The fantastic duo Nico Parlier & Daniela Moroz have done it again, defending their Hydrofoil Pro Tour champion titles by coming first two years in a row, a truly amazing feat.
With the success of the Tour’s first circuit in 2016, the 2017 events had a lot to live up to. Having been created by a group of riders to facilitate the organization of competitions internationally, they knew what the riders had to contend with.
The Tour opened with a bang in La Ventana, Mexico with one of the most intense competitions, seeing 57 Riders from 23 Countries. Nico got off to an uncharacteristically shaky start on day 1 proving that even the pros can have an off day, however he soon recovered to gain a stronger standing by the end of the event. Fellow Ozone teammate Ricardo Leccesse maintained a solid stance throughout the three days, finishing fourth overall. Daniela stood strong with a clean win in the women’s division having battled against the gusty winds. Our very own Co-Founder Matt Taggart was there giving the riders a helping hand and consequently winning the Masters race division.
Nico was back on full unstoppable form for the second leg of the Tour in his home country France. This was the first time a major international kitefoil event had taken place in France, with about 100 competitors and many more supporters closing in on Montpellier, they were certainly in for a treat. Consistent winds, warm weather and good vibes made for a cracker of an event. Feeling confident in his home spot Nico dominated the event winning every consecutive race with only a couple of close shaves from fellow Frenchman Axel Mazella. Ricardo held his ground and maintained his 4th position.
From one home spot to another, this time it was Daniela who saw the 3rd event based not far from her local race ground in San Francisco Bay. The race location at St Francis Yacht Club is at the heart of kite racing having been the very first club to host the Kiting Worlds in 2009. The Tour was happy to be joined by Ozone rider, former world champion, Rolex Yachtsman of the year and all round top guy Johnny Heineken. This event was Nico’s chance to make up for lost points having come back strong in France he was able to get himself back on track and into podium position. He also managed to pull out of his hat the record for fastest time in the San Francisco bridge to Berkeley Pier round race, smashing Johnny’s previous record by a full 15 minutes! Needless to say Johnny wasn’t too happy about that, but was still chuffed with his overall third place in the event final. Daniela sliced her way into the number one spot for the women having come an astonishing 17th out of all the contenders; we guess it pays to be a local!
The German leg of the Tour took place up North in the Baltic Sea and proved to be one of the biggest kitefoil regattas of the year, followed by parties and live music for the riders to celebrate. After a delayed start, the wind kicked in for an intense event, which saw riders facing off against the rain, heavy seaweed and hardcore conditions. Nico was lit on a 9m but managed to hold on to finish in top spot, which meant he moved up to first position in the overall rankings. Rikki sat this event out, probably due to celebrating his 36th birthday and we’re sure that having seen the conditions he wasn’t too upset! Daniela also didn’t attend, it´s not easy juggling schoolwork, training and competitions.
From rain and clouds to the beautiful sunny skies and turquoise lagoons of Mauritius. For the second year running the racers were blessed with consistent trade winds and warm water in this foiling paradise. Although idyllic conditions, it still proved to be a demanding racecourse that required fit riders with strong legs, Daniela lived up to the challenge, once again showing no mercy against the other female riders. The Island delivered as promised keeping the perfect conditions for the last day. Enjoying the crystal clear waters, Nico was practically free sailing to the finish line, having had a solid lead in all the previous days races.
We were more than happy to be the official sponsors of the final Hydrofoil Pro Tour event in Sydney and stoked to see all the riders in our custom race jerseys. The wind forecast shaped up nicely and riders were treated to great conditions not to mention glorious sunshine. Sydney was a fantastic location for the last leg with many locals coming out to support the riders as well as a few dolphins popping up to cheer the riders on. With Nico’s title of fastest kitefoiler in the world firmly in place after a stellar performance in Mauritius, now known as ‘The Bullet’ he had a great showdown next to Riley Gibbs and Olly Bridge to continue his winning streak and bring home the champion’s trophy. Daniela also thrived in the perfect conditions and after a magical four days was deservingly crowned 2017 Female Champion.
In total the Tour hosted an incredible 168 riders making it the biggest kiteboarding tour in the world. We are proud of shear progression and stamina of the riders, taking this event to a very high level. We are already on the edge of our seats for next year’s Tour to begin; can the incredible duo do it again and score a hat-trick?
Next up: Formula world kite championships in Oman. With the European Formula titles already under their belt this year, next up is the World Championships. Both Nico and Daniela won the top podium spots in 2016 so they’ll be back to defend their titles in Oman starting on the 18th November. That doesn’t give the riders much rest in between competitions. We wish them the best of luck.
A great big thanks to all the riders who chose to race with Ozone, it’s always a real pleasure to see so many of our kites out together. A special shout out to the event organisers and the Ozone Team members who supported the riders at the various stops, as well as Steve McCormack and his crew from Kitepower Australia for all their help at the Sydney event. This year saw a huge increase of riders on the R1 V2, the shear dominance of the kite shines through from the rider’s performance. Kite racing is at the core of Ozone, for over 10 years we’ve been dedicated to advancing this sport. Our very own head designer Rob Whittall is a racing veteran, having had double success winning the World Championships in Paragliding and Hang-gliding. Not just in our design team, last year Ozone co-founder Matt Taggart astonished us all by annihilating his components to win the Hydrofoil Pro Tour Grandmaster title. It is this valuable input and competitive drive, which helps us to make the best, most powerful racing machines.
Check out the highlights from the final day of the Hydrofoil Pro Tour 2017:
For more info and articles on the Hydrofoil Pro Tour check out their website: http://hydrofoilprotour.com/news/
For 2017 Final Tour Rankings: http://hydrofoilprotour.com/tour-rankings/2017-rankings/