Parlier Takes KiteFoil World Title While Mazella Grabs GoldCup Crown

Poetto Beach—France’s Nico Parlier put on an imperious display to seize the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil World Championship on the final day of racing on the Italian resort island of Sardinia.
Even before the last race of the Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam, the main Kitesurfing Sardinia Event of 2017, Parlier’s haul of bullets during the four days of competition meant he had the championship in the bag because of his vastly superior score.

But after adding two more bullets to his tally in the opening two races on the flat waters of the Gulf of Angels off Cagliari’s Poetto Beach, Parlier looked like he would make it a perfect hat-trick in the day’s final race after rounding the first top mark in the lead once again.

Uncharacteristically, he fell when he missed a gybe in the light, shifty breezes and had to watch much of head of the fleet ride past as he tried to restart. Yet by the bottom mark Parlier was back up to sixth position and with his raw pace and finesse he managed to claw his way back to finish second, just behind countryman Axel Mazella.
“I could have stayed on the beach for that last race because I knew I had it won already,” said Parlier. “Still, I had to stay concentrated for the whole regatta. As I expected, the level of competition was very high. So I’m really delighted to  win.”

Mazella’s stellar performance earned him the second spot on the podium for the World title, but as the regatta doubled as the fourth stop of the 2017 IKA KiteFoil GoldCup series it was also enough to secure him the overall tour title.
The 20-year-old Frenchman had been peerless at the GoldCup’s previous back-to-back stops at Weifang and Pingtan, China, last month, when he won race after race in light conditions that left rivals awed by his speed and precision.

“I’m really, really happy to win the tour title,” said a beaming Mazella. “But it’s slightly bitter-sweet. I’d loved to have taken the World Championship title too. We’ve had all the top guys here, so it was very tight and very interesting. I hope it will be the same at the Formula Kite Worlds in Oman next month.”
The intense competition at the top of the fleet left reigning IKA Formula Kite world champion and KiteFoil GoldCup title holder, Maxime Nocher (MON), in an unfamiliar third spot on the podium. But after a four-month layoff and little training for the event, Nocher was pleased with his showing after a consistent series of top place finishes in the regatta’s 12 races that have left him hungry to get back on top in the increasingly competitive environment.

“It was very tight and I’m quite happy for my comeback,” said Nocher. “For sure I will go to Oman now. The level in foiling is really going up. Before, I was just leading. Now there’s very little between the top 10 guys. The technology is advancing like crazy and I’m working on my own foil. So let’s see.”

With virtually all the leading men among the 39-strong fleet from 14 nations at the Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam—sponsored by the City of Cagliari and Tourism Sardinia, supported by Yacht Club Cagliari—the five-day event produced some of the fastest, tightest racing of the year.

But straight out of the gate, Team Enata’s Mazella racked up two bullets on the first day of racing in light conditions that upset the form books that saw Parlier as the firm favourite after he had won nearly race this year.
True to form, though, the wheels of the Parlier machine began to grind on the second day when the gusty Mistral winds hit 40kts. On his Mike’s Lab foil and board, and Ozone R1V2 kites, he began racking up bullets and continued to do so right to close of racing, only faltering occasionally when he placed second, a record that made him untouchable.

For a time Britain’s Guy Bridge, 18, on his Levitaz Bionic foil and Flysurfer Sonic Race kites, looked as if he could challenge for a podium spot. But despite his searing pace, a chequered last two days left him in fourth spot overall.
His mother, multiple world champion, Steph Bridge, among the three women racing in the competitive mixed fleet, won the women’s title, but was nonetheless dismayed with her final day’s outing that took the gloss of things a little.

“I had a bit of a disaster,” said Bridge. “I don’t think I’ve ever in my life been out in such tricky, gusty conditions. But it’s the same for everyone. It’s just that it’s just not good to end a great event on sad note. I felt I should have done better.”
French 16-year-old Anaïs Mai Desjardins, undoubtedly a rising star, took the second podium spot behind Bridge. But her win at the KiteFoil GoldCup in Korea and a third in Weifang, China, were enough for her to take the overall tour crown.

Sardinia Grand Slam – Day 2

First day of competitions at the Sardinia Grand Slam with a sharp start at 2 pm with wind between 10 and 15 knots. The 39 best kiters in the world will be fighting until Sunday Oct. 8th for the title of World Champion in the Kite foil division.

Three races during the day offered to the public in Cagliari a clear antecipation of what will be the rest of the competition. French dominance with Alex Mazella e Nico Parlier first and second in the first two races. Third in both events was British Guy Bridge.

Total different result in the last race of the day with a great come back of world champ Maxime Nocher winner in front of Theo Lhostis and third italian Mario Calbucci. Tomorrow morning skippers meeting at 10 am with first possible start at 11. The mistral wind is expected and more than three races can be run.

The Sardinia Grand Slam final stop of the Kite Foil Gold Cupi s organized by GLE (Good looking Entertainment) and Yacht Club Cagliari for the technical part. The eventi s sanctioned by IKA (International Kiteboarding Association) and the sponsorship of Sardinian Tourist board and City of Cagliari.

Sardinia Grand Slam: IKA Kite Foil Gold Cup World Championships Final

International Kiteboarding comes back to beautiful Poetto Beach -Cagliari after the World Championship Racing in 2012 and in leading Italian resort island of Sardinia after the IKA World Kite League of last year in Porto Pollo.

This time to host the most innovative event called IKA Kite Foil Gold Cup World Championships FINAL.

It is the final event, the one that will assign the world title, in a tour that touched already this year Korea, France and China two times.

The IKA event will take place in the location called ‘Esercito’, managed by the Army and is organized by Gian Domenico Nieddu of GLE Good Looking Entertainment in cooperation with Yacht Club Cagliari.

The City Hall of Cagliari and the Sardinia Region are the sponsors of the event through their Tourism office. Sixty riders are expected from all over the world but the biggest contingent will come from France where kite foil exploded.

Total prize money will reach €20.000.

The reigning world champion MAXINE NOCHER (from Montecarlo) will have to match the strong French team including the vice world champion NICO PARLIER and AXEL MAZELLA.

Good chances also for THEO LHOSTIS from France and the British brothers GUY and OLIVER BRIGHT, all on top of the ranking separated by few points.

For the Italian fans the cheering will go to best ranked RICKY LECCESE (based in South America) but also hopes are placed on a good performance of veterans SIMONE VANNUCCI, MARIO CALBUCCI and ANDREA BEVERINO.

In the ladies fleet USA leader DANIELA MOROZ will try to retake the world title but has to watch out from Russian ELENA KALININA.