The 2017 Formula Kite European Championship has wrapped up in Istanbul, Turkey. Nico Parlier and Daniela Moroz pushed through a talented field, and tricky conditions, to land on top of the podium. To find out more about the championship continue reading the report below, provided by the International Kiteboarding Association.
Nico Parlier (FRA, Ozone/Mikes Lab) took the men’s title after neck and neck racing with his French rival, Axel Mazella (FRA, Enata). The lead swapped race by race on the final day in front of Tirmata Beach, Istanbul.
The event kicked off last Saturday with the iconic Bosphorus Race – a long-distance race over approximately 41 km from Tirmata Beach right into the heart of Istanbul in ideal sailing conditions with 9 knots northerly winds and moderate seas. Twenty-nine out of the fleet of 36 saw the finish line right in front of Ortaköy Camii Mosque, after having passed all three bridges that connect Europe with Asia.
Day two of the championship saw perfect summer holiday weather. With winds never reaching the required 6 knots minimum, racing was postponed until the next day with a promising forecast for the rest of the week.
Conditions changed overnight though, with an enormous storm in the north of the Black Sea pushing big waves onto the shoreline of Istanbul and putting up a difficult task for the race committee to get any racing underway.
The qualifying series for the men, originally planned to span over two days, had to be extended to reach 5 races, with only a short window during the day when the sea allowed racing at all without putting competitor’s and crew’s safety at risk.
The first day of the final series saw the AP flag flying for the whole day again, with no chance of getting race committee boat out of the harbour due to the big waves.
It all came down to the final day with a manageable sea and the race committee keen to catch up with the lost races of the previous days. In total, 9 races for the Gold, Silver and Women’s fleets were run before the cut-off time at 17:00.
In every single race, Parlier and Mazella changed the lead, but in the end, Nico Parlier was able to maintain the lead in almost all races, even if only by a very small margin. Several times the two rivals came over the finish line overlapped after chasing each other around the course.
It was only Olly Bridge (GBR, Flysurfer/Levitaz) who was able to break the dominance of the two Frenchmen in a couple of races, strengthening his third position overall.
In the women’s fleet, reigning World Champion Daniela Moroz (USA, Ozone/MikesLab) dominated competition from day one, winning the Bosphorus Race and, from then on, every single race in the 14 race single series, with the exception of one DNF, securing her the European crown with a perfect score.
The remaining two podium places were hard fought for between Alexia Fancelli (FRA, Enata) and Elena Kalinina (RUS, Elf/Levitaz), with the better scoreline in the end for the French runner-up.
TOP 5 MEN after 5 qualifying series and 9 final series races
1. Nicolas Parlier (FRA) – 13 pts
2. Axel Mazella (FRA) – 18 pts
3. Oliver Bridge (GBR) – 31 pts
4. Theo Lhostis (FRA) – 40 pts
5. Denis Taradin (RUS) – 43 pts
TOP 5 WOMEN after 14 races
1. Daniela Moroz (USA) – 12 pts
2. Alexia Fancelli (FRA) – 29 pts
3. Elena Kalinina (RUS) – 34 pts
4. Anais Desjardins (FRA) – 40 pts
5. Bilge Ozturk (TUR) – 126 pts