Lepanto 2022 Formula Kite Europeans Day 4

Race wins for Magda Woyciechowska from Poland and Gal Zukerman from Israel moved the two teenagers further up the rankings at the end of day four of the 2022 Lepanto Formula Kite European Championships in Nafpaktos, Greece.

Still holding on to her lead by a single point is France’s Jessie Kampman, with the French continuing to dominate the women’s podium.

Teenagers nabbed the top placings – Robert Hajduk pic

Lauriane Nolot from France made good moves up the leaderboard with the most consistent scores from a very light wind day on the Gulf of Patras, where keeping the kite in the sky and the board above the water was often easier said than done.

Nolot’s 3,2 scores move her to second overall, just a point behind Kampman. French Alexia Fancelli continues to hold third overall while Zukerman’s race win lifts the Israeli to fourth place.

“I went to the left side of the course and was just focusing on my speed and to stop the foil from ventilating. I just tried to keep it simple”, Zukerman said. “I saw the gust on the left-hand side and wanted to get over there, but it was never easy.

“I was on my 18 [18 square metre Gin kite] and everyone else was on a 21 or 23 and it was hard to keep it going in the light winds. But it was really nice to win a race again. It feels like it has been quite a long time since the last one.”

Max Maeder made his move – Robert Hajduk pic

Woyciechowska was beaming with excitement after her race win: “I had a really good start near the committee boat, so I was in front of everyone soon after the start. Then I think other people overlaid the layline and I judged it well and made a good gain there.

“The same on the downwind. I gybed and I saw other girls carrying on for longer and I started to wonder if I’m aiming for the wrong mark. But it worked out well and it was so good to win a race here.”

Italy’s Riccardo Pianosi won the only gold fleet race completed for the men today and the 17-year-old moves up to fifth overall. “I enjoy those conditions, I like the light winds,” said Pianosi. “It was a difficult day for the fleet but it’s always more enjoyable when you win a race!”

Max Maeder from Singapore was second in the race behind Pianosi and the 16-year-old from Singapore now takes the overall lead by a point from previous yellow bib wearer, Italian Lorenzo Boschetti. “I really enjoyed that race”, said Maeder. “It was very tight because you know in gold fleet that every single mistake is punished.”

The top ten go into the medal round – Robert Hajduk pic

Maeder was also lying in second place in another race that reached just past the halfway point when it was abandoned due to the collapsing breeze. He paid tribute to Jannis Maus from Germany who was leading the race by a big margin before the abandonment signal went up.

“Jannis was the only rider to start on port at the committee boat”, Maeder said. “He went straight out to the right and it looked like it paid off big time for him. So great racing by him and Jan Marciniak (POL) who was just behind me at the leeward gate.”

With the riders brought back to shore late in the afternoon there was a faint hope that some sunset racing might be possible but the wind never reappeared.

Better breeze on Saturday is forecast. Gold fleet racing will continue, and the big goal will be to make it into the top 10 before the end of the day. The final 10 in the men and the women will go forward to contest the Medal Series on Sunday.

The format has been carefully designed to reward the top performers from the qualifying and gold fleet phases with a points advantage, while leaving the door open for any of the top 10 still to have a realistic shot at the gold medal.

Results Men
1 SGP Max Maeder 6p
2 ITA Lorenzo Boschetti 7p
3 CYP Denis Taradin 8p

Results Women
1 FRA Jessie Kampman 10p
2 FRA Lauriane Nolot 11p
3 FRA Alexia Fancelli 17p

Livestreaming of the racing starts at 0940 hrs local Greek time on Facebook and YouTube.

Full results: https://www.formulakite.org/2022europeans

Andy Rice

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