- Four races in 9 to 13 knots of southerly wind and blue skies
- Maeder and Boschetti’s duel continues at the front of the men’s fleet
- Lauriane Nolot overtakes Breiana Whitehead in the women
- Cameron Maramenides is the surprise package of the day, climbing to fourth
Friday the 13th turned out to be full of fortune for the top seeds on day two of Kitefoil World Series Italy in Sardinia. Racing in 9 to 13 knots of southerly wind and unblemished blue skies, French Formula Kite World Champion Lauriane Nolot was first woman in all four races to take the lead from Breiana Whitehead of Australia. Elena Lengwiler continues to impress with her rapid progress as a relative newcomer to the sport, the Swiss rider sitting in third overall after eight races.
The close duel between Max Maeder and Lorenzo Boschetti continued in the men, with the Singaporean 17-year-old narrowly taking three race wins from the four races and the Italian taking the other. Despite the difference in wins, Boschetti is only two points behind Maeder in the overall standings. Martin Dolenc is the most consistently daring starter, the Croatian always pushing the line for maximum advantage yet very rarely picking up any start line disqualifications.
Dolenc continues to hold third place but the young Greek rider Cameron Maramenides is showing growing potential to take on the big boys at their own game. Like the Croatian, Maramenides has been brave with his starting strategy, securing a brilliant port tack start across the fleet on day one and getting three out of four very strong starts on starboard on day two.
Earlier in the day Boschetti had won the pin end of the line in the third race of the session and led from start to finish, taking the winner’s gun. Having seen what worked, Maramenides made sure it was his turn to take pole position out of the start line of the last race of the day.
The Greek put the hammer down and was fast out of the blocks and led until the top of the final windward leg. “I saw the guys coming in pretty hot and there was a pack of them stacked up on starboard and instead of just going below them all, I tacked below Max. I knew that he was in a little bit of a better position so I just tried to point high before the mark, so I could get a really good rounding. I thought I did enough but, you know, Max just always ends up pulling something out of the bag to shock everybody.”
Even if Maramenides is still in awe of Maeder’s Midas touch on the race course, today’s performance certainly marks another step forward for the Greek who only started campaigning seriously in kitefoiling a year ago. He has yet to make it to the top 10 of a major event for the final-day Medal Series, but now lying in fourth in Cagliari, that prospect is starting to look very real for Maramenides. “An old tennis coach told me, ‘Keep your eyes on the prize, and it will despite,” so we’re not gonna think about the final until that time comes. We need to focus on the process and see where it takes us.”
Meanwhile Maeder remains humble whenever he’s asked to analyse his ongoing success. A recovery from 8th place at the halfway point of the final race, and then to climb through to first by the finish was remarkable even for a rider of Maeder’s rare calibre. “A couple of things went right for it to happen, some fortunate circumstances for me. I was first to go out to the right side of the course on the last windward leg after it worked out well for the riders on the first upwind. Then my training partner Martin [Dolenz] caught a plastic bag on this foil, and the rest going too far left on the course, along with a combination of some lucky moments, a touchdown from Lorenzo, a tight layline from Cameron, and things worked out for me.”
While other riders appear to be getting the measure of Maeder on certain points of the course, the mature Singaporean knows that the key to success in all forms of sailing is to be consistent across all conditions. “It’s about playing the averages,” said Maeder. “A lot of riders are really strong in particular conditions and wind strengths but you need to be competitive in everything.”
With the men and women racing in one combined fleet off one busy start line, the women have a new set of road blocks to contend with, not least trying to keep clear air in all the traffic. Breiana Whitehead explained: “I’m finding the starts pretty challenging, just finding a spot and then getting good acceleration.”
“Once I get off the start line I’ve got decent speed and I’m generally OK around the course. It’s funny how with all the boys on the course we girls all end up together in the same part of the fleet. It’s like there’s a magnet pulling us back together.”
Competition continues on Saturday with racing due to start at 14:00 hours when four concluding races for the Opening Series are scheduled. Racing on Saturday and Sunday will be live streamed and available to watch online.
1. Maximilian Maeder SGP 7.0 pts
2. Lorenzo Boschetti ITA 9.0 pts
3. Martin Dolenz CRO 22.0 pts
1. Lauriane Nolot FRA 119.0 pts
2. Breiana Whitehead AUS 139.0 pts
3. Elena Lengwiler SUI 148.0 pts
Text Credits: IKA media
Photo Credits: IKA media / Robert Hajduk
Video Credits: ICARUS Sports
To keep up to date with KiteFoil World Series Italy, please visit https://www.kitefoilworldseries.com