Monaco’s Maxime Nocher sealed victory at the second stop of the KiteFoil World Series at Pingtan, eastern China, on the competition’s final day in difficult conditions that saw high winds and big seas batter the track.
The multiple world champion’s win over three days of intense racing, when he proved virtually unbeatable, cemented the comeback he began a week ago by taking the season-opening International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil stop in Weifang Binhai, in back-to-back events in China.
If anything, Nocher was even more dominant in Pingtan where he seized an amazing 10 bullets from 13 races, putting him in the box seat to secure the IKA KiteFoil world championship crown awarded to the best racer at the end of the scheduled four-regatta tour.
The French duo of Théo de Ramecourt and Axel Mazella launched a concerted assault on the top of the leaderboard in a day of startlingly-fast racing at the KiteFoil World Series in Pingtan, eastern China,
De Ramecourt and reigning KiteFoil GoldCup series' title holder, Mazella, moved up the order to second and third overall respectively as both notched up consistently high-placed finishes in the challenging breezes blowing over the East China Sea track at up to 23kts.
Mazella in particular was on a charge towards the close of day three of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) World Series’ tour stop, landing a bullet, two seconds and two thirds in the six races over three laps of the windward-leeward course.
If the setting in China had changed, little else had. In the opening skirmishes at the KiteFoil World Series in Pingtan, Monaco’s Maxime Nocher picked up where he left off a week ago at the tour’s first stop in Weifang Binhai.
The multiple world champion scooped a clean sweep of four bullets in the first racing day of the competition in building breezes that hit 18kts, continuing the winning ways that earned him the top podium spot in the first of the back-to-back World Series’ stops in China.
Britain’s Connor Bainbridge, who was all-but untouchable on the first days of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) World Series’ season-opener in Weifang, sits a few points adrift in second overall after posting a trio of third-placed finishes and a second.
The world’s leading kite hydrofoil athletes favour Formula Kite as the equipment of choice for the 2024 Paris Olympics if World Sailing backs the decision of its Council to include kiteboarding at the upcoming annual meeting.
Formula Kite, roughly a “box rule” that limits racers to series production registered foils and kites produced by any brand, is a compromise between the “one design” concept and “open” unregulated equipment in an effort to ensure the best athlete and not the best material wins.
Many of the top kitefoil racers are among 27 athletes from 16 countries competing in the second Act of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil World Series on Fujian province’s Pingtan Island, China, for a prize purse of $40,000.
But on the first scheduled day of four high winds and big seas, the result of a typhoon bearing down on the East China Sea track, meant racing was impossible because of safety concerns for the competitors.
With the Olympics decision on the horizon in November, most of the athletes are focused on the boon that inclusion could prove for kiteboarding. World Sailing (WS)—governing body of sailing, including kiteboarding and windsurfing—has accepted a mixed team kiteboarding event for the Paris Games.
The hotly-anticipated KiteFoil World Series’ second act is set to kick-off with four days of scorchingly-quick kiteboard racing action in back-to-back tour stops in China.
Hot of the heels of the season-opener of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil tour in Shandong province’s Weifang Binhai, the world’s fastest kitefoil athletes are to take to the East China Sea track off Fujian’s Pingtan Island.
Monaco’s Maxime Nocher, staked his claim to the scheduled four-stop series’ world title crown when he captured the victory in Weifang Binhai with increasingly-fast and confident performances that signalled his return to form.
The multiple world champion will look to build on his advantage in Pingtan, particularly with reigning IKA Formula Kite and “open” KiteFoil World Champion, Nico Parlier, missing. The Frenchman took the second podium spot in Weifang, but college commitments prevented him making the trip to Pingtan.
But despite Nocher’s steady and tactically astute racing in Weifang, he is unlikely to have it all his own way. He will be up against Britain’s Connor Bainbridge who proved almost unbeatable in the opening battles at the first tour stop.
A clutch of the fastest French racers are also among the 27 athletes from 16 nations who have made the journey to fight for a share of the $40,000 purse on offer at second stop that is the centre-piece of the 2018 Pingtan International Kitesurfing Festival.
The reigning IKA KiteFoil GoldCup title holder, Axel Mazella, Théo de Ramecourt, Theo Lhostis and Titouan Galea will undoubtedly give Nocher and Bainbridge a run for their money, each eager to claim a share of the glory and the prize money.
But with high winds and big seas already pummelling Pingtan’s beach-front, and more forecast throughout the week due to Cat. 4 typhoon "Mangkhut" approaching mainland China, the conditions could prove almost as challenging as the competition on the windward-leeward course.
A small group of women, led by former Formula Kite World Champion, Russia’s Elena Kalinina, will pit themselves against the men and the elements. They will race in the mixed fleet in Pingtan, a venue that has become a firm fixture on kiteboarding’s calendar because it always delivers stellar conditions that make for enthralling kite racing action.
Multiple world title holder, Monaco’s Maxime Nocher, signalled his comeback to form by clinching the opening round of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil World Series in Weifang Binhai, eastern China.
Nocher’s performance over the regatta’s five scintillating days of competition and a remarkable 22 races was characterised by steady progress that saw him only top the leaderboard on the penultimate day, matched by a cautious error-free final day in which he sealed victory.
“To compare with the last year I’ve been very steady,” said Nocher. “I’ve been training hard and you can see it in my results. At the start of the year I was 10th, then 5th at the Europeans, 3rd at the Worlds and 1st here. So I’m quite happy about that. I’m not the fastest, but I am the most consistent and that’s good.”
Monaco’s Maxime Nocher surged to the head of the order at the KiteFoil World Series’ opening act in China, taking four wins from seven on the competition’s penultimate day that was packed with drama that proved costly for his rivals.
But the multiple world champion was a model of searingly-quick consistency even up against one of the fastest fleets that has ever gathered to battle for the unprecedented €60,000 prize money on the Yellow Sea track off Weifang Binhai, eastern China.
By contrast, the leader for the opening three of the regatta’s five days, Britain’s Connor Bainbridge, slipped to second overall after a slightly mixed outing in perfect kitefoil racing conditions with breezes that ranged from 13kts to 19kts under clear skies.
British athlete Guy Bridge charged up the leaderboard on the third day of the KiteFoil World Series at Weifang Binhai, in eastern China, with scintillatingly-quick and accomplished racing that earned him a hat-trick wins.
The wins catapulted Bridge, the younger sibling of Olly Bridge, up the rankings to third spot overall on a day of confusingly-mixed conditions that finally came good late in the afternoon, enabling the race director to squeeze in four races.
Bridge’s stellar outing on the two laps of the windward-leeward track on the Yellow Sea in 13kts to 18kts boosted his quest for overall victory at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil World Series season opener.
Reigning International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil World Champion, France’s Nico Parlier, edged his way up the order at the KiteFoil World Series being fought out off Weifang Binhai’s Joy Sea Beach in eastern China.
The multiple world champion notched up a win and a third place in the only two races of the day after the early, shifty offshore breezes died completely. The finishes helped move Parlier up to third spot overall at the end of the second of five days of racing.
But Britain’s Connor Bainbridge, the overnight leader thanks to a dominant first day on the Yellow Sea’s windward-leeward track, retained his lead at the top of the standings after he grabbed a win and a less auspicious seventh spot.
British racer Connor Bainbridge opened his account at the KiteFoil World Series in style, with a trio of wins that gave him the leaderboard’s top spot at the season-opening event being played out in Weifang Binhai, eastern China.
The veteran sailor and windsurfer also bagged several high-placed finishes against a field stacked with the world’s fastest kitefoil racers, giving him a healthy points lead on the first of the five-day competition.
Bainbridge was even able to shrug off the misfortune of catching some debris on his foil and crashing, putting his kite in the water and eventually finishing down the order in the third of day’s six races.