After an exciting weekend of competition, Singaporean Maximilian Maeder, the current champion of the KiteFoil World Series 2023, emerged undefeated and was crowned champion of the Fuerteventura KiteFoil International Open Cup alongside the Briton Ellie Aldridge. Aldridge prevailed in the final heats against the Frenchwoman Lauriane Nolot, the world champion and second in the Formula Kite world ranking, also leading the overall ranking of the KiteFoil World Series 2023. Nolot stopped competing after securing 4 victories in the first 4 heats.

“I am very happy to have competed here in the first event of the year; the spot is incredible. I am very happy to have come because it is a great place to train, especially if you want to gain consistency due to the strong and constant conditions,” Maeder declared. For the Singaporean rider, Fuerteventura has become an ideal place to train and engage in water activities with a “very friendly community.”

Close behind Maeder with 12 points, the second place on the men’s podium was held by Brazilian Bruno Lobo with 15 points, followed by German Jannis Maus with 18 points and Italian Riccardo Pianosi with 28 points, the current European champion. Despite Maeder being the fastest in 4 out of the 9 heats held, disqualifications of other riders gave him an advantage in the overall standings, especially Lobo’s disqualification during the last race. Representing Spain, Catalan Bernat Cortés secured a commendable eleventh place.

In the women’s category, Jessie Kampman (France) finally climbed the podium with 20 points, and Maggie Pescetto (Italy) with 32 points. Although Aldridge did not give any respite during the final heats, winning 4 out of 5 races in which Nolot did not compete. However, behind the British rider (who accumulated 12 points), the results were close, demonstrating a high level among female riders, many of whom will compete in Paris 2024.

For Spain’s Formula Kite representative at the Olympic Games, Gisela Pulido, the heats were intense, but she managed to stay in the top 5. “I am very excited to go to the Olympics; it’s coming soon, looking forward to the day to fulfill my dream,” said the 10-time world champion in Kitesurf Freestyle.

The favorable wind and wave conditions allowed for a total of 9 heats. However, the competition director, Mirco Babini, announced that the large waves posed a very high risk to the safety of athletes, leading to the decision to suspend the races on the third day of competition, mainly due to the existing risk when entering and leaving the water.

“Safety is a priority, especially considering that many of the competitors have significant commitments in the coming months, and it is necessary to preserve their physical condition,” commented Babini.

From the Fuerteventura KiteFoil International Open Cup to Paris 2024

The sports calendar of 2024 promises a series of highlighted events, including the European Championship in Murcia in March and the renowned Trofeo Princesa Sofía in Palma de Mallorca in April. Subsequently, in July, the Olympic Games in Paris will be held, with the sailing venue in Marseille.

“This event marks the end of an extensive winter training cycle on the island, providing the opportunity to test skills, measure speed, select the right equipment, and evaluate the level and preparation for the Olympic Games,” expressed Babini, who will also be the race director for kitefoil and iQFOiL during the Olympics.

Fuerteventura was chosen as the competition venue at the request of the athletes themselves, an act that more than 60 participants from over 20 different countries hope to repeat. “The event has been a success, and we want to repeat it next year. The institutions have shown us their support, and that is essential to position the island globally as the preferred place for kitefoil practice,” argued the organizer, Manuel Martínez, during the trophy presentation at the Nautical School of Corralejo, attended by representatives of the main institutions involved.

The Fuerteventura KiteFoil International Open Cup, organized by the Canakite Experiences Sports Club with the collaboration of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation and the Canarian Federation of Latin Sailing, is sponsored by the Tourism Department of the Cabildo de Fuerteventura and Promotur Islas Canarias, and subsidized by the Government of the Canary Islands. The event also has the unconditional support of the City Council of La Oliva, through various council departments.

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Tue 20th Feb, 2024 @ 6:00 pm

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