Kitesurfing Regattas

KiteFoil title holder Nocher clinches Gold Cup Series opener

 

 

 

Reigning KiteFoil GoldCup champion Maxime Nocher sealed victory in the year’s first event with a perfect final day, racking up four bullets from four races in light breezes that threatened to die at any moment.

But even the fickle airs that shifted and barely topped 8kts were a welcome relief after three windless days that made for a stop-start competition, the first international kite competition in Korea, staged off Boryeong’s stunning Daecheon Beach.

While the breezes toyed with riders and race officials alike, Nocher (MON) was flawless on the final fifth day on the Yellow Sea’s flat waters, controlling each of the races even as Italian Riccardo Leccese snapped at his heels hoping for an error or mishap that never came.

Nocher, on his unmarked 19m Enata foil kite and Enata hydrofoil, proved unbeatable in the whole regatta marked by a lack of wind, adding the closing day’s four bullets to two he secured on the competition’s opening exchanges.

Riding a Mike’s Lab foil and Ozone R1 prototype kite, Leccese managed a good run of second spots that earned him the podium runners-up slot. Yet in the penultimate race he came momentarily unstuck when he struggled to leave the beach in the failing breeze close to shore and failed to make the start, a result he was fortunately able to discard.

Poland’s Maks Zakowski took the chance to grab a second spot in that race to the peerless Nocher, an opportunism that built on consistent placings throughout the event and won him the third podium spot, his best placing in an International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil GoldCup.

The IKA KiteFoil GoldCup, hosted and sponsored by the Korea Windsurfing Kitesurfing Federation, is the first of four slated globe-trotting stops for 2017, with back-to-back events in China in mid-September next on the cards.

But the wind that refused to play ball during the Korean event played havoc with the Kiteboard Tour Asia Twin-Tip slalom race open due to be staged simultaneously. It proved impossible to get away any races despite interest provoked by the format to be used in next year’s Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.

And while the final day proved tricky at times even for the foilers, they were still able to display scintillatingly-quick pace with their largest 18m and 19m kites in patchy breezes that occasionally dipped  below 4kts.

In those zephyrs there is little margin for rider error with every tack and gybe requiring balletic precision. Yet the foilers still clocked almost more than 20kts on the two-lap windward-leeward track off Daecheon Beach.

None did it better than Nocher. But even he—like every other rider—caught debris and seaweed on his foil that threatened to derail his bid.

“In the day’s second race I was leading by far, but I caught a plastic bag and just couldn’t remove it and keep moving,” he said. “Leccese passed me and I still had the bag on my fin. I did that whole leg with the plastic bag, but past the gate it came off. Then I got the lead again.

“So, overall I’m very happy to have won this event. It’s been hard to deal with these conditions, but I’m near perfect in these light winds and Leccese could do nothing.”

Leccese remained happy with his second podium spot, nonetheless, sure it showed he still had pace even in the lighter breezes that favoured neither his physique nor his equipment.

“Overall I’m pleased with second spot,” he said. “It’s solid. I’m attacking the front of the field again. That puts me in a good frame of mind. I felt I was controlling the races at or near the front. Most of the others were on 19m kites, except for me on an 18m, yet I was still competitive.”

For Zakowski, on a Moses Comet foil and Ozone R1V2 kite, the decision to swim and body-drag off the beach just as Leccese came unstuck in the penultimate race’s dropping breeze proved fortuitous.

“I swam 200m to catch the wind to get out and it allowed me to finish that race second,” he said. “But my results have been very consistent, so I’m glad about that. Not up and down. This has been my best result, so I’m pretty happy.”

In the women’s group racing among the men, the novice 16-year-old Anais Mai Desjardins (FRA) caused an upset when she overhauled Alexia Fancelli (FRA) with a good run of results on the final day, with Korea’s Bitna Kim taking the third podium spot.

The next stop of the 2017 KiteFoil GoldCup will be in China with two events back to back between 8 and 23 of September, for a total prize purse of more than 100.000 USD

 

 

Overall standings after six races (1 discard): 

Men

1 Maxime Nocher (MON, Enata/Enata)                      5 pts

2 Riccardo Leccese (ITA, Ozone/Mike’s Lab)           13 pts

3 Maks Zakowski (POL, Ozone/Moses)                    20 pts

4 Florian Gruber (GER, Flysurfer/Levitaz)                20 pts

5 Theo Lhostis (FRA, Enata/Enata)                          22 pts

 

Women

1 Anais Desjardins (FRA, Flysurfer/Spotz)                53 pts

2 Alexia Fancelli (FRA, Ozone/Taaroa)                     62 pts

3 Bitna Kim (KOR, Ozone/Levitaz)                            76 pts

Full rankings:

http://kitefoilgoldcup.com/images/documents/2017_KFGC_Korea_Results.pdf

 

 

Training partners clinch Pro Tour’s first title with flawless performances

 

hydro-kite-foil-fleet-kp

 

 

For his rivals it was an ominous warning. France’s Nico Parlier grabbed the inaugural Hydrofoil Pro Tour crown winning every race of the climactic final stop at Rockingham, Western Australia, despite conditions that ranged from light airs to ballistic breezes at the close.

The 21-year-old’s perfect performance, in the face of intense competition, even bettered his stellar record at the tour’s two earlier stops where he competed, and he is already looking forward to next year with relish.

“For sure it’s a great honour for me to win the first Hydrofoil Pro Tour,” he said. “During the whole year we saw that all the fastest riders were at the events. The Hydrofoil Pro Tour has been a really great series with great conditions. We’ve been to awesome venues specially-picked for the riders.”

 

nico-p-arlier-frajpg

Nico Parlier (FRA)

 

His delight was matched by his San Francisco training partner, the US’s Daniela Moroz, just 15, who never put a foot wrong. She, too, won every one of her 17 races in the women’s division, in the process pushing many of the leading men racing in the same spectacular 56-strong fleet and also securing the overall Pro Tour crown.

“I’m very happy to win the first Hydrofoil Pro Tour title,” said a beaming Moroz. “It’s so exciting and I’m sure it’s going to be a great step for the tour next year. Hopefully, we’ll get more girls on the start line racing at some of the best venues in the world.”

The final day of four at the stop hosted by The Cruising Yacht Club of WA delivered memorable conditions at the close as the fabled Fremantle Doctor breeze kicked in early and hit gusts of 31kts blowing over Rockingham bay’s flat waters.

Parlier at one point between races clocked his speed at 41kts while testing his pace and angles on his 9m Ozone R1V2 kite and Mike’s Lab foil, a measure of the perfect combination of wind and flat turquoise water Rockingham habitually serves up.

 

olly-bridge-gbr

Olly Bridge (GBR)

 

But even with such scorching speed the Frenchman did not have it all his own way. Britain’s Olly Bridge, 19, who took the second podium place at the stop and overall, harried Parlier at every turn and again in the day’s four races thought he would finally get the better of him.

On the first 0.95 nautical miles upwind leg of the two-and-a-half lap course Bridge rounded the top mark in the lead in every race, only frustratingly to see the tables turned by the second leg’s leeward mark, and then have to watch helplessly as Parlier eased away.

Even an unusual crash by Parlier in the gusty conditions as he approached the final windward mark on the penultimate race failed to break the spell. Bridge, riding a Levitaz Bionic foil and 9m Ozone R1V2 kite, was too far behind, and Parlier gathered his board and still squeezed over the line comfortably ahead.

“It was really good racing today, though the last race was a bit crazy in the gusty winds,” said Bridge. “I was ahead in every race at the top mark, but going down wind Parlier was just locked in and gone. In the end I’m pretty happy with the second spot.”

 

hydro-foil-rocko

 

Italian-Colombian Riccardo Leccese pushed the leading pair hard — so hard exploded spectacularly on one downwind leg — but recovered to finish and maintain his high-placed finishes to cement the tour stop’s third podium spot.

Leccese has been a fervent supporter of the tour, but suffered an injury at the San Francisco stop and withdrew, missing the Mauritius leg shortly after, despite a promising start in La Ventana, Mexico, at the beginning of the year.

Frenchwoman, Alexia Fancelli, brought her Pro Tour year to a close with a similarly successful outing, pushing up the order to take the women’s second podium spot, ahead of Russia’s Elena Kalinina. It was an order that was reversed in the year’s overall rankings.

For the the home-grown racers who made the tour’s final stop possible, their chance to share in the glory came with the awarding of the prizes for the Australian Kitefoil Nationals, a division of the Pro Tour aggregating their results from the event’s four days.

source: Hydrofoil Pro Tour Media

 

Overall standings after 17 races (3 discards) Rockingham:

 

Male

1 Nico Parlier (FRA) — 14pts

2 Oliver Bridge (GBR) — 28pts

3 Ricci Leccese (ITA) — 47pts

4 Florian Trittel (ESP) — 57pts

5 Florian Gruber (GER) — 75pts

6 Nico Landauer (URG) — 93pts

7 Guy Bridge (GBR) — 97pts

8 Martin Dolenc (CRO) — 102pts

9 Matt Taggart (NZL) — 111pts

10 Adrian Geislinger (AUT) — 132pts

 

Female

1 Daniela Moroz (USA) — 14pts

2 Alexia Fancelli (FRA) — 36pts

3 Elena Kalinina (RUS) — 37pts

4 Steph Bridge (GBR)— 41pts

5 Gina Hewson (AUS) — 61pts

6 Natalie Flintrop-Clark—85pts

Hydrofoil Pro Tour Overall Winners:

 

Male

1 Nico Parlier (FRA) — 3pts

2 Olly Bridge (GBR) — 10pts

3 Nico Landauer (URG) — 14pts

Female

1 Daniela Moroz (USA) — 54pts

2 Elena Kalinina (RUS) —71pts

3 Alexia Fancelli (FRA) —81pts

 

More Images available @ Facebook Photos Day 4

Event Results: http://hydrofoilprotour.info/results/rockingham/

 

For further information contact Media Team: hydrofoilprotour@gmail.com

Web News: http://hydrofoilprotour.info/tour-news/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hydrofoilprotour/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hydrofoilprotour/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/hydrofoilprotour

 

 

Nocher & Kalinina claim first European Foiling titles

 

Kite Euros men

 

Medal races conclude the 2016 IKA KiteRacing European Championships – for a first time on foiling kiteboards in both the regulated Formula Kite class and the open development KiteFoil class.

Maxime Nocher (MON, F-One/Taaroa) and Elena Kalinina (RUS, Elf/Moses) stayed flawless in the 4 race medal series on the final day of the competition at Poetto Beach, Cagliari.

With only the top 10 riders in the platinum fleet, the race committee of the Yacht Club Cagliari around Race Director Andy Curnow set up a 6 minute two lap course, providing new challenges to the fleet. With a spacious start line, tactics at the start played an important role.

Nocher went into the medal races with an comfortable lead, and took not any risk to allow any upsets.

The battle was expected between second ranked Olly Bridge (GBR, Elf/Levitaz) and Riccardo Leccese (ITA, Ozone/MikesLab) who was leading the event after the qualifying series. Only three points apart, and 40 points up for grabs throughout the four races, this was the highly anticipated match race.

However, the young Briton played it well, winning 2 races and scoring another 2 and 6, while Leccese lost ground in every race and finished never better than 5th.

And from the back, orginially with 15 points behind expected to be the safe 4th place, Florian Trittel (ESP, Elf/KFA) showed a consistant performance and it all came down to the final race where Leccese only had to stay within 4 places of Trittel.

But Trittel scored a third place while Leccese lost ground in every manouvre, having him finishing in 8th, tied on points with the young spanish rider. The tie was broken through the better results in the medal series, and Trittel found himself with a surprising podium finish – a nice present at the day before his birthday.

 

Kite Euros women

 

On the womens side of things, Kalinina never got in trouble, finishing a flawless event with another four bullets. For the Russian female champion this comes as a confirmation considering that she also won the 2014 and 2015 titles.

Large crowds witnessed exciting close racing thoughout the whole week in champagne sailing conditions, leaving a smile on the face of competitors and officials alike. A complete schedule with a total of 52 races make the 2016 an event to remember for everyone, and raised the bar to a high level for the upcoming competitions of the season.

The event came to an end with the prizegiving on the beach, and the crowning of the 2016 European Champions.

 

Kitefoil Women Overall

1. Elena Kalinina (RUS)

2. Steph Bridge (GBR)

3. Gina Hewson (AUS)

 

Formula Kite & Kitefoil Men Overall

1. Maxime Nocher (MON)

2. Olly Bridge (GBR)

3. Florian Trittel (ESP)

 

For full results: http://internationalkiteboarding.org/images/documents/results/2016FKEuropeansResults.pdf

Pole double at RS:X World titles in Eilat

 

RSX Worlds finals

 

RS:X World Championships at Eilat, Israel

 

 

With just six months to go until the Rio 2016 Olympics, Polish sailors won both RS:X World titles in Eilat in a predominantly light airs regatta.

In the women’s division Malgorzata Bialecka sailed a consistent series to take the gold medal from the rapidly advancing British windsurfer, Bryony Shaw who just managed to take the silver medal on countback from Dutch sailor Lilian de Geus.

In the mens division Piotr Myszka blitzed the fleet to comfortably win by 16 points from the Dutch duo, Dorian Van Rijsselberge and Kiran Badloe who were also only separated by countback. The more experienced Dorian just getting the nod with a second in the medal race. Britains Nick Dempsey came into the medal race in second only to be disappointed in the final 50m of the race course when he was squeezed out of a medal.

Full tilt now to Rio 2016 in August.

 

RS:X Women – (top 10 overall) (58 entries)

1           POL   21 Malgorzata Bialecka 12 51 pts

2           GBR   94 Bryony Shaw 6 58 pts

3           NED   3 Lilian de Geus 8 58 pts

4           POL   8 Zofia Noceti-Klepacka 10 61 pts

5           RUS   271 Stefania Elfutina 4 62 pts

6           FRA   4 Charline Picon 2 80 pts

7           ESP   5 Marina Alabau Neira 16 87 pts

8           POL   104 Kamila Smektala 18 96 pts

9           HKG   11 Sonia Lo 14 96 pts

10         RUS   1 Olga Maslivets 20 99 pts

 

 

RS:X Men – (top 10 overall) (81 entries)

1           POL   82 Piotr Myszka 18 45 pts

2           NED   8 Dorian Van Rijsselberge 4 61 pts

3           NED   9 Kiran Badloe 10 61 pts

4           GBR   1 Nick Dempsey 14 63.8 pts

5           FRA   1 Louis Giard 8 75 pts

6           ISR   11 Shahar Zubari 2 76 pts

7           SUI   36 Mateo Sanz Lanz 6 77 pts

8           POL   182 Pawel Tarnowski 20 79 pts

9           CHN   1 Aichen Wang 12 96 pts

10         FRA   6 Julien Bontemps 16 99 pts

 

 

Myszka wraps up RS:X mens title

 

RSX_WC16_1756

 

RS:X World Championships at Eilat, Israel

 

 

After the final day of fleet racing for the RS:X World Championships in Eilat, Israel, going into the Medal Races Saturday, the Polish sailors Piotr Myszka and Malgorzata Bialecka lead the men and women’s events respectively.

Set on the stunning Red Sea waters of Eilat, Israel, the 2016 RS:X World Championship is a key event in the final countdown to Rio. Yesterday’s day off gave the athletes some time to recover from the physical demands of racing but it was game on again today.

In the mens event, Piotr Myszka, one of a group of flying Poles has mathematically claimed the 2016 world title with a lead of 22.9 points. But a change in the podium places as redress was given to Britain’s Nick Dempsey in the final race moving him from 24 to 11.8 points and from 5th to 2nd overall. Dempsey is 22.9 points behind the leader Piotr Myszka, who barring any accidents will take the title. Winner of the first race was Kiran Badloe of Holland who sits in third. In fourth is Dorian Van Rijsselberge of Holland.

 

RSX_WC16_1751

 

In the womens fleet some intensely close racing. In the women, Malgorzata Bialecka (POL) has a 12 point lead and with the next three competitors fighting for the other two podium places, should be safe. There was a jostle for position amongst those currently in podium places on the penultimate day of racing. Ultimately, it was Lilian de Geus (NED) who found the right lanes of pressure on the course climbing into second place with the likes of Marina Alabau (ESP), Bryony Shaw (GBR) and Charline Picon (FRA) nipping at her heels.

On Saturday competitors will face the last chance to advance through to the medal race, so it’s an all or nothing day, close and intense. Who will hold their nerve to make the cut?

 

Full results: http://www.rsxclass.com/worlds2016/?page_id=188

Event website: http://www.rsxclass.com/worlds2016/

 

 

Final Series with Poles setting the pace

 

D3 RSX men

 

RS:X World Championships at Eilat, Israel

 

First day of final series racing at the RS:X World Championships in Eilat, with the Poles taking the lead in both mens and womens divisions. New leader in the men is Piotr Myszka of Poland and in the women, Malgorzata Bialecka, also of Poland keeps her lead.

In the men, Thomas Goyard of France took the first race, with Dorian Van Rijsselberge of Holland second and Switzerland’s Mateo Sanz Lanz third. Previous leader Nick Dempsey (GBR) was 32nd.

In the second race, Piotr Myszka won ahead of Shahar Zubari of Israel, third was Dempsey.

In the final race, Kiran Badloe of Holland took first ahead of Mateo Sanz Lanz, with Aichen Wang of China third.

 

RS:X Men – (top 6 after 7 races (81 entries)

1st        POL   82 Piotr Myszka 21 pts

2nd        FRA   1 Louis Giard 32 pts

3rd        ISR   11 Shahar Zubari 32 pts

4th        POL   182 Pawel Tarnowski 33 pts

5th        GBR   1 Nick Dempsey 33 pts

6th        NED   8 Dorian Van Rijsselberge 34 pts

 

D3 RSX women

 

 

In the women’s event the first race went to Lilian de Geus of Holland with Eugenie Ricard of France second and Blanca Manchon of Spain third.

Race 2 went to Marina Alabau Neira of Spain with 2nd Stefania Elfutina of Russia and third Zofia Noceti-Klepacka of Poland.

The final race and winner was Charline Picon of France with Malgorzata Bialecka taking second to keep a one point lead overall. Third was Zofia Noceti-Klepacka. Shaw finished 7th and Wilson 22nd.

 

RS:X Women (top 6 after Race 7 races) (58 entries)

1st            POL   21 Malgorzata Bialecka 19 pts

2nd            NED   3 Lilian de Geus 20 pts

3rd            POL   8 Zofia Noceti-Klepacka 30 pts

4th            ESP   5 Marina Alabau Neira 35 pts

5th            GBR   94 Bryony Shaw 39 pts

6th            FRA   4 Charline Picon 39 pts

 

Source: sailweb.co.uk

 

 

More light airs to end qualifying series

 

RSX Worlds start

 

RS:X World Championships at Eilat, Israel

 

 

After the lack of wind on Monday at the RS:X World Championships in Eilat, Israel, it was hoped to play catch-up Tuesday. The men were out first, followed later by the women. Both fleets have completed a total of four races.

 

 

RS:X Men

In the first men’s race of the second day, race 2, Britain’s Nick Dempsey won the blue flight and Julien Bontemps of France the yellow flight. Second in the blue flight was Aichen Wang of China and third Toni Wilhelm of Germany. In the yellow flight, second was Pawel Tarnowski of Poland with third Nimrod Mashiah of Israel.

In race 3, Aichen Wang took the blue and Kiran Badloe of Holland the yellow flight. Nick Dempsey was second in the blue and Dorian van Reisselberge of Holland was third. In the yellow, Pawel Tarnowski of Poland was second and Federico Esposito of italy third.

Race 4 and winner of the yellow flight was Piotr Myszka of Poland, second Pawel Tarnowski and third Angel Granda Roque of Spain. In the blue flight winner was Ivan Pastor of Spain, second Louis Giard of France and third Byron Kokkalanis of Greece. Britain’s Kieran Martin was fourth and Nick Dempsey was fifth.

After race 4, Dempsey (2,1,2,5) leads from Tarnowski (4,2,2,2), tied on 10 points, third is Piotr Myszka.

 

RS:X Men – (top 6 after Race 4 (81 entries)

1           GBR   1 Nick Dempsey 2 1 2 5 10 pts

2           POL   182 Pawel Tarnowski 4 2 2 2 10 pts

3           POL   82 Piotr Myszka 1 5 7 1 14 pts

4           FRA   1 Louis Giard 5 6 5 2 18 pts

5           CHN   1 Aichen Wang 12 2 1 8 23 pts

6           GBR   926 Kieran Martin 6 4 9 4 23 pts

 

 

RSXW D2 scene

 

 

RS:X Women

In the womens RS:X, Malgorzata Bialecka of Poland has won her yellow flights in races 3 and 4. Noy Drihan of Israel won the race 3 blue and Blanca Manchon of Spain the race 5 blue flight.

Overall after four races, Bialecka has opened a ten point lead from Flavia Tartaglini of Italy with Lilian de Geus of Holland in third place. Bryony Shaw had a similar day to day 1, she has a scoreline of 9.6.10.4 and is 8th overall.

 

RS:X Women (top 6 after Race 4) (58 entries)

1           POL   21 Malgorzata Bialecka 4 1 1 1 7 pts

2           ITA   46 Flavia Tartaglini 2 7 6 2 17 pts

3           NED   3 Lilian de Geus 3 1 11 4 19 pts

4           ISR   5 Noga Geller 10 7 3 2 22 pts

5           HKG   11 Sin Lam Sonia Lo 1 9 7 6 23 pts

6           NZL   8 Natalia Kosinska 8 9 4 3 24 pts

 

 

Racers have a layday on Wednesday with racing to commence again Thursday February 25 and continue to February 27 with only the top ten advancing to the final medal race.

 

sailweb.co.uk

 

 

Light airs start to RS:X Worlds in Eilat

 

D1 fleet

 

RS:X World Championships at Eilat, Israel

 

 

After the first races on day 1 of the RS:X Worlds in Eilat, Israel, Shahar Zubari of Israel and Piotr Myszka of Poland lead the men’s event and Zofia Noceti Klepacka of Poland the women’s event.

Shahar Zubari of Israel and Piotr Myszka of Poland each won their first flight races. Zubari won the men’s blue flight ahead of Britain’s Nick Dempsey with Daniel Harrai of Israel in third.

In the men’s yellow flight, Myszka won ahead of Julien Bontemps of France with Federico Esposito of Italy in third.

In the women with two races completed, Zofia Noceti Klepacka of Poland had a 1 and 2 in the blue flight. Second overall is Lilian de Geus of Holland with a 3 and 1 in the blue flight.

In the women’s yellow flight races, Sin Lam Sonia Lo of Hong Kong won the first and Malgorzata Bialecka of Poland the second. A fourth in the second yellow race put Bialecka third overall.

 

RS:X Men  top 6 after Race 1 (81 entries)

1 ISR 11 Shahar Zubari 1 pt

2 POL 82 Piotr Myszka 1 pt

3 GBR 1 Nick Dempsey 2 pts

4 FRA 6 Julien Bontemps 2 pts

5 ISR 16 Daniel Harrai 3 pts

6 ITA 9 Federico Esposito 3 pts

 

 

 

RS:X Women top 6 after Race 2 (58 entries)

1st POL 8 Zofia Noceti Klepacka 1 2 – 3 pts

2nd NED 3 Lilian de Geus 3 1-  4 pts

3rd POL 21 Malgorzata Bialecka 4 1 – 5 pts

4th RUS 271 Stefania Elfutina 2 5 – 7 pts

5th ITA 46 Flavia Tartaglini 2 7 – 9 pts

6th HKG 11 Sin Lam Sonia Lo 1 9 – 10 pts

 

 

Source: sailweb.co.uk

2016 RS:X Worlds attracts top talent to Eilat, Israel 

 

RSX Worlds scene

 

Taking place from 20-27 February and hosted at Eilat Sailing Center, the Worlds will be contested over 5 race days, with the 13 race series unfolding on the stunning waters of the Red Sea. The World Championships will be a platform for athletes to test themselves on a big stage, before stepping up to the biggest challenge of all at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Whilst many athletes are already confirmed to represent their nation on the Olympic startling line, for others it is still all about securing that critical national selection nod for the final guarantee of a spot in Rio, and their performance at the Worlds could make all the difference.

Twenty-three nations are so far represented in the provisional entry lists, with plenty of big players in both the Men and Women fleets, including reigning Olympic Champions, World Champions and top ranked athletes.

 

RSX Worlds rigs

 

This close to the 2016 Olympic Games, every event is a dress rehearsal, but by the time the first race at the RS:X Worlds kicks off on Monday 22 February, there will only be 166 days to go until the Opening Ceremony in Rio. So the Championship will also be one of the last building blocks in preparation, where athletes can measure themselves against their main contenders to assess strengths and weaknesses.

Windsurfing is one of Israel’s most popular watersports, and the nation’s athletes have achieved global acclaim on Olympic and World Championship stages over many years. Hopes are their sailors will thrive on home waters.

For more info see the event website: www.rsxclass.com/worlds2016

 

 

New faces challenging the leaders

 

Worlds D2 CHN jr

Peina Chen of China – Photos © Jesus Renedo / Oman Sail

 

 

RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman

 

 

Peina Chen (CHN) and Pierre Le Coq (FRA) continue to lead their respective fleets at the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman, but light tactical conditions made for some challenging racing on day two.

The wind, when it did fill in, was lighter than expected with a high of 8 knots that led to an exceptionally physical day for the sailors with skilful pumping playing a major part in success on the racecourse.

With three more qualifying races per fleet (men and women), racing got underway promptly at 12:00 local time (CET+2). The men were first off and enjoyed some of the best breeze of the day.

While Le Coq managed to maintain his overall regatta lead with another couple of wins to add to his already impressive score line, he didn’t have it all his own way today in the 85-strong fleet. In the second race of the day Ivan Pastor Lafuente (ESP) sailed well, overtook Le Coq in the closing stages, and notched up his first win of the week. Zhichao Zhi (CHN), sailing his first ever world championship, also showed super-fast all round speed today, closing the qualifiers with a score line of 4-1-2 that put him in second place overall.

“This is the first time I have sailed abroad, and at a world championship, so I am delighted to be here and I am really happy to be doing so well,” said Zhichao Zhi.

“I think the reason I am fast in these conditions is because I am so light. The aim now is to continue to do well by sailing normally without too much pressure. I am really keen to learn from the other guys and to keep improving.”

Pierre Le Coq added a word on the challenging conditions: “Three races in those conditions is very hard for us. Very challenging to be in front and to be consistent so I am really happy and I am ready for the rest of the week.

 

RS:X WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2015, October 17th-24th Al Mussanah Sports City, Sultanate of Oman.Practice race Credit Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy


Photo c  Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy

 

“It was very important to make good starts and good choices early on today because in these 20 minute races, it is difficult to come back if you make a wrong decision. Thankfully my speed was still fine, but some of the other guys are really fast too so I need to keep an eye on them.”

In the women’s fleet 26-year-old Peina Chen (CHN), retains the overall lead but said she found the racing extremely tough, particularly having to do penalty turns in the first race of the day for a start line incident.

One of the most notable performances on day two came from Charline Picon (FRA). Picon, who won the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta (Rio 2016 Test Event) two years in a row (2014 and 2015) and the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, showed her true colours today with a stunning performance. In the closing stages of race 1, in the last short reach to the finish, she out-pumped race leader Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) and, in fine style, snatched first place. She then went on to score another first place and a second, which lifts her up the rankings to second overall.

“I had a very good day today but it is tough here,” she said. “Last week we had planing conditions but this week it is light and physically demanding. Also, because there are a lot of sailors and countries using the event as an Olympic qualifier, it is extremely competitive. Peina Chen from China, for example, is in very good shape.

“From here on it will be even more tough because we’ll be racing only the best girls in the gold fleet where every point is important.”

Peina Chen commenting on Picon’s speed said: “She really sailed smart in race two and on the last tack of the race I lost my lead to her. She then pipped me to the post for second in race three!”

On her performance elsewhere, Chen added: “Doing turns in the first race was not ideal but I tacked too fast, into Marina’s [Alabau Neira] water so naturally had to do something about it. I have to say it is really great racing because it is so close. I am however, looking forward to a rest tomorrow.”

Malgorzata Bialecka (POL) who won the final race of the day, retains third place overall.

The fleet can now relax and enjoy a well-earned day of rest tomorrow (reserve day). Racing resumes on Thursday 22 October at 12:00 local time (CET+2). Men and women’s fleets will be split in to gold and silver fleets, according to overall rankings from the first two days (six races). The final races and medal races will take place on Saturday 24 October.

 

For full results see: www.rsxclass.com/worlds2015