2024 Formula Kite European Championship – Day 2

Incroyable Performance of Les Femmes Fatales

HIGHLIGHTS
– Wind varying between and 20 knots makes for tough kite decisions
– Dominant French women hold top 3 overall
– Strong GBR female performance too
– Brazil’s Bruno Lobo wins 3 heats to jump to 5th in the men
– World Champion Max Maeder leads the men’s standings

Day 2 of the 2024 Formula Kite European Championship brought such variable breeze across the Mar Menor race course that some riders found themselves changing through three different sizes of kite.

The women went out for the late morning/ early afternoon session to contest five races in two qualifying groups. At this point the bigger kites were the right choice in the light to moderate breeze.

© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Gusty, variable conditions on Mar Menor
© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Gusty, variable conditions on Mar Menor

FRENCH REVOLUTION

French females dominated the front of both fleets, perhaps something to do with the Europeans being part of the national selection process for deciding which of this talented squad will be the chosen one to represent France at the Olympic Regatta in Marseille this summer.

Winner of the first race in Purple Group was Great Britain’s Lily Young. But after a fourth place in that opener, Poema Newland hit her stride to win the next four heats.

Meanwhile in Green Group it was a Frenchclean sweep across the five heatsJessie Kampman took the first bullet followed by four wins for reigning World Champion Lauriane Nolot. This moves Nolot to the top of the leaderboard on equal points with Newland and Kampman 3 points back in third overall.

© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Poema Newland pushing hard for a French place at The Games
© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Poema Newland pushing hard for a French place at The Games

SURPRISED? MOI?

Nolot says she’s not surprised to see the French collective doing so well. “Honestly, we have all been training so hard this winter, I haven’t seen many people training as much as we did. It’s so close between us during our training camps I felt for sure we were going to be on top here,” she said.

After Nolot’s dominant performance across the 2023 season, Newland is aware she is going to have pull out something special at this event to impress the selectors. “There is pressure, but I’m just trying not to think about it but just do as well as I can in every race. This girl [pointing at Nolot] did well last year so I’m just trying to do my best and we will see what happens.”

Arguably the most impressive performance of all the French is Jessie Kampman who has only been back on the board since the start of the year after five months away while recovering from a serious injury sustained last August. Nolot commented: “Jessie has succeeded in coming back this year like nothing ever happened.”

“She’s super fast on the water and it’s pretty impressive to see after her injury last year. It’s nice to see that she can be back on top.” Nolot joked that she was jealous of Kampman’s enforced ‘holiday’ from competition. “It’s making us think about maybe taking big breaks from kiting and still being able to come back and be fast again.”

© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Pin End Chaos
© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Pin End Chaos

ALL FOR ONE, AND ONE FOR ALDRIDGE!

Behind the trio of French women at the top are a trio of British women occupying 4th, 5th and 6th on the leaderboard. Unlike the French still in selection, Ellie Aldridge has already been nominated to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games.

But rather than hanging up their harnesses and taking time away from the sport, her teammates collectively decided to work with Aldridge all the way to Paris and do their best to help win a medal for King and country. Currently Lily Young is 4th, Aldridge 5th, Maddy Anderson 6th and Katie Dabson 9th in the women’s standings.

Elena Langwiler is also creating a few surprises with the Swiss rider lying in 7th overall and showing she is a great prospect for qualifying an Olympic berth for her country at next month’s Last Chance Regatta in the South of France.

© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Axel Mazella fighting back from injury and up to 4th overall
© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Axel Mazella fighting back from injury and up to 4th overall

BRAZILIAN BULL RUN

The breeze increased for the afternoon session and after many men headed out with their biggest 23 square metre kite, a number soon scurried back ashore to change down to a 15 sq m option and even an 11 sq m for when the breeze was really getting gusty. With the wind pulsing up and down all afternoon, no one ever felt too comfortable on their kite choice. Except perhaps for a few notable riders like Brazil’s Bruno Lobo in Yellow Group who said the conditions felt just like home. Riding his 15 square metre to great effect, Lobo scored 3,1,1,1,5 to rise to 5th overall in the standings.

© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Bruno Lobo was the Brazilian surprise package of the day
© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Bruno Lobo was the Brazilian surprise package of the day

SINGAPORE SLING

Valentin Bontuswon the first and last races of the session in Yellow Group which puts the Austrian in 3rd overallDefending European Champion Riccardo Pianosi was the best of Blue Group, the Italian’s scores of 1,2,3,2,1 putting him in 2nd overall. Best of the day and winning all five races in Red Group was the reigning World Champion Max Maeder from Singapore. This puts the 17-year-old at the top of the leaderboard with a 2 point advantage on Pianosi.

Qualifying continues on Thursday with the wind expected to blow even harder than today. If we saw 11 square metre kites being used today, there’s a high chance that the rarely-used 9 square metre options will be dusted down and readied for action for what is likely to be a day of high drama. The final twodays of the regatta, this Saturday and Sunday, will be livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.

RESULTS MEN
1. Maximilian Maeder, SGP – 6.0 p
2. Riccardo Pianosi, ITA – 6.0 p
3. Valentin Bontus, AUT – 8.0 p

RESULTS WOMEN
1. Lauriane Nolot, FRA – 7.0 p
2. Poema Newland, FRA – 7.0 p
3. Jessie Kampman, FRA – 10.0 p

© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Lauriane Nolot grinning despite feeling the pressure from her teammates
© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Lauriane Nolot grinning despite feeling the pressure from her teammates

Text Credits: International Kiteboarding Association
Photo Credits: IKA media
Video Credits: IKA media

To keep up to date with 2024 Formula Kite European Championship , please visit https://www.kiteclasses.org/ or follow on:

Youtube: @kiteclasses
Instagram: @kiteclasses
Facebook: International Kiteboarding Association 

Sailworld_Banner_600x500
M.O.S.S Australia
NAV at Home
Arcus-x-Cyclops-banner
Sailworld_Banner_600x500
M.O.S.S Australia
NAV at Home
Arcus-x-Cyclops-banner