Welcome to the beautiful capital of Sardinia - Cagliari and the prestigious Formula Kite Youth & Masters Worlds 2014. Poetto beach is full of life and fun as more than 50 riders from 19 nations gather to take their chances in a battle for the crown. This is not the first time that Poetto beach has been awash with colorful kites and a competitive energy; the beach has hosted many great events including the prestigious Kite Worlds in 2012.
This year the competition sees many title contenders and all of a very high standard so it was no surprise that all the riders began their preparations early ahead of racing. There was no chance of competitors easing themselves into the competition today as winds of 20 knots blew across the race area upping the level of skill needed out on the water. This years event, organized by the Yacht Club of Cagliari in conjunction with the International Kiteboarding Association, is particularly significant as it’s the first time that the Youth and Master fleets compete together but in a separate championship.This was a natural progression thanks to the constant development of Kite Surfing during the last few years.
So here in Cagliari will be the first time that the experience of the Kite Masters aged over 35 years will be combined with fresh talent of the Under 21’s Youth fleet. This format will guarantee some great experiences on the race course as well as on the shore as the more experienced riders share their advice with the young guns whilst drawing on their passion and energy.
In the race area the Champaign conditions saw smiles all round. Riders were happy to see the wind reach speeds of 25 knots making their boards almost fly along the course. Great speed, physical power and mental toughness were key for an optimum performance. The riders were ready to showcase their skills so they rushed out to the starting line looking for the favorable leg and resulting best chance to gain speed on the course. It was clear to see that a fast pace and skillful mark roundings were the main dish of the day. The masters and gran masters form two fleets (the green and the red) while the youth all race together in one fleet (the yellow). It seemed that the battle for the Youth World title would be a tough one with Maks Zakowski from Poland and Maxime Nocher from France vying for the win. The pair are currently sitting level with the same score of two bullets and two second places. They’re closely followed by Florian Trittel from Spain who is seeking the chance to attack from behind. In the girls division Elena Kalinina from Russia has the lead but she is looking to further improve her performance over the next few days.
In the Green fleet Tomek Janiak from Poland ruled the waves and managed to score four bullets in a row making him an early favourite for the title. Amongst the competitors in the Red fleet was James Johnsen from Denmark who gave a good performance in day 1 as did a well-known name in the Kites worlds –Gruber. This time it wasn’t Florian, the World Champion 2013, who was the cause of all the action, it was his dad Erwin. This event has given them the opportunity to switch roles and look at things from another perspective.
So it was a great opening day for the Kite Youth & Masters Worlds with everyone enjoying the beautiful setting of Sardinia. Tomorrow the forecast predicts a small decrease in wind strength so a steady performance will be the key to success. Stay tuned for more action with our next report! Don’t miss it!
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