Kitefoiling: Maximilian Maeder from S’pore is again World Sailing Junior World Champion
SINGAPORE – After four days of fierce competition, Singaporean kitefoiler Maximilian Maeder emerged victorious and retained his kitesurfing title at the Junior (Under 19) Sailing World Championships on Thursday (July 14th).
Maximilian, 15, was engaged in a two-horse race with Italian Riccardo Pianosi over 18 rounds in The Hague, Netherlands.
Pianosi started on the front foot and led at the halfway mark, cementing his three-point lead after Maximilian crashed out and finished seventh on lap eight.
But Maximilian won seven straight after that to regain the lead and seal the victory with 19 net points.
Pianosi, who also settled for silver behind Max last year, had 23 points while Polish bronze medalist Jakub Jurkowski finished with 55.
Smiling from ear to ear after his victory, Max paid tribute to his competitors instead.
He said: “Hats off to everyone else. You can see how much work they put in and how much more competitive it has become. I want to congratulate everyone, especially Riccardo who gave me a real run for my money.
“I’m really not happy for myself, but for everyone who has improved so much and given this youth championship a whole new flavor and a whole new level.”
Maximilian, who is home-schooled, started the sport aged 10 and has been in imperious form since 2021, winning two Youth World Championships and the European Formula Kite Championships.
He was also ranked the world’s No. 1 male for the first time last year. This year he added several more gold medals to his collection, including the International Kiteboarding Association Youth (under 21) World Kitefoiling Championships and the 2022 Formula Kite Asia Pacific Championships titles.