19 year old Slovenian Toni Vodisek has secured his first regatta win on the professional kite racing circuit with a commanding 25 point lead over second placed Axel Mazella from France.
Vodisek secured the win with two races to spare in front of a growing beachside crowd “I feel amazing, never felt better” commented Vodisek shortly after coming ashore. “My first victory at a big event, I’m super happy. Thanks for everything everybody who helped me and it’s great to have the best kites, Ozone, and I hope we can continue this year.”
Vodisek sailed a flawless regatta with his final scoreline after discards consisting only of first and second places. It was this consistency which set him apart from the rest of the star studded fleet which featured three past World Champions and seven individual race winners throughout the 20 race regatta. When asked to what he attributes his performance, he knows, “It’s not one thing. This is a sport where you win by filling up the little gaps. I’m a bit stronger than the other guys so at the beginning I thought it was that because usually I train in the light wind. But then today when they put the shorter course and it was strong wind, I honestly don’t know why I was in front.”
The question on everyone's mind must surely be ‘What is Toni Vodisek eating for breakfast?’ Five races were completed on the penultimate day of competition at the 2019 KiteFoil World Series Gizzeria in the south of Italy. While both Connor Bainbridge (GBR) and Nicolas Parlier (FRA) secured a victory apiece, it was the third day in a row in which current regatta leader Toni Vodisek notched up three bullets to extend his lead to 17 points.
The 19 year old has shown glimpses of his ability in the past however his lack of consistency has always been his achilles heel. This appears behind him now, showing blistering speed and an unwavering ability to keep the board under his feet. Second placed Axel Mazella (FRA) knows he has a challenge ahead of him if he wants to catch the flying Slovenian. “I don’t know how I can catch Toni,” laughs Mazella. “We both made a lot of mistakes but he has a very high speed. Even if he made some mistakes he can get to the top as he wants.”
In what presented itself as a repeat of day one, Toni Vodisek extended his lead in the 2019 KiteFoil World Series Gizzeria while Nico Parlier and Guy Bridge made solid moves up the leaderboard.
For the second time in as many days, the Italian resort of Hang Loose Beach provided the 81 competitors on the first stop of the 2019 KiteFoil World Series with the ultimate in kitefoil racing conditions; flat water and a building sea breeze that slowly shifted right as the day progressed.
Day one leader Toni Vodisek from Slovenia stamped his authority on the regatta with three wins and a string of fourths to extend his lead over Frenchman Axel Mazella.
Day one of the 2019 Porsche KiteFoil World Series belongs to young Slovenian Toni Vodisek. In what can only be described as perfect kitefoil conditions, Vodisek shot to the lead with three bullets in the opening three races.
Under the bright southern-Italian sun, a record 82 athletes took to the start line for race one of the 2019 KiteFoil World Series off Hang Loose Beach. In a 10-12 knot sea breeze and with all competitors choosing kites in the 18 to 21 square metre range, Toni Vodisek led the fleet to the favoured right hand side of the course and never looked back.
“The day was pretty hectic. The wind was not so light for my 21m which I was using for the start, but yeah the legs are hurting. Hopefully the other guys' are too because mine are wrecked! I am super happy I got three bullets but it’s not over, this is just the first day so let’s keep pushing to the end.”
Reigning KiteFoil World Champions Maxime Nocher (FRA) & Kirstyn O’Brien (USA) will begin their title defence tomorrow in Italy at the 2019 Porsche KiteFoil World Series Gizzeria. Hosted by Hang Loose Beach from Thursday 25th and concluding on Sunday 29th July, 82 athletes from 19 countries will compete in pristine foiling conditions on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Following on from her recent win at the Formula Kite World Championship on Lake Garda earlier this year, the U.S.A.’s Daniela Moroz is expected to set the benchmark in a rapidly expanding and progressing female fleet. “I think it’s really exciting that we have 20 girls signed up for this event, which is the most we’ve had for a KiteFoil World Series so far I believe. You can tell the sport is growing and more girls are getting into it since it went Olympic. Also you can see the nations are building up their Youth programs which is also really good for the sport. So I think it’s really exciting times”
Monaco’s Maxime Nocher trumpeted his comeback when he lifted the KiteFoil world champion’s crown after a stuttering World Series final fought out on the Italian resort island of Sardinia.
Nocher added to his haul of world titles at the climax of the three-stop International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil World Series, with a second podium spot at the Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam that earned him the tour’s best overall racer.
“It’s very nice,” said Nocher. “I’m really happy to come back after the last year. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m going to come back stronger next year. Now I know my weaknesses and I’ll have to be even faster.”
The gap at the top of the leaderboard shrank to nothing with the French rivals Nico Parlier and Maxime Nocher ending the penultimate day of the KiteFoil World Series final in Italy equal on points.
But reigning International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil world champion, Nico Parlier, just kept his nose in front courtesy of his superior scores despite finishing the day’s only race fifth after the breeze finally filled late in the afternoon on the resort island of Sardinia.
Britain’s Guy Bridge clawed back some of his deficit on the leaderboard. The teenager grabbed a bullet at the death in charged racing when the breeze blowing over the track off Cagliari’s Poetto Beach built to 8kts.
The final of the KiteFoil World Series—the sole event of the three-stop tour being staged in Europe—has seen a dramatic upsurge in the number of “youth” racers eager to improve and learn from their kiteboarding heroes.
An astonishing 15 of the 59 athletes hunting podium positions at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Kitefoil series’ last stop on Italy’s resort island of Sardinia are in the U-19 category.
Remarkably, five of the 10-strong women’s group are “youth” competitors, mainly new kitefoilers from Poland who dream of following in the footsteps of kitefoil racing phenomenon, triple Formula Kite world champion, Daniela Moroz (USA), 17, who sits ninth overall at the Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam.
France’s Nico Parlier traded blows with fellow countryman Maxime Nocher in the opening exchanges of the KiteFoil World Series final played out in tricky breezes on the Italian resort island of Sardinia.
But reigning KiteFoil and Formula Kite world champion Parlier gained the upper hand, taking the leaderboard’s top spot with a bullet and a second in the day’s two races fought out in the shifty and variable breezes that bathed the course off Cagliari’s Poetto Beach.
Former world champion Nocher could only manage a third spot in the second race, but had notched up a bullet by the finest of margins over Parlier at the opening of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil series’ third and final tour stop.
The globe-trotting KiteFoil World Series is set to reach an epic climax with the finale off Cagliari’s Poetto Beach on Italy’s resort island of Sardinia.
The Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam will crown the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil world champion for the best athlete of the three-stop tour which began in China last month.
Tension is bound to be high with the prospect of a showdown between multiple former world champion, France’s Maxime Nocher, and reigning Formula Kite and KiteFoil world title holder, fellow countryman, Nico Parlier.