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Found 70 results

  1. 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 6

    Polish Teenager Grabs Her First Title While Russian Veteran Cruises to Victory 29 May 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Poland’s Magda Woyciechowska landed her first international title when she sealed victory in the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships “open” division with a steely performance in fickle breezes in China. The 14-year-old was able to see off a strong challenge from her training partner and fellow countrywoman, Julia Damasiewicz, also 14, over four intense days of competition and 16 hard-fought races off Guangxi province’s Beihai city. Both finished ahead of China’s Jingle Chen who racked up a formidable haul of bullets and looked as if she could storm to victory at one point. But she stumbled in the light airs, failing to finish some races. It proved costly and she ended fourth, though it was enough to secure the Formula Kite Asian crown. By contrast Russian veteran racer Denis Taradin barely put a foot wrong. He seized a remarkable 12 bullets that gave a commanding points lead by the finish that landed him the 2019 International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Asians “open” title. 2). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Italy’s Mario Calbucci pushed Taradin and pounced on any error by the Russian, snatching three bullets to add to his haul of high-placed finishes that saw him cruise to the podium’s second spot. Ejder Ginyol (TUR) traded blows with Calbucci in an enthralling battle on the water in breezes that varied between 6kts and 10kts. Ginyol’s gritty performance earned him the third podium spot. The regatta’s youngest racer, Max Maeder (SNG), 12, found a turn of pace and tactical assurance to challenge and occasionally beat the leading trio, finishing sixth overall and securing the Formula Kite Asian crown. But on the final day of the scheduled six, unsettled tropical conditions over the track off Beihai city beach meant the wind failed to build, preventing any racing. 3). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China By then, however, with 16 races each for the men and women on the rhomboid windward-leeward course, the victors had done enough to prove worthy winners in the sometimes marginal conditions. Still, on the regatta’s second and fourth days race officials managed to get six races away each for the men and women. The ideal foiling conditions of 8kts to 10kts for the competitors’ 19m and 21m kites sparked breath-takingly quick action. For women’s champion Woyciechowska, who revels in the lighter airs, the conditions were perfect. She was a model of consistency, racking up four bullets and a raft of seconds with few of the costly errors that undid her rivals. “I’m really, really happy,” said a delighted Woyciechowska. “But it hasn’t really sunk in yet. This is the first international competition where I’ve won. I had many second places and Jingle Chen was good, but unlucky when her kite went down. It’s so important to be consistent.” 4). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Chen was slightly subdued despite lifting the Asian championship title, realising that her Achilles heal had been the lighter airs. In slightly stronger breezes she had looked unbeatable. “I’m a little bit disappointed,” said Chen. “But now I know I have to do a lot of practice in the lighter winds. I got eight bullets, but also many poor scores when I didn’t finish the races.” Taradin used his experience to the full grinding out wins in all conditions, but acknowledged that his ability to make the most of the lighter breezes gave him the edge. “It was a great regatta,” said Taradin. “I can’t remember the last time we had 16 races, so it was nice. It was good racing. I felt for me it was extreme because of the light wind. But with my experience I could make it work even in 5kts or 6kts when it was difficult for the others. I’m pleased with the result.” 2019 IKA Formula Kite Asian Championships Men (Open) 1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 14pts 2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 30pts 3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 39pts Women (Open) 1 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 22pts 2 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 32pts 3 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 41pts Men (Asia) 1 Max Maeder (SNG) 57pts 2 Qibin Huang (CHN) 86pts 3 Zhang Hao Ran (CHN) 95pts Women (Asia) 1 Jingle Chen (CHN) 44pts 2 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 55pts formulakite.com/results
  2. 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 5

    KiteFoil Athletes Grapple with Fresh Challenges of Mixed Team Racing 28 May 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Ambitious kitefoil athletes have had to reset their approach to top-level competition in the face of a new set of challenges since national mixed team racing was chosen as an Olympic discipline for the Paris 2024 Games. In what has until now been an essentially-individual sport, Formula Kite relay racing that will feature when kiteboarding makes its historic debut at the XXXII Olympiad’s Marseille sailing venue demands a fresh mindset. For Formula Kite veterans and ingenues alike, the mixed discipline is an exciting and intriguing breath of fresh air that adds an unexpected layer of complexity to already tricky windward-leeward racing on stratospherically-quick hydrofoils. 2). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China But as elite racers at the 2019 Formula Kite Asians in Beihai, China, gathered to trial the new format—whereby the teams of one man and woman each complete one lap of a “short-track” course, with a “flying” handover—the wind refused to play ball and racing was cancelled. One day of the six scheduled for the regatta had been set aside to give athletes a chance to practise and International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) officials an opportunity to refine the format. It was to have been only the second international outing after the first test at the World Championships in Lake Garda, Italy, last month. Still, Formula Kite Asians’ leader Denis Taradin (RUS) remains completely sold on the mixed team relay format after his experience in Garda, taking the third podium spot when he teamed with former world champion Elena Kalinina. 3). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China “It’s so different from the racing we usually do,” said Taradin. “It brings veterans like me fresh energy, fresh juice. I’ve been competing for years and the top ten are always the same. Now it’s a whole new field. When either the man or woman’s in front, it changes everything and brings lots of emotion. It’s so much fun. What changes is that you can share secrets.” For the Beihai trial, Taradin had by coincidence teamed with the women’s fleet leader, Poland’s Magda Woyciechowska, 14. She was thrilled by her experience in Garda when the level of teamwork needed and the importance of a seamless, split-second handover became obvious. “All the guys were finishing at nearly the same time and there were many orange Ozone kites, so it was tricky to spot my partner Blazej Ozog coming so we could make a quick changeover,” said Woyciechowska. “We only had about one day to practise, but still we got 10th overall, which was OK.” 4). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Her training partner, Julia Damasiewicz, also 14, took part in the first tests in Poland and teamed with Jakub Jurkowksi in Garda. She was delighted to win one race, beating a German team led by veteran former world champion, Florian Gruber. “In one race we won against Florian Gruber, one of the best in the world,” said Damasiewicz. “In individual races we’re not as fast as we are when we’re together as a team. It’s hard to explain it. Perhaps he shares things that I don’t know, and vice versa.” But beyond pure motivation and shared knowledge Sam Bullock (AUS), sitting fourth overall in the Asians, sees the potential for tactical match racing to assist a weaker team-mate. “I think there might be an opportunity to match race in the pre-start phase to help your team-mate,” said Bullock. “It certainly adds another element. But I think the most important bit of the teamwork might be working with your partner to get them up to speed. The gaps between the women in Garda was far larger than the men and had big bearing on the outcome.” Top five men after 16 races (three discards) 1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 14pts 2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 30pts 3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 37.6pts 4 Sam Bullock (NZL) 45pts 5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 55pts Top five women after 16 races (three discards) 1 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 22pts 2 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 32pts 3 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 41pts 4 Jingle Chen (CHN) 44pts 5 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 57pts 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 5 Recap kitefoilgoldcup.com
  3. 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 4

    Flying Polish Teenager Cements Her Position at Head of Order 27 May 2019 China’s Chen Goes From Hero to Zero and Slips Down Standings Youngest Athlete Maeder Takes Bullet from Experienced Racers 1). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Poland’s Magda Woyciechowska stretched her lead at the 2019 Formula Kite Asians, just besting her countrywoman and training partner Julia Damasiewicz in a day of scintillating racing in perfect foiling conditions in China. Local favourite and key rival, Jingle Chen (CHN), threatened to unseat the Pole when she exploded out of the blocks on the regatta’s fourth day at Guangxi province’s Beihai city—taking three bullets, two in the opening races. But even after pipping Woyciechowksa in a photo finish after audaciously stealing the lead on the final downwind leg in the day’s race four, Chen suffered disaster when she twice dropped her kite before the start and failed to start the final two contests. 2). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China The catastrophe put her down the order to leave in her fourth overall, leaving the door open for Natalie Flintrop-Clarke who moved up to third after she scooped up a bullet and three third places in ideal 9 to 10 kts tropical breezes on the Gulf of Beibu’s flat waters. Russia’s Denis Taradin also made hay in the sunshine, continuing his winning ways in the men’s fleet's six races, taking four bullets that gave him a lock on the top on the leaderboard, despite a disastrous first race when he crashed and could only manage eleventh. The championship’s youngest racer, 12-year-old Max Maeder (SNG), looks ever faster and landed a bullet, a second and third-placed finishes that left him just adrift of the top five, comfortable in sixth overall. 3). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China The fourth of the scheduled six-day regatta offered the best of the so-far slightly stuttering conditions that enabled International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) race officers to get six races away each for the men’s and women’s fleets. Many of the athletes are going not only for glory in the Asians championships, but are trying to accrue enough ranking points to allow themselves a tilt at the Formula Kite kite medals at the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in San Diego in October. In the men’s fleet New Zealanders Sam Bullock and Lukas Walton-Keim are battling near the top of the order, hoping to land a Games’ spot. Bullock finished the day strongly in fourth overall after earning two thirds at the death, though he had seen Walton-Keim ahead take the early honours with a second and a third. 4). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China “That’s much better today,” said Walton-Keim. “I’m starting much better. A little bit of match racing there. That helped. When I’m clear I have good speed and good angles. In the last few days I was punished when I was behind a little. I’m a lot happier.” Maeder was happy, too, with his breakthrough success on the rhomboid windward-leeward track, though his joy was tempered by the knowledge consistency is the name of the game and that the regatta still has some way to run. “I got lucky in a few races,” he said, downplaying his finishes. “But I’m really happy. I feel I’ve been riding my new foil, so it was a process of getting used to it. I don’t want to let this carry me away. A lot can still happen and everything could change.” 5). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Woyciechowska, 14, was similarly grounded despite finishing the day with a bullet after being a model of consistency with five successive seconds that gave her a comfortable lead at the top of the order. “It’s OK, but I can do better,” said Woyciechowska, ruing one loss to Chen after misjudging the final, vital gybe. “That race was very sad. I just went too far and gybed too late to make the finish line. So many seconds is not so good.” But Australia’s Natalie Flintrop-Clarke, sitting in third spot overall just behind Damasiewicz, 14, was elated with her first bullet and a trio of thirds that lifted her closer to her somewhat younger rivals. She was even able to shrug off her costly misfortune in one race when she crashed tacking while leading. “Finally, a bullet,” said Flintrop-Clarke. “I was lucky to finish in one race. I tacked in a ‘hole’. I had real difficulty getting going again. I was lucky to finish at all. I think after finishing first in the previous race my confidence got the better of me.” Top five men after 16 races (three discards) 1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 14pts 2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 30pts 3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 37.6pts 4 Sam Bullock (NZL) 45pts 5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 55pts Top five women after 16 races (three discards) 1 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 22pts 2 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 32pts 3 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 41pts 4 Jingle Chen (CHN) 44pts 5 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 57pts formulakite.com
  4. 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 3

    Polish Teenagers Surge to Top of Order in Tough Conditions at Formula Kite Asians 26 May 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Polish training partners Magda Woyciechowska and Julia Damasiewicz grabbed the top spots in the standings in the women’s fleet at the Formula Kite World Championships in China in fickle breezes that got the best of most of their rivals. The duo, both just 14, leap-frogged overnight leader, local favourite Jingle Chen (CHN), to secure the leaderboard’s first and second spots respectively in finely judged racing. In breezes that toyed with race officials, often dipping below 6kts and rarely getting above 8kts, Woyciechowska scored two bullets from the only two races possible in the start-stop racing off Guangxi province’s Beihai city. 2). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China On day three of the scheduled six at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Asians, the men’s fleet racing separately also only managed to get in two races, with a third abandoned when the already light breeze completely died on parts of the course. Still, Russia’s Denis Taradin had used the opening two contests to extend his points lead. Rivals in 17-strong fleet had few answers to his pace and tactical awareness that gave him healthy leads and earned him two bullets. Many of the athletes in the 26-strong roster from 11 nations, including the Polish teenagers, hope to post sufficiently-strong performances to win enough ranking points to secure themselves a spot at the inaugural World Beach Games in San Diego where kiting will make its debut. 3). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China But first Woyciechowska and Damasiewicz had to make up for lost ground after they were obliged to retire for mistakenly sailing the wrong course on day one. Woyceichowska did that in style on day three taking wins as others failed to complete the course, finishing long before rivals alternately Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) and Damasiewicz. In her day’s second race she was harried by Chen and Damasiewicz all the way round the rhomboid track just off the beach. But Chen failed to ley the final top mark and put her kite down in a lull, never to recover. “It was really really light, but it was OK,” said Woyciechowska, who revels in the light airs. “I was fighting with Jingle Chen all the way round in the second race, but then she couldn’t make the mark. I’m really happy. It’s my first international competition where I’m in the top three.” 4). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Even though Damasiewicz stumbled in the day’s first race and failed to finish, eking out a second spot in the day’s final race earned her valuable position that kept her just ahead of Chen on the leaderboard. “That was cool,” said Damasiewicz. “The wind is tricky here and you don’t know where it’s going. I was second in the last race and I was happy to finish. Magda’s my friend and we’re always fighting on the water. If one of us makes a mistake, the other wins. I prefer strong wind, but when it’s light she’s the hero.” The youngest competitor Max Maeder (SNG), just 12, was equally happy. He had been second in the day’s last race, before it was abandoned. “I was second and I wanted it to go on so that I could finish it,” he said. “I was really happy I made it back to the beach without swimming. I’m certainly learning a lot in every race.” Top five men after ten races (two discards) 1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 8pts 2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 18pts 3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 21pts 4 Sam Bullock (NZL) 25pts 5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 33pts Top five women after ten races (two discards) 1 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 14pts 2 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 26pts 3 Jingle Chen (CHN) 27pts 4 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 28pts 5 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 39pts 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 3 Recap formulakite.com
  5. 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 2

    Chen Thrills Home Fans with Near Flawless Outing at Formula Kite Asians in China 25 May 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China China’s Jingle Chen shrugged off her forgettable first foray at the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships and threw down the gauntlet to rivals with an almost perfect performance on the regatta’s second day to surge convincingly to the head of the order. The 18-year-old scooped five bullets and a second spot in her day’s six races in ideal foiling conditions of breezes that varied from 8kts to 11kts on the flat waters off Guangxi province’s Beihai city, south-west China. Her stellar racing when she barely put a foot wrong and had enough speed to leave the others in the women’s fleet trailing was the mirror opposite of her first day’s efforts after she was forced to retire from both races, once for following the leaders’ wrong track. 2). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China “I’m at the front today, so I have to follow my own course and that’s good for me,” she said. “The wind is much better today, perfect for my 21m kite. I’m getting good starts, which I think has helped a lot." Day two of the scheduled six at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Asians—sponsored by Beihai City—offered the 26 athletes from 11 nations the ideal opportunity to advance their positions in the high-octane foiling discipline. Russia’s Denis Taradin was among those who rose to the challenge. Like Chen, after some slight misfortune on the championships’ opening day, Taradin hit his stride with four bullets in the men’s fleet’s five races. 3). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Taradin’s superior pace on his 21m foil kite around the rhomboid windward-leeward track helped him leap up the standings as the others just behind him traded places in the scrap for the top places. “I feel I have good speed today,” said Taradin. “In the races I won I had 10 or 15 seconds' lead on the others. But when I came in fourth I’d rounded the top mark first, but Mario Calbucci was very close. I crashed a gybe downwind and just couldn’t get back up on terms.” Calbucci (ITA) scooped a bullet when Taradin faltered in one race and was able to add a clutch of high-placed finishes that were enough to keep him touch with the Russian in second spot on the leaderboard with all still to play for. “It’s good racing today,” said Calbucci. “The wind’s not too light and I had good speed. I made mistakes but got some good results, though I hit a jelly fish just before the finish in the day’s third race. I ended up fifth, but that’s how it goes.” 4). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Overnight leader, Turkey’s Ejder Ginyol had a slightly more mixed outing and slipped to third overall. But his performance was still good enough to notch up a second and third that kept him in the hunt. Just behind him New Zealand’s Sam Bullock, hunting points to earn a slot at the World Beach Games in San Diego in October, also found his groove and earned two seconds and a third-placed finish. “I got behind my countryman Lukas [Walton-Kiem] in one race,” said Bullock. “I'm not used to that and I pushed really hard. I think I was able to carry that speed into the next races. I definitely went better today". Top five men after eight races (two discards) 1 Denis Taradin (RUS) 6pts 2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 13pts 3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 16pts 4 Sam Bullock (NZL) 17pts 5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 23pts Top five women after eight races (two discards) 1 Jingle Chen (CHN) 7pts 2 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 12pts 3 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 14pts 4 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 21pts 5 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 24pts 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 2 Recap formulakite.com
  6. 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 1

    Drama at Formula Kite Asians as Leading Women Demoted for Errors 24 May 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China The four women who topped the standings at the 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships found themselves dramatically pushed down the order when they were forced to retire from one race after discovering they failed to sail the proper course. For the young Polish pair—Julia Damasiewicz and Magdalen Woyciechowska, both 14—the mistake was a rude awakening to the complexity of top-level racing. Until their withdrawal for missing a mark and failing to complete a lap in the opening day’s second race, they stood first and second with respectively. Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) and China’s Jingle Chen conceded that they had suffered crashes on the track off south-western China’s Beihai city beach and had followed the leaders, failing to realise they too had made their own mistakes and shortened the course. 2). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China The errors handed Benyapa “Fon” Jantawan (THA) the lead, with a bemused Bilge Ozturk (TUR) close behind in second after two races in the opening skirmishes of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite Asians. But with a further five days of the Beihai City-sponsored competition and many races in the offing, any of the leading athletes should have more than enough opportunity to claw back any deficit and reassert their dominance. The Polish duo in particular had a near perfect record of two bullets and two seconds until their demotion and looked quick around the rhomboid track in the tropical breezes of around 12kts, that dropped to around just 7kts before racing was halted in early afternoon. 3). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Damasiewicz and Woyciechowska, like many of the men racing in a separate fleet, are hoping their placings at the regatta’s end will earn them enough points to secure a place in kiteboarding’s appearance at the inaugural World Beach Games in San Diego in October. The men’s fleet fared slightly better, squeezing in three races. But some suffered their own misfortunes. Russia’s Denis Taradin notched up two wins, but his opening foray came to grief when he struck a large jelly fish with his hydrofoil, crashed and finished down the order, leaving him poised in fourth overall. Turkey’s Ejder Ginyol put in a good shift, taking three second spots that were enough to give him pole position just ahead of Italy’s Mario Calbucci, who opened his campaign with a bullet. 4). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China “It’s pretty good,” said Calbucci, riding his 21m foil kite. “In the first race the wind wasn’t so gusty. The other two were very technical. The wind was shifty, left and right by as much as 25 degrees and I missed the layline two times. But I’m quite happy.” New Zealand’s Sam Bullock sits third overall with two third-placed finishes, but accepted that Taradin’s ill-luck had given him a leg up in the day’s opening race. “I got lucky in the first when Denis Taradin hit something,” said Bullock. “In the third race I was struggling a bit for power on my 19m. But I still managed to hang in there. To be honest I’m still suffering from jet lag a bit. But I’m looking forward to better breezes that are forecast.” 5). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Ozturk was similarly pleased to find herself second overall, thanks to some good fortune of her own. “I had bad starts for both races. But in the second race I hit something and fell off badly. The girls ahead me just got further away really quickly. I didn’t understand why. It turned out they hadn’t sailed the proper course. You have to sail your own race sometimes and experience comes in handy. Top five men after three races (no discards) 1 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 6pts 2 Mario Calbucci (ITA) 8pts 3 Sam Bullock (NZL) 10pts 4 Denis Taradin (RUS) 13pts 5 Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 14pts Top five women after two races (no discards) 1 Benyapa Jantawan (THA) 6pts 2 Bilge Ozturk (TUR) 6pts 3 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 11pts 4 Magdalena Woyciechowska (POL) 12pts 5 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS) 13pts 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Day 1 Recap kitefoilgoldcup.com
  7. 2019 Formula Kite Asians - Opener

    Asia’s Fastest KiteFoil Racers Square Off in Fight for Continental Title and World Beach Games’ Spots 23 May 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China The quickest kitefoil racers in Asia are set to battle for the continental crown in a week of enthralling action on the smooth waters off the south-western Chinese beach city of Beihai. The continent’s finest athletes will be pushed hard by a sprinkling of international kitefoil racers who have made the journey to fight for glory on Guangxi province’s Beibu Gulf. Many of the racers hope their endeavours over six days of competition at the 2019 Formula Kite Asia Championships will be enough to land them a coveted spot in the lineup at October’s inaugural World Beach Games in San Diego, organised by the Association of National Olympic Committees. Inevitably China is well represented at the Asian championships, sponsored by the City of Beihai, with eight athletes among the 26-strong field from 11 nations around the region and the world, who will likely face light tropical breezes. 2). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China Among Team China’s racers vying to secure a Beach Games spot, where the Formula Kite format limits athletes to series production hydrofoils and kites, Jingle Chen and Hao Ran Zhang are favourites to come out on top. Chen has already tasted the thrill of Olympic competition when she represented China in the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TwinTip: Racing (TT:R) slalom competition at the Youth Games in Buenos Aires last October. With a team-mate she will be competing in the Formula Kite mixed team relay format to be used when kiteboarding makes its historic debut at the Paris 2024 Olympics’ Marseille venue. Part of the Asian championship regatta will be given over to testing the mixed relay format, where teams of one man and one woman each race one lap of the track, conducting a “flying” handover. It is only the format’s second trial, following the groundbreaking first outing at the Formula Kite Worlds in Italy last month. 3). 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Beihai, China The prospect of a slot at the Beach Games and looking further forward to the Olympics has drawn an ever-younger fleet who will hit their peak by the time the Games roll around. Max Maeder (SNG), just 12, and Qibin Huang (CHN), 13, are closely followed by two Polish girls, Julia Damasiewicz and Magdalena Woyciechowska, both 14. Each girl could earn a Beach Games spot if they can finish in the top half of the women’s fleet in the championships. In the men’s fleet, which will race separately, highly-ranked Russia’s Denis Taradin must be odds on favourite to come out on top, though Italy’s Mario Calbucci will no doubt give him a run or his money. 2019 Formula Kite Asian Championships - Registration Day kitefoilgoldcup.com
  8. Today was the third and final day of competition for the KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series Desaru Coast, which has been held from the 14-16th of December along the sandy shores of eastern Johor, Malaysia. Following on from the first ever leg of the series - which was held in Koh Samui, Thailand early this summer - this event sees 40 registered riders from 18 different countries go head to head to compete for the title and 5,000 USD of prize money. Among the competitors is Daniel Leow, a local Malaysian and Desaru sponsored athlete, who is here to defend his current title as the series leader. His toughest challenger throughout the weekend has been Maximillion Maeder, who - at just 12 years old - is the current Asia Formula Hydrofoil champion. The past two days of racing have brought a mixed bag of conditions - each challenging in their own way. Friday’s races took place on rough, choppy waters matched with moderate gusty wind, while Saturday brought very light breeze and strong shorebreak. For today’s final day of competition, the event was blessed with 8-9 knots by 12.30pm which allowed for the first races to commence. Throughout the day, a total of 5 races took place on the sparkling blue waters of Desaru Coast, with wind building briefly to 12-13 knots and dropping back to 8-9 by the end of proceedings. With the winds blowing more directly onshore today, Race officer Simon James and his team brought the course closer to shore, much to the appreciation of the Sunday crowds that had gathered to see the kiters in action. The atmosphere throughout the day grew as the excitement of each race unfolded, with the riders all charging towards each start together on a starboard tack, making for a dynamic spectacle for everyone gathered Desaru Coast Beach. 1). KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series Malaysia - Final Day The leader of the weekend in the men’s division, Max Maeder, maintained his overall lead throughout the day, coming in first in every race but his last, when he miscalculated his position for crossing the finish line and ended on the wrong side of the finish boat. Even so, Max’s near flawless performance across the weekend has secured him the number one spot for the competition. Coming in second overall, Daniel Leow pulled off an excellent performance throughout the day, achieving second and third place for each of his races. He was closely followed by Thailand’s Whatcharpong Juntham, whose efforts today have earned him a well deserved third place on the podium. Daniel also sits at the top of the leaderboard in the Master’s class, followed by Korea’s Soon Ho Kwon in second and Japan’s Kazumasa Sugihara in third. In the women’s division, it’s Emi Hirada who will be walking away with first prize after a well-fought battle in the challenging conditions, closely followed by Thailand’s Fon Benyapa Jantawan in second place. The evening closed with a prize giving ceremony right on the golden sands of Desaru Beach, along with a relaxed social evening which saw athletes, spectators, and staff enjoying a collective wind down after the full weekend of action. Text Credits: KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series Photo Credits: Alexandru Baranescu / KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series
  9. The second day of competition at the KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series Desaru Coast has come to a close, with a grand total of 4 races having taken place today on the brilliant blue waters of Johor’s eastern shores. This event marks the second stop of the KTA’s brand new hydrofoil tour, the first of which was held in Koh Samui early this summer. This weekend’s event sees 40 riders from 18 different countries gathering on Desaru Beach to take part in the competition, including a solid show of KTA regulars mixed in with some faces entirely new to the regional kite competition circuit. At the beginning of the day, thick fog covered the beach and rain clouds threatened to pour down at any moment, but the deluge held off and was instead replaced by beaming blue skies and sunshine by lunchtime. Crowds of spectators gathered onto the golden sand on Desaru Coast to soak in the atmosphere and watch the competition take place. With music, food stalls, and entertainment in the form of acrobatics, trainer kite flying lessons, and sand buggying, spirits were high amongst the spectators. That said, the wind was all but absent until 2:30 PM. It wasn’t until then that a welcome 10 knots of stable breeze began to blow across the event site, allowing the first race to commence around 3 o’clock. In contrast to yesterday’s rough and stormy conditions, today’s racing brought its own set of challenges, with riders doing their best to fly their kites and make it past powerful sets of waves in light wind. 1). KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series Malaysia - Day 2 The first race of the day saw current Asia kite foil champion, Max Maeder (Singapore), take a comfortable lead over Thailand’s What charpong Juntham and local Malaysian rider Daniel Leow, which he maintained with little difficulty for the rest of the day. As the afternoon progressed, winds dropped just shy of 7 knots, causing Korea’s Soon Ho Kwon to struggle to match the performance he put on in yesterday’s choppy waters, today faltering in the frustrating conditions. Meanwhile, Peng Li (China) and Kazumasa Sugihara (Japan) are nipping at the heels of the Top 3 in the men’s division, putting the pressure on for the final day of racing. Leading into tomorrow’s proceedings, the first position is already looking rather clear - but as for the remainder, it’s still anyone’s game. In the women’s division, it was Japan’s Emi Hirada that came out on top, proving her technical abilities and riding skill in the face of extremely light winds and big barrelling waves. Thailand’s Fon Benyapa Jantawan is sitting in second place for the women, having struggled in today’s conditions and allowing her Japanese competitor to snag an even wider lead. Text Credits: KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series Photo Credits: Alexandru Baranescu / KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series
  10. The KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series Desaru Coast saw its first day of action today along the blustery eastern shores of Johor. The competition commenced with 4 rounds of windward-leeward course racing and is set to continue over the next two days (14-16 December 2018). The event marks the second stop of the KTA’s brand new Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series, the first of which was held in conjunction with the Samui Regatta in early June on Koh Samui, Thailand. This weekend’s event is taking place on the golden coastline of Desaru, one of Malaysia’s most southerly beach towns which sits just a 30-minute ferry ride (plus a short car journey) away from Singapore. The event’s headline sponsors, Desaru Coast themselves, have now become one of the region’s most hotly anticipated tourism developments, having established a range of upscale resorts and private villas along with an impressive array of golf courses, an adventure waterpark (complete with a wave pool), riverside dining, conference centers, and more. Not only is this event the first time the KTA has included Malaysia in their annual tour schedule, but it’s also the first time that a kite foil competition has ever taken place within the country. A landmark event both for Malaysia, Desaru, and the KTA, riders from 18 different countries have gathered on the beach to take part in the event, including the series’ reigning champion Daniel Leow (Malaysia) and current Asia Formula Kite champion, Maximillian Maeder (Singapore). 1). KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series Malaysia Today’s conditions were unexpectedly challenging, with powerful waves at the shoreline and up to 2 meters of swell further out. Races began with a steady 16 knots of wind, which built up throughout the day - peaking at a gusty 19 knots by the early afternoon. Many competitors struggled to make it past the rough shore break, and for those that did, the conditions outside were nearly just as relentless. The race team also had their work cut out for them, rearranging the course and adjusting the race marks with every change of wind direction and tug of the waves. Race 1 saw riders taking off on both port and starboard tacks as they tried to deal with the wild conditions. As the race settled, we soon would see Asia champion Max Maeder move into lead position, closely followed by Korea’s Soon Ho Kwon and series leader Daniel Leow - holding these positions through to the finish. Race 2, however, turned the tables as Max faulted in the swell, giving Soon Ho the opportunity to dominate proceedings. In the women’s division, long-established KTA competitor Fon Benyapa Janitwan proved her versatility and strength in the conditions to can Races 2 and 3, while newcomer Emi Hirata from Japan pushed Fon in each race to take a win of her own in the 4th and final Race of the day. Back with the men’s fleet with the winds steadily dropping, Max would put right his 'blip' from Race 2 and take wins for Races 3 and 4. Other riders, however, had also begun to settle into the conditions and we would see China and Japan taking the Top 3 places with Peng Li and Horo Toshihiro respectively. By Race 4 the winds had backed off to an average of 8kts across the course, which allowed cleaner racing for everyone, boosting confidence once again for tomorrow's competition. The event plan had been to hold 5 races each day, but regretfully, as the start sequence for Race 5 began, the wind decided it was time to switch-off - calling a premature (but perhaps not totally unwelcomed) end to a tough first day’s racing. Text Credits: KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series Photo Credits: Alexandru Baranescu / KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series
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