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Found 183 results

  1. Frenchman clinches European title in tense kitefoil racing finale in Italy. 29 September 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. France’s Axel Mazella was crowned 2019 Formula Kite European Champion after a consummate display of controlled racing on the final fifth day of tense action amid the splendour of the Italian resort island of Sardinia. Mazella seized three bullets from four on the Gulf of Oristano track, seeing off intense challenges from Slovenian’s Toni Vodisek and fellow Frenchman Théo de Ramecourt, leapfrogging both to go top of the standings. In shifty breezes of around 12kts on the gulf’s flat waters off Torregrande beach, Mazella lost the lead to Vodisek in his day’s crucial third race. But he matched the Slovenian’s tacks and gybes all the way around the track, chasing him down and finally seeing him crash towards the finish to take the win that all but sealed the title. 2). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. “I’m so happy to win this event,” said Mazella. “I’m super-happy with my performance. It was really stressful for me. Théo de Ramecourt and Toni Vodisek were just one point ahead of me at the start of the day. I managed to do my job controlling them. I’m super-stoked.” Vodisek, 19, had made a concerted charge up the leaderboard to sit top of the order at the end of the first day of two in the finals’ series, the penultimate day of the regatta sponsored by the Region of Sardinia and the Sardinia Foundation. “I’m happy with my second place,” said Vodisek. “That’s my best position in the Europeans, but not the top. Next year I’m going to come back stronger. The top guys are all so good now. We’re really close. It’s fun racing in such a strong fleet.” 3). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. The title battles in the 30-strong women’s fleet were equally intense but the US’s Daniela Moroz proved untouchable over the four days of racing, scooping 18 bullets from 19 to lift the Open Formula Kite European title. “I got the bread,” said a beaming Moroz, coming ashore. “Another one down. It’s so great. Now we have a full fleet of women for the Europeans. I’m stoked that we’ve so many girls to race against.” Britain’s Ellie Aldridge, a dinghy sailor who only began foiling a year ago, took second in the Open Europeans and lifted the European crown with stellar racing that beat off challenges from Australia’s Breiana Whitehead and Russia’s Valeria Garashchenko. 4). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. “It feels a bit mad,” said Aldridge. “The racing was so intense; so good. Everyone’s improved so much. It’s really tight racing. It’s ridiculous to think that we have all come so far in the space of just a year. All the girls are pushing each other so much.” Aldridge was also part of the British team, paired with Connor Bainbridge, that was victorious in the inaugural Mixed Relay European Championship, when one day of the regatta was allocated to the Paris 2024 Olympics’ format event. The duo just edged out the Russian pairing of Alexey Chibizov and Garashchenko, 18, another newcomer to hydrofoil racing who stormed up the rankings to take the second podium step in the individual Europeans with a final flourish that put her rivals on notice. 5). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. “Today was a really good day,” said an elated Garashchenko. “I got two second places and a third in the last race. It was great because the previous day was not so good. So, a good improvement.” 2019 Formula Kite European Championships 1 Axel Mazella (FRA) 2 Toni Vodisek (SLO) 3 Théo de Ramecourt (FRA) 2019 Formula Kite Open European Championships 1 Daniela Moroz (USA) 2 Ellie Aldridge (GBR) 3 Breiana Whitehead (AUS) 2019 Formula Kite European Championships 1 Ellie Aldridge (GBR) 2 Valeria Garashchenko (RUS) 3 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 2019 Open Mixed Relay European Championships 1 GBR (Ellie Aldridge / Connor Bainbridge) 2 RUS (Valeria Garachchenko / Alexey Chibizov) 3 POL (Woyciechowska / Maks Zakowski) 2019 Mixed Relay European Championships 1 GBR (Ellie Aldridge / Connor Bainbridge) 2 RUS (Valeria Garachchenko / Alexey Chibizov) 3 POL (Woyciechowska / Maks Zakowski) U16 Girls (European) 1 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 2 Magda Woyciechowska (POL) 3 Nina Arcissz (POL) U16 Boys (European) 1 Jakub Jurkowski (POL) 2 Michal Wojciechowski (POL) 3 Jan Voester (GER) U19 Boys (European) 1 Oliver Hansen (DEN) 2 Arthur Lhez (FRA) 3 Jakub Jurkowski (POL) Master (European) 1 Ejder Ginyol (TUR) 2 James Johnson (DEN) 3 Benjamin Petit (FRA) Grandmaster (European) 1 James Johnson (DEN) 2 Benjamin Petit (FRA) 3 Enrico Tonon (ITA) 2019 Formula Kite Europeans - Final Day Full results: www.formulakite.com/results
  2. Intense duels in dream conditions at Europeans in Italy reshuffle the pack. 28 September 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. The wafer-thin margins separating the top of the order at the Formula Kite European Championships being bitterly fought out on the Italian resort island of Sardinia leave the contest poised on a knife-edge going into the final fifth day of super-charged racing. Just one point separates the top three after the penultimate day of racing on the Gulf of Oristano, when the top-ranked men finally faced off in the first battles of the two-day finals’ series in enthralling action in 16kts to 19kts breezes under crystal-clear skies. But Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek, 19, finally moved to the top of the leaderboard with a scintillating bullet in his day’s final fifth race, a gripping fight with France’s Théo de Ramecourt who harried his rival on the rhomboid windward-leeward track. 2). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. De Ramecourt, who finished with a bullet and a trio of thirds, had been passed by Vodisek on the first downwind leg. But the Frenchman hunted down the teenager all the way around the course, matching tacks and gybes, only to crash on a flat-out drag race to the finish. Overnight leader, France’s Axel Mazella slipped to third spot overall after posting a remarkably consistent run of four seconds. He is equal on points with fellow countryman De Ramecourt and both are just one point behind Vodisek with all to play for. In the 30-strong women’s fleet the US’s reigning Formula Kite world champion, Daniela Moroz, continued her rampaging run with an almost perfect score of 14 bullets from 15 races over the three days of the individual International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Europeans at Torregrande, sponsored by Region of Sardinia and the Sardinia Foundation. 3). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. Just behind her the battle for podium spots intensified, though Britain’s Ellie Aldridge tightened her grip on second overall with a trio of second spots that give her breathing space over the chasing Breiana Whitehead (AUS), third on the leaderboard after a slightly mixed day in the shifty breezes. “I really struggled with the upwind legs,” said Aldridge. “The races I really messed up most were because of the first beat. My positioning on the start line was the problem. I didn’t pay enough attention to that. It didn’t help that the breeze came down on the line in a different direction every 30 seconds. It was a whacky day.” The leading pack were hotly pursued by Poland’s Julia Damasiewicz, 14, who snatched a remarkable pair of seconds and a third in the tricky, but scorchingly-quick conditions, against more seasoned rivals. 4). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. “It was a fantastic day,” said Damasiewicz, coming ashore after her last race. “To be honest, I’m pretty surprised. I was on my 15m kite, like most of the others, but was a bit overpowered. Perhaps that’s why it worked. I still can’t quite believe it. I’m really pleased.” Similarly, Vodisek was happy to go top thanks to three hard-fought bullets after a slightly slow opening to his quest for the European championship crown and an epic day-long struggle with De Ramecourt. “That was a good fight,” said Vodisek. “Near the finish when he [De Ramecourt] crashed, we were right on the limit. We were pushing really hard. I think if he hadn’t crashed, I might have done. It was a tough day. I made a lot of mistakes, but I’m slowly getting rid of them.” 5). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. Just behind the duelling rivals on the leaderboard, Mazella is still very much in the hunt for the top podium step, well aware that any slip by either will be enough tro give him the edge and allow him capitalise. “It’s a very, very tight field,” said Mazella. “Toni Vodisek was fast, but he made some mistakes and crashed. I’m on the same points as Théo de Ramecourt. So I’m going to focus on the racing and we’ll see what happens on the last day.” Top five men after five “gold” flight races (one discard) 1 Toni Vodisek (SLO) 11pts 2 Théo de Ramecourt (FRA) 12pts 3 Axel Mazella (FRA) 12pts 4 Benoit Gomez (FRA) 28pts 5 Florian Gruber (GER) 31pts Top five women after 15 races (three discards) 1 Daniela Moroz (USA) 12pts 2 Ellie Aldridge (GBR) 34pts 3 Breiana Whitehead (AUS) 48pts 4 Justina Kitchen (NZL) 53pts 5 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) 59pts 2019 Formula Kite Europeans - Day 3 Full results: www.formulakite.com
  3. Nail-biting finale at first Formula Kite Mixed Relay Europeans crowns champions. 27 September 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. Britain’s Ellie Aldridge and Connor Bainbridge clinched the inaugural Formula Kite Mixed Relay European Championship title in dramatic fashion in a final that went down to the wire at Torregrande, on the stupendous Italian resort island of Sardinia. In the finals’ showdown second round, Bainbridge handed Aldridge the lead for the second lap of the windward-leeward track on the Gulf of Oristano, but she missed a tack and slipped to third by the time she rounded the top mark. The mistake handed the lead to Poland’s Magda Woyciechowska, teamed with Maks Zakowski. They were agonisingly-close to getting the win, taking them closer to sealing title in the novel format, which will be rolled out when kiteboarding makes its debut at the 2024 Paris Olympics’ sailing venue in Marseille. 2). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. But as Aldridge put the hammer down and hunted her rivals on the final downwind leg, the 14-year-old Pole fluffed a gybe at the last mark in the light and spotty breezes. Woyciechowska suffered the dismay of watching Aldridge sail past without a backward glance to cross the line to win and land the title for the British team. “I think my heart’s going to explode,” said Aldridge, as she waded ashore on Torregrande beach. “I missed a tack before the mark when the wind gusted to the left on the upwind leg and she [Woyciechowska] got past me. Then she dropped a gybe in a lull and I was able to take her. It was all so mad.” Bainbridge, who led off on the first lap of both finals’ races and helped the pair take the two wins that clinched the title, had the discomfort of watching powerlessly as his team-mate squandered the advantage, before rescuing the situation. 3). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. “It was a very long day,” said Bainbridge, with measured understatement. “They’re very quick races. We chose that I would go first, whereas the Polish team put their woman on the first lap. The problem is you have to watch the other person being overtaken—that’s great fun.” The tension mounted throughout the day of short, sharp races in the single-elimination format. Favourites, including the US team’s Daniela Moroz and Evan Heffernan, Mixed Relay winners at the Formula Kite Worlds test event, fell by the way side. Moroz’s kite inverted in a gust and she failed to finish, and she was subsequently disqualified for going over the start line early in the next race. The Mixed Relay European Championships event aims to fine-tune the format where national teams of one man and one women each complete a single lap of the track, with the added drama of a flying “hand-over”. The mixed teams achieve the gender parity goal sought by the International Olympic Committee. 4). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships, Sardinia, Italy. One day of a scheduled five at the individual International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Europeans in Torregrande, sponsored by the Region of Sardinia and the Sardinia Foundation, was allocated for the Mixed Relay event. Twenty-two teams from 12 nations among the 90 athletes competing at the Europeans signed up for the title fight in the shifty, northerly 8kts breezes blowing over the gulf’s flat waters. The blisteringly-quick “short-track” races close to the beach barely lasted six minutes each, with the stunning Sinis Peninsula backdrop adding a stadium feel and a heightened sense of drama. The big French contingent, supported by two national sailing federation coaches and a physiotherapist, fielded five teams. All made it to the semi-finals, but only one survived to make finals’ showdown where the British team triumphed ahead of Russia’s Valeria Garashchenko and Alexey Chibizov, and New Zealand’s Justina Kitchen and Lukas Walton-Keim. 2019 Formula Kite Mixed Relay European Championships 1 Ellie Aldridge / Connor Bainbridge (GBR) 2 Valeria Garashchenko / Alexey Chibizov (RUS) 3 Justina Kitchen / Lukas Walton-Keim (NZL) 4 Magda Woyciechowska / Maks Zakowski (POL) 5 Leonie Meyer / Florian Gruber (GER) Top five men after 10 races (two discards) 1 Théo de Ramecourt (FRA) 10pts 2 Axel Mazella (FRA) 11pts 3 Toni Vodisek (SLO) 14pts 4 Benoit Gomez (FRA) 14pts 5 Florian Gruber (GER) 19pts Top five women after 10 races (two discards) 1 Daniela Moroz (USA) 4pts 2 Ellie Aldridge (GBR) 26pts 3 Breiana Whitehead (AUS) 28pts 4 Justina Kitchen (NZL) 32pts 5 Leonie Meyer (GER) 37pts 2019 Formula Kite Europeans - Mixed Relay Full results: www.formulakite.com
  4. Young hopefuls line up to battle for prized European championship titles in Sardinia 24 September 2019 1). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships A large fleet of young kitefoil athletes—its ranks swollen by growing numbers of women has lined up on the spectacular Italian resort island of Sardinia to fight for the coveted European championship titles. The Mediterranean track, framed Torregrande’s expansive sandy beach on Oristano Gulf, will play host to five days’ intense race action in the Formula Kite class, the format for kiteboarding’s Olympic debut at the 2024 Paris Games' watersports venue in Marseille. The inclusion of mixed relay kitefoil racing in the Olympics’ elite roster has drawn 90 athletes 30 of them women to the European championships. All the athletes, including a sprinkling of young teenagers, are eager to hone their skills and pit their pace against the world’s fastest competitors. 2). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships One day of the scheduled five has been allocated to mixed relay racing, when the winners on the pristine waters of Oristano Gulf’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) will be crowned European champions in the format for the first time. The MPA, the second largest in Italy, is a vital habitat for posidonia sea grass that acts as a breeding ground for fish in the gulf, while also protecting the shoreline from erosion. The goal of sustainability meshes seamlessly with wind sports like kiteboarding. “We’re very proud to have this event here in this area,” said Massimo Marras, director of the MPA. “Our aim is sustainability and preservation. Wind sports are highly sustainable. So we want to promote our area through sports like kiteboarding.” 3). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships As part of the sustainability drive, the event organisers have tried to make it as plastic free as possible. Each athlete was given a reusable water bottle courtesy of the Open Water Challenge, a rolling annual collective of watersports events at Oristano, chosen as a 2019 European city of sport. But for the athletes from 22 countries worldwide, the biggest focus will be the 2019 European championship title race, where the men and women will compete separately. The men will be divided into two flights for an opening “qualifying series” of races to seed the top racers for the closing two days’ “finals series”. In the keenly-contested men’s fleet, the biggest battle is likely to be among the victors at last week’s “open” KiteFoil World Series in Pingtan, China, where Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek took the top podium step with a dominant display. 4). 2019 Formula Kite European Championships Yet on Torregrande’s flatter waters in expected lighter breezes, the French duo of Axel Mazella and Théo de Ramecourt, who took the China stop’s second and third podium steps respectively, will no doubt force the 19-year-old Slovenian to bring his “A” game to lift the crown. Similarly, in the women’s fleet, the four-times Formula Kite world champion, the US’s Daniela Moroz, who also dominated the World Series, is likely to prove untouchable in Torregrande. But among the Europeans vying for the 2019 crown, the French pair of Alexia Fancelli and the returning Anaïs Mai Desjardins are likely to find themselves locked in a ferocious battles with Britons, Ellie Aldridge and Maddy Anderson, over the coming days of pulsating action. 2019 Formula Kite European Championships - Opening Day Full results: www.formulakite.com
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