• 5 World Titles For Daniela

    TORREGRANDE, ITALY (October 17, 2021) – After much anticipation during the light wind postponement on shore, Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.) took the win in her final race, securing her fifth Women’s Formula Kite World Champion title. Under the new scoring system that will be utilized in the kite’s Paris 2024 debut, Moroz only needed one more race win on the final day of racing to bring home the gold. Joining her in the finals was Great Britain’s Ellie Aldridge, finishing second, France’s Lauriane Nolot in third and Poema Newland in fourth.

    In the thrill of the adrenaline and high emotions, Moroz reflected on her accomplishment, saying “it feels really good. I have to give all my props to the whole squad, the coaches, the team, my parents, friends, and family for the support. It takes a village and I’m really thankful to have their encouragement behind me. I’m absorbing it all right now… the conditions were very difficult this week, even when it was windy, it was super shifty, so making a good plan was tricky. You had to change your decisions and tactics on the go and the regatta was full of reacting to what was happening on the course. It was very technical racing and I’m happy with how I did throughout the event. I sailed really well and saw improvement in my sailing even since Formula Kite Europeans last month.”

    Light winds caused a delay on shore for the four male and four female athletes who qualified for finals. While on shore in the suspense and anticipation with a fifth consecutive title so close in reach, Moroz said “this morning I tried not to think about racing too much. I had a relaxed breakfast with the squad and our team and tried to stay calm and confident. Once I was on the water, I got a little nervous, but as soon as the warning signal went off, I switched modes and dialed in.”

    Daniela Moroz, all smiles after crossing the last race in first | Photo by Robert Hajduk

    “For the final race, I didn’t have the best start,” said Moroz. “I was on time, but I didn’t have the best positioning on the line. The right was a little favored and I ended up going further left than the rest of the women and had to roll the fleet on a port tack when I crossed back. When I reached the starboard layline, Lauriane Nolot (from France) had already tacked to lay the mark, so I tacked inside of her. I ended up laying the line a little better than her and had a better rounding which set me up for the downwind and the leeward rounding. I had a great few roundings after fighting for the positioning on the first windward mark, and that was the move that won the race. By the final upwind leg, I had the bullet locked in.”

    Racing was tight all throughout the event for the women and provided a spectacular show for spectators, coaches, event organizers and race officials. Because finals day only consists of the top four athletes at the end of day four, none of the men of the US KiteFoil Squad sailed the last day of the event.

    US KiteFoil Squad results, closing out the largest World Championships of Formula Kite history:
    1st – Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.)
    15th – Markus Edegran (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
    28h – Kai Calder (Alameda, Calif.)
    33rd – Evan Heffernan (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
    34th – Will Cyr (San Diego, Calif.)

    all images © Robert Hajduk

    The format for the Formula Kite Olympic discipline is currently as follows:
    Both men’s and women’s fleets initially seeded into equal groups. Men will begin in evenly divided small groups, and women begin in evenly divided small groups.
    All competitors race up to 12 races over three days then get sorted into bronze, silver, and gold for the men, silver and gold for the women, for 4 additional races with points carried over.
    Upon completion of gold fleet day two racing, the top two kiters from both men’s and women’s divisions automatically advance to the Final.
    Places 3 through 14 in both men’s and women’s gold fleets go into semifinals where they race two races in two groups of six, with the winners of each group advancing.
    The Finals consists of the top 4 racing until someone gets to 3 race wins
    The leading kiter enters the Finals with two points and must only win one race to bring the regatta to a close
    The second-place kiter enters the Finals with one point and must win two or more to take the title.
    Third and fourth place kiters that entered the Finals with zero points must win three races. (This exact scenario played out in the men’s fleet of the European Championships where Maximillian Maeder from Singapore entered the Finals with zero points, won three consecutive races, and won the 2021 Formula Kite European Championships)
    __________________________________________________ ______________________

    Daniela Moroz sailing with the gold pinnie denoting her first place ranking in the event Photo by Robert Hajduk for International Kite Association
    TORREGRANDE, ITALY (October 15, 2021) – After 10 races in the men’s fleet and 12 in the women’s, the qualifying series of the 2021 Formula Kite World Championship has come to a close with gold, silver, and bronze fleet racing beginning Saturday, October 16.

    Results: https://www.formulakite.org

    Securing spots in the gold fleet from the US Kitefoil Squad:
    1st – Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.)
    15th – Markus Edegran (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
    30th – Kai Calder (Alameda, Calif.)

    After winning all three races on day one, two firsts and two mishaps on day 2, and a worst score of second place on day three, four-time World Champion Daniela Moroz sits in first place overall heading into tomorrow’s gold fleet racing. “Racing has been really close in the women’s fleets,” said Moroz, who sailed with a larger kite than most of her competition for the day and pushed through to the end. “I’ve been working on making consistent incremental gains throughout the event and making each lap a little bit better. I’m really excited for the next few days and to fight for my fifth title.”

    Markus Edegran had a strong day, winning a race and putting up a consistent score line through a combination of good starting, tactics, and board handling. “That kind of performance was both a confidence boost for Markus, and a validation for the entire Squad,” said coach Charlie McKee.

    “I’m finding myself in a similar position to the Kite European Championships,” said Edegran, reflecting on the September event in Marseille, France. “I’ve sailed consistently enough to advance to gold fleet with the door to the semifinals (top 14) open. A decent day in gold fleet tomorrow will be enough to continue to the next stage and get a top 10 finish at my first World Championships.”

    Snagging the 30th and a ticket to the gold fleet after moving up four places from day two is Alameda, California athlete Kai Calder. “It feels great to put it all together in the last day of qualifying and get through by the skin of my teeth,” said Calder after a solid day on the water in a maximum-pressure setting. “The fleets have been super tight and the racing level is through the roof. I’m super stoked to have achieved that goal and I look forward to keep sending it.”

    Coach Charlie McKee commented on the collective strength of the squad and how the group has been applying their teamwork on and off the water: “We are midway through the World Championships, which has been an amazing display of skill and athleticism. The team-first approach of our athletes was on full display today. We had some tough moments early in this regatta, but they really lifted each other up and came through with some great performances this afternoon.”

    The 2021 Worlds is the first major event for the US Kitefoil Squad as a dedicated training group, and Moroz, Edegran, and Calder had a lot of praise for their teammates and the large role they played in their advancements. “I need to give a huge shout out to our crew that has been collectively raising the bar,” said Calder. “We have all put in a lot of hours on the water and all of us truly had the potential to make it.”

    Advancing to the silver fleet from the US Kitefoil Squad (places 31-60):
    31st – Will Cyr (San Diego, Calif.)
    37th – Evan Heffernan (Santa Barbara, Calif.)

    “It’s been a heck of an event,” said Cyr. “It’s my first time in Europe, and I’m excited to see the level out here. For the last year and a half, all my close battles have been with Kai, Evan, and Markus during the travel– restricted Covid era. It felt great to leverage the lessons learned from our time together to dive headfirst to this diverse fleet. I am proud of how our team has performed and excited to see where our trajectory leads us. One thing is for sure, our combined efforts will lead to so much more than any of us could do alone.”

    “Today was a tough day for me,” said Heffernan. “I had strong movements in all my races but was unable to hold on to the results I was looking for. This is the first major event of the quad, and it is evident that the Olympic spirit is among the fleet. The level has dramatically improved and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead to get back to the top. So far, it has been a great event for our squad with strong support from the US Sailing Team. The next steps on the path are already in the works for what will make the greatest impact. Today was tough but has increased my drive to push my abilities.”


    Moroz lands fifth successive world title as elated De Ramecourt bags first in Sardinia

    The US’s Daniela Moroz closed out a remarkable five titles in a row at the Formula Kite World Championships on the Italian island of Sardinia, coming from behind in the finals shootout on the sparkling Gulf of Oristano, to seize the coveted crown.

    France’s Théo de Ramecourt entered the medal race final in pole position, but took several attempts in utterly engrossing competition to secure the bullet that gave him the first world title he craved.

    Both athletes were completely elated by their triumphs after five days of intensely-tight racing on the glorious track off Torregrande, in the first International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Worlds of the Olympic cycle.

    De Ramecourt was acutely aware of the approaching Olympics, when kiteboarding will make its debut in his home country at the Paris 2024 Games, further raising the stakes and shining the spotlight on his victory.

    “I’m just super-happy,” said De Ramecourt. “It was intense in the final, but I tried to take it step-by-step and just do my best. It feels so great. Really, really happy. It makes a big difference because the Olympics are getting closer.”


    The edge-of-the-seat drama of the finals came after 138 athletes—89 men and 49 women from 34 countries and six continents—lined up to fight for the IKA world titles after a two-year break because of the pandemic. It is the biggest kitefoil fleet assembled, courtesy of burgeoning worldwide interest because of the Olympics.

    The Formula Kite Worlds in Torregrande, supported by the Region of Sardinia and the City of Oristano, showcased an exciting format for the climactic battles that crowned the men’s and women’s world champions.

    “I’m really happy to make it five,” said Moroz, 20. “It feels really surreal and I haven’t processed it yet. I’m still kind of absorbing it and enjoying it. It was a really tough week in all of the conditions. Then, in the end it all comes down to the last race. I was definitely a bit nervous this morning, but we got through it.”

    Intense stadium races close to the beach, for the benefit of spectators, added to the final day’s drama. The deciding medal races were made up of semi-finals and finals. The top two from the opening series went straight to the finals, while places three to 14 went into two semi-finals. Only the winner of each semi-final race advanced to the final, making a total of four racers competing on a super-short track.

    In the final, the top seeded racer began with two wins, the second with one win, and the semi-final qualifiers with none. The first racer to accumulate three race wins and hence the first over the line in the last race, would be the overall winner, maintaining suspense to the end.

    The two rounds of the men’s and women’s semi-finals, with six athletes in each heat, got underway in 7-8kts of intensely shifty breeze blowing over flat waters, sparking awesomely-fast racing by the competitors on their biggest 19m and 21m kites.

    In the men’s semi-finals, Italy’s remarkable 16-year-old Riccardo Pianosi squeezed out more experienced opposition, like Britain’s Connor Bainbridge and Germany’s Florian Gruber, to take two bullets that ensured he moved forward to the final.

    France’s Benoît Gomez went to the final thanks to a bullet that came as a result of his favoured port-tack starts that gave him the edge on the right side of the course. Gomez thrillingly overhauled Singapore’s Max Maeder on the last downwind leg to take one win.

    Gomez and Pianosi found themselves up against leaders, De Ramecourt and fellow countryman Axel Mazella, in the four-man final. As leader, De Ramecourt needed only one win to secure the title, while Mazella needed two, to the others’ three.

    De Ramecourt led almost all the way around the windward-leeward track in the first finals race, only to find himself passed by a scorchingly-fast Mazella on the last downwind leg. But De Ramecourt put the matter to rest with a bullet the second time around, seeing off Pianosi, who took third overall just behind Mazella.

    “The final was pretty intense,” said Mazella. “I managed to win the first race just at the end. The second, I tried a port-tack start and it didn’t work out. But in the end I’m still super-happy about my consistency. I’m also really happy for my mate, Théo de Ramecourt.”

    The phenomenon of the 2021 Worlds, Pianosi, was still trying to process his third step on the podium after beating some of the world’s best.

    “This is my first world championship and I can’t quite believe it,” said the teenager. “The emotions are just so strong. When I got the two bullets in the semi-finals it was an incredible feeling. But I knew in the final it would be tough. Théo de Ramecourt is really, really fast, especially in these conditions.”

    The women’s semi-finals, with four Polish riders in the two groups, were equally absorbing. Two, Magda Woyciechowska and Izabela Satrjan, scooped bullets with incredible racing on their 21m Flysurfer kites. But it was not enough to stop France’s Lauriane Nolot and Poema Newland advancing to the final.

    The French pair faced the formidable force of Moroz and Britain’s Ellie Aldridge. But Moroz did not have it all her own way. Nolot led round the first lap of the track with Moroz some way back, before the American took the lead on the last downwind leg to give her the single bullet she needed to take the title.

    Behind the pair, the race ended in drama as Newland crashed on the upwind leg, only to see Aldridge pass her and also crash a tack in a gust. As Newland rounded the last downwind mark ahead, she crashed a second time, while the trailing Aldridge did the same, but recovered more quickly to finish third and already had enough advantage to secure the second podium step, ahead of Nolot.

    “I’m really happy, though it feels a bit weird after having such a bad last race,” said Aldridge. “But in the end it was a good week, and I’m pleased that I managed to take a few bullets from Daniela Moroz.”

    Nolot was delighted that she had done enough to take the third overall in what was only her first world championship.

    “I can breath now,” she said. “I’m so happy. It was such a bad day yesterday, I wanted to do everything I could in the final to come back to the podium. I can’t wait to do more races with Daniela Moroz, because we just learn so much from her.”

    Formula Kite World Championships Torregrande-Men
    1 FRA Théo de Ramecourt
    2 FRA Axel Mazella
    3 ITA Riccardo Pianosi
    Formula Kite World Championships Torregrande-Women
    1 USA Daniela Moroz
    2 GBR Ellie Aldridge
    3 FRA Lauriane Nolot

    Formula Kite World Championships Torregrande-Men Masters
    1 TUR Ejder Ginyol
    2 DEN James Johnsen
    3 BUL Chavdar Alexandrov

    Formula Kite World Championships Torregrande-Women Masters
    1 THA Benyapa Jantawan
    2 ESP Marta Sanchez
    3 BRA Maria do Socorro Reis

    Formula Kite World Championships Torregrande-Men Grand Masters
    1 DEN James Johnsen
    2 BUL Chavdar Alexandrov
    3 SUI Kari Eisenhut
    Full rankings: www.formulakite.org/results
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Sardinia High Stakes Foil Worlds started by Photoboy View original post