IKA KiteFoil World Series’ leader withstood the attack of his rivals in a day marked by light and shifty wind. Lauriane Nolot was the “queen” among Women, U19 Riccardo Pianosi the best-ranked Italian. Cagliari’s Major Paolo Truzzu took in awarding ceremony
Stronger than the tricky wind: there’s no adversary to hold for Axel Mazella, able to keep Sardinia Grand Slam‘s lead and to secure the win of IKA KiteFoil World Series round 3 on Sunday, October 10th.
Despite some imperfect choices and a racing day with shifty and gusty wind, the 23-year-old Frenchman completed the race with 30 points, preceding countryman Theo De Ramecourt (42 p.) and Brit Connor Bainbridge (47). Hundreds of spectators crowded the Poetto beach to support the protagonists of the event, organized by GLESport in collaboration with the Chia Wind Club and with the technical support of the Yacht Club Cagliari, under the aegis of World Sailing and IKA, the International Kiteboarding Association.
Winner of six out of 14 races in the first three days, Axel Mazella opened the Sunday placing sixth in Race 15 (score discarded), then settled for fifth and 20th (discarded) to secure the overall success. “Today I haven’t taken the right decisions with my strategy. I knew I had some points ahead of the other competitors and I took it easier. I’m really unhappy about the last race because the wind was really tricky and coming from everywhere. Anyway, now it’s time to celebrate“, Mazella commented.
The final racing day, October 10th, started with a brand new podium, topped by Russian Denis Taradin ahead of French Benoit Gomez and Theo De Ramecourt. The latter was absolutely on fire in Race 16: after a tough battle with Taradin, Theo claimed the win going up to second position overall, ahead of Connor Bainbridge.
After a runner-up spot in Saturday’s last race, Italian U19 Riccardo Pianosi went on collecting good displays, including two third positions in Race 16 and 17 that pushed him up to sixth overall. German Jannis Maus won the final run, ahead of Antigua’s Tiger Tyson. “I’m pretty satisfied with my display, considering that the racing week didn’t start as I wished. I was leading the last race, but I couldn’t stand up to Jannis”, Pianosi said.
Lauriane Nolot (232 points) topped the fully French-speaking podium ahead of Poema Newland (249) and Jessie Kampman (300). “I feel exhausted, I gave my best on every race, it was also good training for the Worlds. I’m super happy to take the first position. With Poema we are pushing each other to the best level: she’s super strong and super fast, but in Cagliari, I made better choices”, Nolot stated.
“Sardinia Grand Slam has really shone this year – the IKA President Mirco Babini commented – recording great success in terms of international participation. Hosting athletes from 19 countries and all continents is more than an arrival point: it’s a valuable transition point that leads us to renew the agreement concerning the international class: I’m personally involved in supporting Cagliari’s event also in the future years. Everyone can see the success of Sardinia Grand Slam: local authorities are really satisfied and the feedback from the competitors was absolutely rewarding. The athletes loved competing here for the weather conditions, hospitality and spaces the Poetto reserved for them”.
“After last year’s stop, Cagliari could welcome the KiteFoil show back, hosting World’s best specialists. We’re very proud of this and we’re satisfied with the high technical level, the media coverage and the institutional support. A special thank you to the Tourism Department of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia and the Municipality of Cagliari”, OC President Gian Domenico Nieddu stated. Cagliari’s major Paolo Truzzu took part in the awarding ceremony.
The IKA KiteFoil World Series’ updated ranking will be available in a few hours on the IKA official website (www.kitefoilworldseries.com)
The defending champion came closer to the final success of IKA KiteFoil World Series’ round 3, winning two races. Nolot new leader of Women’s ranking. The SGS village hosted special guests like Cagliari’s Councillor Floris, Olympic windsurfer Maggetti and a delegation from Luna Rossa
We still have twenty-four hours to the crowning of Sardinia Grand Slam‘s new king, but Axel Mazella‘s candidacy is stronger and stronger. The defending champion strengthened his lead in IKA KiteFoil World Series‘ round 3 taking place in Cagliari (October 6-10), in view of tomorrow’s final showdown. Mazella claimed the win in two out of four races held today in Golfo degli Angeli’s waters. The fifth one was canceled due to weak wind, under 5 nodes.
“It was a good day. I’m really tired about the races, we did fourteen races in three days, it was really intense from the beginning to the end. The wind was shifty, from the right side to the left side, every race was different. The last race was completely different from the other ones because the wind was really shifty from the right side and it was coming from the headland: we’ve got a no-wind zone just in front of it. Everyone had different tactics. On the second leg, I followed Riccardo Pianosi, then on the last one I decided to go even more on the left side and it was better, for sure, because I overtook him. Now I stay focused until the end to win Sardinia Grand Slam” leader Mazella commented.
Behind the European Champion, Brit Connor Bainbridge went up to second position thanks to regular performances, whilst French Theo De Ramecourt climbed up the overall ranking by winning two regattas and flying to the third position.
“I just wanted to have fun, I was really not concerned about position or ranking, I did my line without caring to anyone else. I really enjoyed the conditions and I made the most out of it. The wind was shifty and you really had to open your eyes, then be reactive and opportunist“, De Ramecourt stated.
Among French and Brit kiters, the Italian prospect Riccardo Pianosi excellently interpreted the racing field, going up to seventh Overall with the icing on the cake: the second spot in Race 14. The Italian champion Lorenzo Boschetti is actually tenth, ahead of countryman Mario Calbucci.
“I perceived some strong wind shifts and I was able to read the wind since the first leg, taking a good advantage on the runner-up. On the third leg, Axel read the wind better than me and won the race, but I can be really happy with my performance” Pianosi said.
There’s a new queen in the Women’s ranking: French Lauriane Nolot overtook her countrywoman Poema Newland, whilst another French athlete, Jessie Kampman, is third in the ranking.
Sardinia Grand Slam’s penultimate day was made even more special by the presence of special guests like Andrea Floris, Councillor for Sports at Municipality of Cagliari; Olympic windsurfer Marta Maggetti, fourth-placed at the Tokyo Games; a delegation from the Team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, runner-up at America’s Cup.
Three further races are scheduled in Cagliari tomorrow, Sunday, October 10th: the fight for 2021 Sardinia Grand Slam’s title is on the final straight.
The French champion takes the Overall lead after the day 2 of IKA KiteFoil World Series’ round 3 in Cagliari (Italy). Russian Taradin also did a good job, going up to the second position ahead of yesterday’s leader Bainbridge. Calbucci (8th) is the best Italian, Newland “queen” among Women
After “warming-up” in the opening day, Axel Mazella showed all his pure talent in Golfo degli Angeli‘s waters on Friday, October 8th. The Frenchman dominated the second racing day, going up to take the overall lead at Sardinia Grand Slam, IKA KiteFoil World Series‘ round 3, taking place in Cagliari, Italy (October 6-10).
Winner of Sardinia Grand Slam in 2019, Mazella claimed wins in three out of five regattas. Behind the World Series’ leader, Russian Denis Taradin climbed the ranking after the demanding opening day, whilst Brit Connor Bainbridge went down to third position overall, after topping the Sardinia Grand Slam’s Day 1.
In Golfo degli Angeli’s waters, the wind breeze came up a little bit late, but then the race was spectacular. Third-placed in the opening race, Axel Mazella took advantage of his favorite wind conditions (13-17 nodes) to win seventh and eighth runs with a large advantage on his closest rivals, going up to Overall ranking first position. The KiteFoil World Series’ leader acted then a thrilling head-to-head with Russia’s Denis Taradin in the last two races of the day, ended with a victory each.
“After the first race, I decided to go first on the right side of the course and it paid a lot. Race after race I did the same thing, with great results, and the other guys tried to act the same tactics. The last races were really tight with Taradin” Mazella commented.
Russia’s Denis Taradin gave life to a real crescendo, climbing position race by race, from the fourth one in Race 6 up to his first success in KiteFoil World Series’ round 3, in Race 9. A further runner-up spot put him in Overall ranking’s second position.
Connor Bainbridge’s day 2 started with a ninth position before going back to usual performances, awarded by a runner-up spot and a continuous presence in the Top 5.
Italy’s Lorenzo Boschetti took an astonishing third position in Race 9, ahead of his countryman Riccardo Pianosi. Eight overall, Mario Calbucci is the best-ranked Italian athlete in Sardinia Grand Slam’s ranking after Day 2. “I knew I could be strong in this wind conditions, even if I couldn’t predict to take the third spot. I’ve also taken the provisional lead in Race 10, before making some mistakes. Anyway, I had a good feeling and I’m pretty happy to compete with World’s greatest champions”, commented Boschetti.
French Poema Newland re-affirmed leader among Women after the second racing day, ahead of countrywomen Lauriane Nolot and Jessie Kampman.
“I felt really good today, with 15 nodes it was good racing. For me, it was a tactical, funny and interesting race because the wind was shifting a lot. A message for Poema? We are close and I’m pushing hard” said Lauriane Nolot, overall runner-up but strongest performer among Women in Day 2.
Tomorrow, Saturday, October 9th, the penultimate racing day at the Poetto will start at 12:00 am. A delegation from Team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, runner-up in the latest America’s Cup, will be the special guest of the day. The event will be broadcasted in live streaming on IKA and Sardinia Grand Slam’s Facebook platforms.
The British celebrated as best he couldn’t, topping the classification after the Day1 of KiteFoil World Series’ round 3 in Cagliari. Bainbridge preceded French De Ramecourt, Mazella and Gomez. Poema Newland leader of the Women classification
Connor Bainbridge is too strong for French rivals in the Sardinia Grand Slam opener. That’s what the opening day of IKA KiteFoil World Series‘ round 3 in Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy) clearly said in the dramatic and highly winded scenery of Golfo degli Angeli. However, the exciting battle will still be long and all the top riders can’t wait for playing their cards again in Day-2.
Winner of two out of the five scheduled races, Bainbridge – turning 28 today, Friday, October 7th – left behind him the strong French rivals, wrapping a dream-like debut at the Poetto beach in Sardinia’s capital city. Three Frenchmen placed from second to the fourth position: the defending champion Axel Mazella, Theo De Ramecourt and Benoit Gomez, winner of the fifth, fourth and second race respectively.
The racing day at the Poetto was marked by strong wind conditions that made the races really demanding for all the competitors. Bainbridge was particularly able to tame the tough conditions, clinching the victories and placing second, third and fifth in the other three regattas.
“I’m super happy with how I did, with only one mistake in the race fourth. I’ve never particularly been strong in high winds, but actually, I’m pushing hard and all the training I did is paying off. I think in the rest of the week there will be completely different conditions, I’ll do my best and we’ll see where we end up” Bainbridge commented.
Runner-up Mazella didn’t lose his high motivation: “It was hard to find a good wind, because it was shifty and super gusty. It will be a great battle until Sunday and I think me and the other guys are all at the same point to win“.
“It was really tough, the wind was really bumpy and gusty. It was really funny, ’cause everybody is in a good mood, we had a lot of fun with the top guys” third-placed Theo De Ramecourt said.
Russian Denis Taradin was fifth in the opening day, ahead of German Florian Gruber and the best-ranked Italian Marco Calbucci, protagonist of a consistent race. German Maus, Mauritius’ De Falbaire and Croatian Dolenc rounded out the Top 10.
France is the queen also in the Women’s ranking, thanks to one of the most awaited athletes, Poema Newland. winner of Day-1 ahead of her countrywomen Jessie Kampman e Lauriane Nolot.
“I took the first two starts thirty seconds or maybe one minute after everyone. After that, I just tried to finish without crashes because the race was really strong and challenging. Anyway, I love this place and I’m enjoying every race”, Poema Newland stated.
Tomorrow, Friday, October 8th, the second racing day at the Poetto will start at 12:00 am. The event will be broadcasted in live streaming on IKA and Sardinia Grand Slam’s Facebook platforms.
The main international kiteboarding event takes up the baton from the Youth Volleyball World Cup, giving Sardinia’s capital another week of great sport, from 6 to 10 October at the 6th Poetto stop and in live streaming on Saturday and Sunday on the Facebook and Youtube channels of the event and IKA. Numerous collateral initiatives for the protection of the sea will be hosted by SGS village
The great wait is over. Two years after the latest edition (2019), Cagliari is ready to host the KiteFoil World Series with the Sardinia Grand Slam, organized by GLESport in collaboration with the Chia Wind Club and with the technical support of the Yacht Club Cagliari, under the aegis of World Sailing and IKA, the International Kiteboarding Association, from October 6th to 10th.
In the traditional eve’s press conference, held at the Sardinia Grand Slam Village at the Poetto beach on Wednesday, October 6th, the OC President Gian Domenico Nieddu and the President of IKA Mirco Babini presented the event, in the presence of the Councilor for Tourism, Crafts and Commerce of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia Giovanni Chessa, the Councilor for Productive activities, Tourism and Promotion of the territory of the Municipality of Cagliari Alessandro Sorgia, the Councilor for Technological Innovation, Environment and Sea Policies of the Cagliari Municipality Alessandro Guarracino, and the regional president of CONI (Italian National Olympic Committe), Bruno Perra.
The Autonomous Region of Sardinia and the Municipality of Cagliari are the sponsoring bodies of this renowned international event, picking the baton from the U21 Volleyball World Championships that excited Cagliari’s crowd in the latest weeks, with the icing on the cake of the Italian national team’s triumph. The Kitefoil World Series is the World Cup of sailing discipline made up of speed and tactics, rapidly growing in the world panorama: it has been included among the Olympic disciplines starting from the Paris 2024 OG.
AXEL MAZELLA STAR OF THE EVENT
The French Axel Mazella, turning 24 next December, is the current leader of the IKA KiteFoil World Series 2021, thanks to the second position held in Gizzeria (Italy) last July and the success in Traunsee (Austria) on September 19th. The defending champion, multiple winner in Sardinia in the past years, Mazella leads the ranking with 597 points, six more than Denis Taradin (591), athlete coming from Russia, winner of the season’s premiere in Gizzeria and fourt placed in Traunsee. After grazing the podium in the opening race, Frenchman Theo De Ramecourt was runner-up in Austria: actually he’s only 9 points behind Mazella.
Runner-up in Gizzeria and third placed in Traunsee, Poema Newland is the best woman in the ranking with 447 points after two rounds. Winner of Austria’s stage, Lauriane Nolot (378) is ranked second, ahead of Italian Sofia Tomasoni (363) and Tiana Laporte (321). Valeria Garashchenko also stands among the most awaited athletes.
LIVE STREAMING ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th-10th
The images of the Sardinia Grand Slam 2021 will be broadcasted in live streaming on Facebook and Youtube official channels both of the event and IKA (the international kiteboarding association), on Saturday-Sunday, October 9th-10th. The event will reach over 140 countries around the world, with dedicated services and specials. Highlights at the end of the day are scheduled for Thursday-Friday, October 7th-8th, on Facebook and Youtube official channels of Sardinia Grand Slam and IKA.
GIVE SEA A CHANCE: A CALL FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE SEA
The sea will be the protagonist at 360 degrees at the Sardinia Grand Slam. With the “Give SEA a chance” project, the organizers of the Cagliari sailing event embrace the work of raising awareness on the issue of protecting the sea, a global alarm to which no one can remain indifferent. “Give SEA a chance” emphasizes the emergency of the pollution of the seas and in particular that caused by plastic that is destroying marine ecosystems, killing animals and poisoning the waters. Cagliari will be a pole of interest for activities studied to develop a greater collective awareness of the importance of this theme, in a village divided in thematic areas (info and program www.sardiniagrandslam.com).
Standing out in the Give SEA a chance schedule, there are the social inclusion activities with the guys of the Foundation “House of Peter Pan” and “ASD SaSpo” followed by national federal kitesurf technicians, Luca Marcis and Mirco Babini, to live a unique experience of encounter with the sea that is synonymous of freedom against every barrier. The Give SEA a chance area will also host the exhibition of Dolphins, held in regenerated plastic in collaboration with Nhood – Gallerie Sardegna, curator of the Sardinia’s premiere of Cracking Art travelling exhibition, mixing art and sustainability. The initiative of beach cleaning of the beaches, to be held on October 9th, is organized by MEDSEA and promoted by the athletic champion Sofia Bonicalza, supporting “Plastic Hunt”. the international initiative of Clean Up created to raise awareness of the need to keep the sea clean and healthy.
Cagliari’s WWF local voluteers (with their invite “together possible” to tackle the new environmental challenges) and Legambiente local associated (constantly at the forefront of monitoring the sea and the coasts) will also play a key role in the event, as well as Villiasimus – Capo Carbonara Marine Protected Area, the CRAMA (Center for the Recovery of Marine Animals in Asinara), the Punti di vista (Points of view) association, the educator Stefania Melis “Magic Stefy” and the writer Daniele Mocci.
THE SARDINIA GRAND SLAM SCHEDULE
Day 0 – Wednesday, October 6th
11:00 am – Press Conference at the Sardinia Grand Slam Village, entrance Chiosco “Il Nilo”, Poetto Beach, 6th stop – Cagliari
3:00 pm / 6:00 pm – Riders Registrations
06:30 pm – Opening ceremony in Cagliari – 6th stop Poetto Beach
8:00 pm – Welcome buffet for Riders and Officials
Day 1 – Thursday, October 7th
10:00 am – Races
Day 2 – Friday, October 8th
10:00 am – Races
Day 3 – Saturday, October 9th
10:00 am – Races
Day 4 – Sunday, October 10th
10:00 am – Races
4:00 pm – Prize giving and Closing Ceremony
Giovanni Chessa (Councilor for Tourism and Commerce of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia): “Sardinia is the island of sport, a point at the center of the world where we were able to seize numerous opportunities in spite of the pandemic. Now we are looking for solution to extend tourism before the summer: this year we hosted 20 world events scheduled“.
Alessandro Sorgia (Councilor for Productive Activities, Tourism and Promotion of the territory of the Cagliari Municipality): “The Sardinia Grand Slam makes these athletes testimonials of our region and our city, and that they can return here for the holidays, together with friends and acquaintances. CONI also had a great deal of attention for sport on our island and in our city”.
Alessandro Guarracino (Councilor for Technological Innovation, Environment and Sea Policies of the Cagliari Municipality): “We are excited to give our contribution to the Sardinia Grand Slam, both for the sporting and the collateral aspects, the environmental one above all. Sailing sports can be a promotional vehicle of fundamental importance for the protection of the sea”.
Bruno Perra (President of CONI Sardinia): “Sardinia is hosting international events of the highest level: people from all over the world arrive here to enjoy splendid scenarios like this one. Italian sport is experiencing one of the best moments in its history and we are convinced that the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 will go even better“.
Mirco Babini (President of IKA): “For the tenth year in a row Poetto hosts international regattas: Cagliari has a historical vocation in the world of kite. It was natural to aim for reaching an international dimension: the future is represented by an academy of the discipline. In Cagliari, we scheduled 6 races a day and then the finals on Sunday: the KiteFoil has become a sport with a capital S”.
Gian Domenico Nieddu (President of the Organizing Committee): “Besides being a top-level competition, the Sardinia Grand Slam also wants to focus on the protection and safeguarding of the sea. Thanks to the invaluable help of my collaborator Milena Spada, we were able to field a series of initiatives that aim to develop a greater collective awareness of the importance of this issue”.
The 23-year-old French rider is ready to defend his KiteFoil World Series’ leadership at Sardinia Grand Slam (October 6th-10th). The eve’s Press Conference will be held at the Poetto beach in Cagliari on Wednesday, October 6th, at 11.00 am CET
“I can’t wait to be at the Poetto. I know it will be a tight race, but I’m super excited: Cagliari, I’m coming”. Axel Mazella, 23, leader of KiteFoil World Series Men’s Standing, is getting ready to defend his first position from the attack of the rivals at the Sardinia Grand Slam, IKA KiteFoil World Series’ round-3, to be hosted by the Golfo degli Angeli‘s waters and 6th stop of the Poetto, iconic beach of Sardinia’s capital, on October 6th-10th. The international event is organized by GLEsport in collaboration with the Chia Wind Club and the support of the Yacht Club Cagliari, under the aegis of World Sailing and IKA–International Kiteboarding Association.
Runner-up in World Series’ opening round in Gizzeria last July, Mazella is back from great results in September: the European title in Montpellier and the success in World Series’ round-2 in Traunsee. All these results surround Mazella with high expectations in Cagliari. “I’m pretty happy about the success at the European Championships and my leadership in IKA KiteFoil World Series’ ranking. Cagliari is a really nice place for racing: I’ve been there already four times in my life and I’ve always enjoyed this place. I’m super excited about the competition with the other guys and I hope we’re gonna have some good win“.
Apparently, in his full maturity, Mazella looks for further improvements in every race and every training. “You always have something better to do, you can always push the limit more and more. If you stay in this kind of mind, you can go forward and forward. That’s my goal and even if I’m already super high in my maturation, I hope I can go even forward“. Axel, turning 24 next December, showed his talent in several places, but he feels home when he races in Sardinia. This special feeling blossomed at the 2015 Kite Foil Junior World Championships, before strengthening at Sardinia Grand Slam in 2017 and 2019. “I know this place really well about offshore: tricky, windy and super-gusty. I know what we can have over there and I’m preparing myself for this. It’s a special place for me for sure because I’ve been crowned winner of the KiteFoil World Series in 2019 and also in 2017. I can say I’ve good memories over there and I’m pretty sure that I can have further good memories in the next years”.
Of course, Mazella’s rivals won’t be in Cagliari in the guise of spectators. The French talent knows it well and points who are going to be his main opponents: “We just came back from Austria where I fought a lot with a Theo De Ramecourt, a French friend and a big competitor. Benoit Gomez is also super strong, as well as Denis Taradin who won the first stop in Gizzeria, in Italy. We’re gonna have for sure a tight race“. After two rounds, Mazella leads the 2021 KiteFoil World Series Men’s Standing with 597 points, with a 6-point advantage on Russian Denis Taradin (591) and 9 on Theo De Ramecourt (588). Connor Bainbridge (576) and Martin Dolenc (561) round up the Top 5.
Waiting for landing in Sardinia, Axel tell his three words that perfectly describe the Golfo degli Angeli and the Poetto beach: “The first one is ‘wild’, cause it can be super strong, super gusty and wavy, and when the offshore mistral wind is coming it can be really wild. We already race there with small kite with 35-40 nodes and it was really tricky, The second adjective is ‘sunny’: every time I’ve been there, it was always sunny. We always had good temperature and some wind, I don’t remember any day with clouds or rain. When I think about this place, it is always sunny. Finally, ‘happiness’: as I said, I won my first World championships in 2015 when I was eighteen years old, and every time I come there, I performed really well and I keep only good memories”.
Waiting for the champions to ride the waves, the eve’s Press Conference of the Sardinia Grand Slam will be held at Sardinia Grand Slam Village (with entrance from Chiosco Il Nilo), 6th stop of the Poetto beach, on Wednesday, October 6th, at 11:00 am CET.