Thunderstorms and rain stop play, and not enough wind for racing when sun came out on day 2
Daniela Moroz (USA) and Lauriane Nolot (FRA) lead the women’s qualifying fleets
Axel Mazella (FRA), Toni Vodisek (SLO) and Max Maeder (SGP) are top of the three men’s groups
Olympic medallists and round-the-world racers coaching the kite fleet
Thunder, lightning, rain and a lack of wind all conspired against any racing being able to take place on day two of the 2022 Formula Kite World Championships in Cagliari, Sardinia.
Instead, the 150 riders from 44 countries will have to play out the end of the qualifying phase of the competition on Thursday when the sun and wind are forecast to be much more kite-friendly.
No day at a world championship should ever be wasted, and for the coaches there are still opportunities to make gains with their athletes even on a no-race day. There are some significant names from other parts of the sport in Cagliari looking to help the kiteboarders get up to speed with the rigours of Olympic campaigning. Among the many experts working shoreside and in the coach boats are (in no particular order):
Stevie Morrison (GBR), double 49er Olympian and former 49er World Champion
Robbie Naismith (NZL), America’s Cup and Whitbread Race winner
John Bertrand (USA), Finn Olympic silver medallist
Charlie McKee (USA), 470 and 49er double Olympic medallist
Iker Martinez (ESP), 49er Olympic gold medallist and world champion, Volvo Ocean Race skipper
Joe Glanfield (GBR), double 470 Olympic silver medallist
Caleb Paine (USA), Finn Olympic bronze medallist.
Morrison, who also TV commentates on the SailGP circuit, is working with British rider Ellie Aldridge. “Racing with kites is still sailboat racing”, said Morrison. “It’s high-speed decision-making, a bit like in skiffs like the 49er where I came from, but obviously quite a bit faster, sometimes not that far off the speed of SailGP. Whatever you’re sailing, some of the campaigning principles are the same, which is why you see a lot of knowledge coming into the kite fleet from other parts of the sport. And we’re learning a lot from the kite athletes too!”
Robbie Naismith is in Cagliari with his son Lochy who is racing at his first Formula Kite World Championship. “I didn’t really like sailing much when I was growing up”, said Lochy, “I saw the kites and that’s what I wanted to do.”
“I WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME!”
Asked if he had any regrets about his son not following in his father’s professional footsteps into more conventional sailing, Robbie replied: “Not at all! If kitefoiling had been around when I was Lochy’s age I probably would have done the same as him. When I was racing in big keelboats in the America’s Cup 30 years ago, they were the pinnacle of the sport, but now these foiling machines are the peak of the sport today. What Lochy and these kiters are doing has a lot of similarities with what we’re seeing in the America’s Cup and SailGP circuits.”
Racing continues at 1200 hours local time on Wednesday, with the 150 competitors continuing their battles in the qualifying fleets. Friday sees the fleet re-organised into gold, silver and bronze, when the final three days of the Worlds will be livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.
Text Credits: Andy Rice
Photo Credits: IKA Media / Robert Hajduk