBR, North/Elf) - 38 points
3. Anastasia Akopova (RUS, ML/Ozone) - 67 points
4. Ariane Imbert (FRA, North/North) - 75 points
5. Aga Grzymska (POL ML/Ozone) - 81 points

Full Results:

Video Day 1:
Video Day 2:
Video Day 3:
Video Day 4:

Flickr Media Gallery:

For more information contact:
media contact: Ian MacKinnon
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Instagram: @hangloosebeach

About IKA

The IKA was formed to give an international platform to the skills and talents of competition kiteboarders throughout the world. Since 2008, the IKA has been developing competition formats and rules as a class association within the International Sailing Federation, with the ambition of securing kitesurfing an Olympics berth.

Besides potential Olympic kite racing format, several professional tours are sanctioned by the IKA, from freestyle through wave riding to the experimental "open" hydrofoil discipline. Additional programs of the IKA include cooperation with KB4Girls, focused on empowering women through the sport of kiteboarding, the Kite Board Tour (KTA) Race centers which are offering training and coaching opportunities to sailors in south-east Asia, and the KTA Kite Kids' program which is offering training and participation programs to children in emerging countries.

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male Oliver Bridge  United-Kindom                 male Maxime Nocher  Monaco                 male Narapichit Pudla  Thailand                 male Robert Douglas  United-States   
female Stephanie Bridge   United-Kindom      female Elena Kalinina  Russia      female Jingle Chen  China      female Angely Bouillot  France   

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Big Air







male Posito Martinez  Dominican-Republic                   male Posito Martinez  Dominican-Republic                  male Pedro Matoz  Brazil      male Matchu Lopez  Cape-Verde                  male Sam Light  United-Kindom   
female Estefania Rosa  Brazil       female Bibiana Magaji  Slovakia      female Ines Correia  Portugal      female N/A       female Karolina Winkowska  Poland   

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