Leaders jump into close battles at KiteFoil World Series Cagliari • Live Sail Die
Frenchman Axel Mazella and Russian Denis Taradin engaged in an exciting battle full of drama on day two of the KiteFoil World Series Cagliari, on the Italian seaside island of Sardinia.
With one victory each in the previous two stages of the tour, the two Ozone riders exchanged balls in the five races of the day, competing on the Gulf of Angels, off the beach of Poetto in Cagliari, in land breezes that climbed to around 13 knots.
No race better illustrated the intensity of the duels between the two than the final and decisive race of the day. Taradin’s better angle and speed upwind saw him leading around the weather mark on both laps of the upwind course, but Mazella outscored his rival in the downwind stages with his superior pace.
The intense pressure on Taradin forced him to make a mistake when he jibed too early in the last downwind leg, almost causing his wing to collapse as he struggled for power. It was a costly mistake that allowed the Frenchman to bogus his rival to land another ball.
The duo managed to overtake leaders overnight, Briton Connor Bainbridge, who couldn’t match his stellar opening day performance. He fell to third place in the four-day regatta with a purse of € 25,000.
16-year-old Italian Riccardo Pianosi has shown he is a force to be reckoned with, with a string of top-placed finishes that included two fourth places against the world’s fastest kitefoil racers. Her outing on local waters made up for an unforgettable first day in windy and unstable conditions that reached 33 knots.
“In these winds that we had today, I’m really good,” said the tall teenager. “It was a great day and I’m super happy, especially in this place with the best guys in the world.”
The Frenchwoman Poema Newland maintains her lead overnight in the women’s fleet, which races with the men. But by her own admission, she lost the pace and saw her compatriot Lauriane Nolot reduce the gap on her, with a confident race in lighter conditions.
“It was so much better today,” Nolot said. “I love my 15m kite. In these conditions, we had fun. It was sneaky, so you had to make the right tactical decisions. This mainly meant going to the right, where there was an elevator near the headland.
Forty-two athletes – 29 men and 13 women from 19 countries and five continents – compete in the third act of the World Series Cagliari, with world champions IKA KiteFoil crowned at the end of the five scheduled saves.
For some of the young athletes from faraway lands, the globe-trotting tour is an unparalleled opportunity to hone their skills and improve their pace against the best in the world. The goal is to secure coveted qualifying places for the 2024 Paris Games, when kitesurfing makes its Olympic debut.
None more than Jean de Falbaire. He is originally from African Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, but spent the last summer training in Arcachon, France, and participating in international kitefoil competitions.
The 23-year-old had the chance to befriend the best reigning Formula Kite world champions, Frenchman Nico Parlier, and his compatriot Benoît Gomez, with whom he can train when they are not. not with their national team.
But the journey was not easy. The young athlete has spent years surfing the couch and borrowing equipment to enable him to compete in events in Europe, allowing him to get the competition that does not exist in Mauritius.
A private-public initiative in Mauritius, Horizon Paris 2024, has identified 13 athletes most likely to win medals at the next Olympic Games. De Falbaire was one of the lucky ones chosen, providing him with the funds to travel and purchase equipment.
“My real project is to qualify for the Olympics and bring a medal back to Mauritius,” he said. “I am so lucky to be able to train and grow in Europe and I am extremely grateful for the help I have received, especially from the French.”
“In Mauritius, the sailing community is not as developed, because the structure is not there yet. I think I am the first professional sailor. So getting sponsored is a big deal and I’m really grateful. I hope I can give something in return to inspire and help the young sailors in Mauritius.
All the races of the KiteFoil World Series Cagliari, which reaches its final on Sunday, are featured on Facebook Livestream.
KiteFoil World Series Cagliari – Men (10 races, 2 withdrawals)
1 FRA Axel Mazella 14pts
2 RYF Denis Taradin 21pts
3 GBR Connor Bainbridge 23pts
KiteFoil World Series Cagliari – Women (10 races, 2 withdrawals)
1 ENG Newland Poem 131pts
2 FRA Lauriane Nolot 132pts
3 ENG Jessie Kampman 158pts
Full results: www.kitefoilworldseries.com