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IKA Formula Kite North American Championships and Hydrofoil Pro Tour at St. Francis Yacht Club

by Scott Armstrong 27 Aug 14:57 BST 21-25 August 2019
Hydrofoil Pro Tour and Formula Kite North American Championships 2019 © Chris Ray

The IKA Formula Kite North American Championships and Hydrofoil Pro Tour came to St. Francis Yacht Club to showcase some of the world’s top kite racing talent.

With an eye toward the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris—the scheduled debut of kiteboarding as an Olympic sport—the dual regatta did not disappoint.

Nico Landauer, representing Uruguay, took the laurels on the Kiting North Americans side, followed by Americans Evan Heffernan and Will Cyr. Next in fourth, Kirstyn O’Brien claimed Top Woman honors for the regatta, and Sweden’s Markus Edegran rounded out the Kiting NAs top five.

Théo de Ramecourt of France claimed first place at this stop of the Hydrofoil Pro Tour. de Ramecourt won the final six races of the competition, including Saturday’s SF Bay Challenge, to best his fellow countryman Nico Parlier for the top prize.

Third-place honors for the tour stop went to Great Britain’s Connor Bainbridge, the only other athlete to post a bullet on the Hydrofoil results board besides de Ramecourt and Parlier. St. Francis Yacht Club’s Johnny Heineken came next in fourth place, and Bainbridge’s fellow Brit Oliver Bridge took fifth.

“What an amazing venue here in the birthplace of kite racing,” said Markus Schwendtner, Chief Executive Officer of the International Kiteboarding Association. “It was a wonderful regatta and we hope to be back here again in the near future.”

After O’Brien, StFYC’s Daniela Moroz finished second among female entries. The 2016 Formula Kite World Champion is an incoming freshman at the University of Hawaii; at the awards ceremony, Moroz’s mother Linda stood in for her daughter, whose flight to the islands had landed minutes earlier.

The week began on the Cityfront with the annual Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race, where ideal San Francisco Bay conditions led to the breakage of several Bridge to Bridge records. Parlier finished in 9 minutes, 32 seconds—meaning he beat de Ramecourt by one second for the victory.

Heineken, France’s Theo Lhostis and Moroz completed the Ronstan Kiteboard top five. Xavier Ferlet of Great Britain won the Windsurf side of Ronstan in 16 minutes, 45 seconds, with StFYC’s Al Mirel going second. Ferlet also grabbed the top windsurfer spot in the later SF Bay Challenge.

Hydrofoil Pro Tour now heads to Pointe d'Esny, Mauritius for its third stop of the season, August 29-September 1. Meanwhile, the IKA looks ahead to a busy September: two KiteFoil World Series events in China, then the European Championships in Italy.

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