Congratulations to Nico Parlier for successfully taking his third Formula Kite World Champion title in Lake Garda, Italy. Nico started the season off racing strong on the new R1 v3, showing off its supercharged performance and refined design enhancements.
Nico pushed on through and held on to his top spot after several days of very close racing, mixed wind conditions saw lack of wind on day three and gusty 40kts on the final day, bringing icy temperatures and snow on the surrounding mountains. Speaking afterwards to IKA's chief Editor, Ian MacKinnon, Nico says he sees that kiteboarding’s inclusion in the line-up for the 2024 Olympics in Paris has made the competition even tougher with a host of new young faces, which only serves to make his third championship victory sweeter.
“I’m really happy as I didn’t expect it much,” said Parlier. “It’s definitely getting harder. The guys are getting quicker and it’s pretty tight. I felt really fast, but many are close to me. The starts were insane with 30 in the ‘gold’ fleet. The racing was really interesting here under the cliffs.”
The event also held the first trial of the mixed team relay format, the same format set to be used when kiteboarding debuts at the Olympics in five years time. The round-robin format involves a male and female team racing one lap each of the track. The second team member can only begin their lap once the first has passed the finish line, this “flying” handover adds another level of complexity.
USA Ozone team rider, Evan Heffernan teamed up with the reigning female Champ Daniela Moroz to clinch the top spot after some very tight racing:
“This format’s pretty cool,” he said. “The changeovers were very smooth, though we could do better. And perhaps the races could be a little longer so that they’re more tactical and enable you to make up for mistakes. But it was great fun.”
Well done to Evan and Daniela. Congratulations also go out to Oliver Hansen for being crowned U19 Vice-Champion, to Julia Damasiewicz for claiming the U16 Female World Champion title, Magdalena Wojciechowska U16 Vice-Champion and to Jakub Jurkowski U16 Male Vice-Champion.
Winning his third Formula Kite World title, Nico shares with us his experience and of the heated competition in Lake Garda, Italy.
“The conditions during the training days prior to the competition were fairly unstable and gusty, it really honed down the importance of getting to know a spot and it’s varied winds well before race day. I was happy to have had this experience as it helped me decide on the best kite size to use.
The first day of the event was for the qualifying rounds, I was placed in a fleet with Toni, Flo and Axel and got off to a good start winning all four races.
On Day two, the relay races were held, I was interested to find out more about the format so I decided to be a spectator for the day and watch the racing unfold from the comfort of the support boat. From a spectator’s point of view, it wasn’t so easy to gage who was leading most of the time but it definitely looked fun and an interesting option to include mixed teams in the 2014 Olympics.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a drop of wind the following day which meant no racing. After the frustration of not getting out on the water, we were all eager to get going on the fourth and final day. The top 31 riders from the qualifying rounds all raced together in the gold fleet, it was a solid fleet of the strongest riders, and was very tight right from the start. I really enjoyed the four races, the strong level made it very interesting and fair game for all.
I came third in the first race which opened my eyes to the need to give the next races everything I had. In the second race, I decided to take advantage of a port tack start which paid off and I managed to lead all the way securing first. I again came third in the third race, making me realise I need to step up my game even more. The fourth and final race was amazing, the top riders were all so close again, I came in right on the heels of Ollie Bridge.
Overall I had a 4 point lead, I was very careful to make the least mistakes, knowing that even a slight hiccup could be lethal. The top 4 riders won a heat each proving the tight racing and skill level.
It was a shame the weather didn’t hold from the previous day, the conditions were perfect during the relay racing and I was looking forward to some high powered racing only for the wind to die off and be left battling the gusts on the 19m.
The very last day saw nuking winds with icy chills coming in from the snowy mountain tops so we were lucky to have completed the racing at least.
The decision to take the 19m R1 v3 over the 21m for the races was simple to make. During the training days, I felt a lot of gusts even during the light periods, I decided it would be best to use the 19m in the racing to handle better the varied wind strengths and to not be overpowered when it picked up, I was on 14m lines.
For me, the 21m works best in steady, cleaner winds in locations that have stable thermal wind.
The other top-five riders were on 20 or 21m kites, on some parts of the races maybe the 21 would have been preferred but on the whole, I was happy with my decision to take a smaller kite as at times the gusts came in out of nowhere.
The V3 is a very easy kite to race with, I was happy to see lots of R1 V3s on the water and talking to other riders they feel the same. It is a very fast and forgiving, I get away with certain mistakes that would otherwise be costly."
Once again our renowned race machine, the R1 covered the competition skies, this time to a stunning Italian backdrop. Now in its third version, the R1 remains a force to be reckoned with. We have made its high-speed podium performance even easier to tap into, refining the design to take it to the next level.
A re-designed internal structure increases strength and support without additional weight. Re-calculated bridal line diameters reduce overall line drag by 14%. Giving the hard-core racer an overall increase in performance with the following enhancements:
All sizes of R1 V3 are IKA registered.
Results - 2019 Pascucci Formula Kite World Championships
1 Nico Parlier (FRA) - OZONE R1V3
2 Olly Bridge (GBR)
3 Connor Bainbridge (GBR)
1 Daniela Moroz (USA)
2 Elena Kalinina (RUS)
3 Breiana Whitehead (AUS)
Mixed KiteFoil Team Relay
1 USA (Daniela Moroz / Evan Heffernan) - OZONE R1V3
2 FRA (Alexia Fancelli / Maxime Nocher)
3 RUS (Elena Kalinina / Denis Taradin)
1 Arthur Lhez (FRA)
2 Oliver Hansen (DEN) - OZONE R1V3
3 Scott Whitehead (AUS)
1 Daniela Moroz (USA)
2 Valeria Garashenko (RUS)
3 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) - OZONE R1V3
1 Maximilian Maeder (SGP)
2 Jakub Jurkowski (POL) - OZONE R1V3
3 Michal Wojciechowski (POL) - OZONE R1V3
1 Julia Damasiewicz (POL) - OZONE R1V3
2 Magdalena Wojciechowska (POL) - OZONE R1V3
3 Nina Arcisz (POL) - OZONE R1V3
1 James Johnson (DEN)
2 Nico Landauer (URU)
3 Ejder Ginyol (TUR)
1 Steph Bridge (GBR)
2 Natalie Flintrop-Clarke (AUS)
3 Claire Durand (FRA) - OZONE R1V3
Men (Grand Masters)
1 James Johnson (DEN)
2 Wilson Veloso Junior (BRA) - OZONE R1V3
3 Pierluigi Capozzi (ITA) - OZONE R1V3
For full results: http://formulakite.com