The USA will be tested at Formula Kite Worlds >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Five members of the US Kitefoil Squad are in Italy for the 2021 Formula Kite World Championships after numerous intensive team training camps and countless hours of solo preparation. Announced in June 2021, the new Olympic discipline which will make its debut at the 2024 Paris Games, Formula Kite, has attracted 92 men and 51 women to the west coast of the island of Sardinia.
On the water for the United States:
• Kai Calder (Alameda, California)
• Will Cyr (San Diego, California)
• Markus Edegran (West Palm Beach, Florida)
• Evan Heffernan (Santa Barbara, California)
• Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, California)
This year’s world championships, October 11-17, will provide many “firsts” for both the US group and the international fleet, as the discipline progresses and professionalizes as an Olympic class.
First major event for the USA Kite Squad as a group
The 2021 Formula Kite World Championships mark the first major event for the American Kite Squad, America’s top kiters who have been managed and supported as part of the American Sailing Team Development Program. As a scouting trip ahead of the Worlds, Moroz and Edegran traveled to Montpellier, France in September with coach Charlie McKee for the 2021 European Championships with the aim of bringing back as many lessons as possible, and the three debriefed the team during their final training. in Long Beach, California, before heading to Italy.
“As a team this is our first major quad event,” said Heffernan, who placed 22nd at his first world championships in 2019 at Lake Garda, Italy. “It will be a great opportunity to show the progress of our training and see that the process is working. This event marks the start of a new chapter for our team as we move into a more structured racing program. We are delighted to have these resources on our team and look forward to continued growth. ”
“The team really focused on solid decision making,” McKee said. “They used the power of ‘Team’ really well to quickly determine the conditions each day and put together a simple tactical plan so they could focus on speed and technique.”
Making his Formula Kite World Championship debut, Markus Edegran spoke about the benefits of training the team over the past nine months: good training before a big event like this. Having the start and training on a small racetrack with a group of other athletes has been great in simulating the situations that we will have at these events.
Competing in Formula Kite Europeans to gain experience with the new regatta format was a main focus for Moroz, Edegran and McKee last month in Montpellier, and the rest of the group are ready for their first shot in the same structure which will be used at the Paris 2024 Games.
“I’m pretty happy with the new format,” Calder said. “It gives you the opportunity to sail with a game plan and not the pressure of needing to sail a perfect regatta from day one. While everyone would love to have a perfect regatta, things are happening, and this new format lets you clear your head and know you can still be successful in medal races.
Heffernan, with a little more experience in the new format having previously sailed it once at the 2019 Association of National Olympic Committees World Beach Games, said: A series where consistency is king. The format greatly affects the mentality of sailing and I am excited to take on the challenge.
First world championships with new Olympic discipline designation
With four World Champion titles to her credit, Daniela Moroz is no stranger to this event and has witnessed the evolution of the class at the highest level over the years.
“This World Cup is very different,” said Moroz. “These are the first Worlds in Olympic quad bikes so everything is much more competitive, and all the countries have built their teams. They all have coaches and the sport is getting a lot more professional overall. It’s really cool to see him evolve that way. I am excited for the sport and to see where it is going from here.
First time back to a World for the international fleet since 2019
Since COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of the 2020 World Championships, this year’s event will be a reunion for the best kiters in the sport. Some notable successful competitors on the world stage include double world champion Axel Mazella from France, double world champion Nicolas Parlier from France, eight-time world champion Florian Gruber from Germany and our own Daniela Moroz with four titles. world champion and two Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year awards. Other regular podiums are present and include current European male champion Maximillian Maeder of Singapore, Russian Elena Kalinina, Great Britain Oliver Bridge and Conner Bainbridge.
Format for the Olympic discipline of Formula Kite:
1. Male and female fleets initially divided into equal groups. The men will start in small evenly divided groups, and the women will start in small equally divided groups.
2. All the competitors run up to 12 races over three days, then are classified in bronze, silver and gold for men, silver and gold for women, for 4 additional races with points carried over.
3. At the end of the second day of racing in the gold fleet, the two best kiters from the men’s and women’s divisions automatically qualify for the final.
4. Places 3-14 in the men’s and women’s gold fleets advance to the semi-finals where they run two races in two groups of six, with the winners of each group advancing.
5. The final consists of the best 4 races until someone gets 3 wins
6. The leading kiter enters the final with two points and only has to win one race to close the regatta.
7. The second placed kiter enters the final with one point and must earn two or more to win the title.
8. The third and fourth placed kiters who entered the final with zero points must win three races. (This exact scenario unfolded in the men’s fleet of the European Championships where Maximillian Maeder of Singapore entered the final with zero points, won three consecutive races and won the 2021 Formula Kite European Championships)
Source: US Sailing