The final day of the KiteFoil World Series Gizzeria in Italy produced three highly-deserving winners after a quick-fire Medal Series.
By the women’s four-rider final it was well established that port tack was the best way to start on today’s 6-minute short-course race track in the Medal Series. In the men’s and women’s semi-finals it had become very clear that hitting the beach on the right-hand side was the stronger move. Lauriane Nolot (FRA) carried two championship points into the final, her reward for winning qualifying in such dominant fashion the day before. Daniela Moroz (USA) carried one championship point through from finishing second in qualifying, while Ellie Aldridge (GBR) and Poema Newland (FRA) had won their respective semi-finals earlier in the afternoon but would have to win three races to take the title.
“Before the start I was really, really stressed,” Nolot admitted. “I was trying to remind myself that it’s just one race, one more race doing the thing that I do every day, which is to go kiteboarding. I mean, we eat breakfast every day and we don’t get stressed about that, so that’s what I was telling myself. Just do what you do.” While Nolot has now beaten Moroz in their last two duels, a part of her still can’t quite believe it when she beats the best of all time in the sport’s young history. “Daniela is five-times world champ and it’s an honour to race against her. Also she’s my best friend in the kite world, we really like each other and I think that’s why we’re pushing each other. Winning here is a great boost, it’s good for confidence as we start looking towards the Worlds.”
Dennis Taradin (CYP) successfully defended the title that he won a year ago in Gizzeria. Wearing the yellow bib after winning the qualifying series, Taradin had two championship points and only needed to win one race more to take the title. Toni Vodisek (SLO) went through in second place, with one championship point to his name. Meanwhile two young Italians had won their respective semi-finals less than an hour earlier in the afternoon and would line up against Taradin and Vodisek to see if they could topple the two leaders. Lorenzo Boschetti (ITA) had to beat reigning Formula Kite World Champion Theo de Ramecourt (FRA), while Riccardo Pianosi (ITA) was facing Axel Mazella (FRA), the reigning Kitefoiling World Series Champion. In both cases the young Italians came through their semis in fine form, and were looking good enough to threaten the two frontrunners.
In the early stages of the first race of the four-rider final, Vodisek made the early running. Taradin was looking strong off the start line as all four riders fired out to the right-hand side on port tack towards the favoured breeze on the right-hand side of the race course.
“I had a really good start but there was a guy swimming in the middle of the course and I had to dive down to avoid a crash,” said Taradin. “Now my kite was behind Lorenzo’s and I was stuck there and couldn’t move any faster.”
Vodisek took up the lead as all four riders simo-tacked on the starboard layline. Taradin was locked in a close battle with Boschetti, while the 16-year-old Pianosi was a short way back in fourth. All the way around the course Vodisek looked to be in control of the lead but on the last gybe to the bottom turning mark he and Boschetti picked their layline a bit too early. Meanwhile Taradin deliberately overstood the layline so he could charge in at pace. “Toni and Lorenzo were pumping their legs to get down to the mark,” said Taradin. “I didn’t have to because I was already quite far downwind, so I could go super-fast and reach in to the mark.”
Now Vodisek was still in the lead – just – but with Taradin breathing right down his neck. “I got just inside of Toni at the last gybe and then I was fighting him on the reach.” It looked like it was set for a photo-finish between the two rivals but Taradin found a last ounce of speed to charge across the line in first place. Punching the air, the bearded boardmeister had sealed victory. Vodisek took silver with bronze going to Boschetti.
“It feels great to win here again,” said Taradin. “Winning is a habit and it’s important to win events like this as we build towards the Olympic Games in two years’ time.”
Reigning Youth World Champion in the A’s Youth class, Gian Stragiotti (SUI), proved a class apart this week as he won both gold fleet races on the final day to win the Europeans by a massive margin. Jan Koszowski (POL) took silver well ahead of Giuseppe Paolillo (ITA) in bronze.
Up next on the IKA kitefoiling tour is the Formula Kite European Championship in Nafpaktos, Greece, which takes place 26 September to 2 October.
For more about the event: https://kitefoilworldseries.com/
1 CYP Denis Taradin
2 SLO Toni Vodisek
3 ITA Lorenzo Boschetti
1 FRA Lauriane Nolot
2 USA Daniela Moroz
3 GBR Ellie Aldridge
Full results: https://kitefoilworldseries.com/
A’s YouthFoil U17
1 SUI Gian Andrea Stragiotti 11p
2 POL Jan Koszowski 20p
3 ITA Giuseppe Paolillo 38p
A’s YouthFoil U15
1 ITA Julio Houze 51p
2 POL Marcel Stepniewski 65p
3 ISR Carmel Avisar 91p
Full results: https://www.youthfoil.org/
Text Credits: IKA Media / Andy Rice
Photo Credits: IKA Media