France’s Axel Mazella punched the air with joy and relief as he flew across the line in the season-ending last race of the KiteFoil World Series final on the Italian resort island of Sardinia, lifting the crown for the second time.
As the offshore Mistral winds built to more than 30kts blowing over the Gulf of Angels track off Cagliari’s Poetto Beach, Mazella took few risks on the event’s final fourth day, keenly aware he had done enough earlier and over the tour’s first three stops to land the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) 2019 KiteFoil World Title.
Mazella closed out the Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam, sponsored byRegione Sardegnatourism and the City of Cagliari, in fourth spot after 20 high-octane races, often in punchy winds on flat waters that saw the leaders clock an astonishing 40+kts on downwind legs.
French athletes bossed the top of the order at the KiteFoil World Series on the Italian resort island of Sardinia, commanding a remarkable four of the top five spots after the penultimate third day of blisteringly-fast racing in shifty conditions.
Overnight leader Théo de Ramecourt (FRA) extended his lead at the head of the standings after he landed two bullets and two seconds in awesome racing on the fabled Gulf of Angels course in tricky offshore breezes of 11kts to 20kts.
But he was pushed all the way by fellow countryman, the resurgent Nico Parlier, who scooped a bullet and a clutch of high-placed finishes that were enough to go second on the leaderboard and just get his nose ahead of lone Briton, Connor Bainbridge.
The hot-favourite to lift the 2019 KiteFoil World Series title at the finale being fought out on the Italian resort island of Sardinia is out of the competition after he suffered a dramatic shoulder injury in a crash in the penultimate race of the second day.
Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek, 19, had proved virtually untouchable at the opening three stops of International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) series where he dominated to take a hat-trick of victories that put him in pole position to secure the coveted crown.
But even before his campaign-ending injury, there were ominous signs his title bid was coming off the rails, thanks to several costly errors. On the second of a scheduled four days of competition off Cagliari’s Poetto Beach the teenager was disqualified from one race for crossing the line early and tangled at the bottom gate, failing to finish another.
The opening duels of the four-stop KiteFoil World Series final being played out on the Italian resort island of Sardinia threw up breathtakingly-close racing in gusty and shifty Mistral winds that tested even the most experienced athletes.
But with the world title at stake, tour leader Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek, 19, suffered a streak of bad luck, failing to finish either of the day’s last two races after breaking his power line and subsequently his bridles when his 11m kite inverted in the offshore breezes gusting to 28kts.
The teenager had opened his title quest at the Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam with scintillating racing, lifting two bullets and a second that at one stage took him to the top of the standings in a titanic struggle with France’s Théo de Ramecourt.
The world’s fastest kitefoil racers are poised to battle for KiteFoil World Series championship titles on the spectacular Italian resort island of Sardinia in the final fourth act of the globe-trotting tour.
It is the third successive year that the Sardinian capital of Cagliari has hosted the series where intense battles in the cutting-edge kiteboarding discipline will again be fought out on the Gulf of Angels off the pristine Poetto Beach.
But the 2019 edition’s climactic finale over the five-day Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam, sponsored byRegione Sardegna tourism and the City of Cagliari, is set to be one of the hardest-fought after kiteboarding won inclusion in the line-up for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek and the US’s Daniela Moroz clinched wins at the third and penultimate act of the 2019 KiteFoil World Series in challenging conditions off Pingtan island, eastern China.
Vodisek, 19, and four-time Formula Kite world champion Moroz, 18, have now dominated each of the tour’s three events with scintillating pace and raw power that gave them the edge over rivals among the world’s fastest kitefoil racers.
Both are now poised to lift the coveted International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil world titles, but still have work to do to seal the deal at the series’ closing act on Poetto Beach, Cagliari, on the Italian resort island of Sardinia next month.
Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek is within touching distance of a third successive KiteFoil World Series tour stop victory after another day of breathtakingly-tight racing at the season’s penultimate event on the Yellow Sea track off eastern China’s Pingtan Island.
Vodisek, 19, landed two bullets and a second in the challenging conditions, with winds gusting to 27kts over a mounting swell laced with chop, that made most competitors’ 11m kites more than a handful.
But with France’s Axel Mazella on a charge and snapping at his heels, series’ leader Vodisek can afford no slip-ups in the three races of the final fifth day of the regatta, where punchy breezes and big seas will test the 27-strong mixed fleet from 13 nations to the limit.
The margins separating the top women at the penultimate stop of the KiteFoil World Series being fought out in Pingtan, east China, shrank dramatically in a clutch of breathless races in challenging conditions.
But at the head of the women’s fleet, four-time Formula Kite world champion, Daniela Moroz (USA), retained her convincing lead on the third day of intense battles on the Yellow Sea track, despite dismissing her outing as ‘the worst” she had experienced.
Just three leaderboard places behind her in the 27-strong mixed fleet, reigning KiteFoil world champion, Kirstyn O’Brien (USA), is locked in titanic struggle with Russia’s Elena Kalinina and just kept ahead after five races in punchy 27kts north-easterly breezes and mounting swells.
The Slovenian teenager leading the KiteFoil World Series tour reasserted himself in formidable fashion to go top of the standings at the third stop in Pingtan, eastern China, in testing conditions.
But while Toni Vodisek, 19, opened his day's account with three flawless bullets on the windward-leeward Yellow Sea track that left the world’s fastest kitefoilers in his wake, he did not have it all his own way.
With his distinctive fluorescent orange helmet and board, Vodisek appeared to have the day’s penultimate fourth race in the bag, too, after leading for most of the way round the course. But he misjudged a gybe allowing France’s Axel Mazella the inside track on the last downwind leg, giving him the bullet.
France’s Théo de Ramecourt stole the show at the opening of the KiteWorld Series’ third act on Pingtan Island, eastern China, when he seized two bullets that were enough to get his nose in front in the standings.
De Ramecourt just edged out current World Series’ leader, Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek, who looked unstoppable when he closed out the first of two back-to-back stops in China with a bravura flourish earlier in the week.
Just as it appeared that Vodisek, 19, was about to continue where he had left off a few days ago in Weifang, he crashed on the last downwind leg of the opening day’s third and final race in 16kts of breeze after leading round every mark.