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Moroz, Edegran, Calder advance to Gold fleet; Kite World Championships at Halfway Mark

by US Sailing Team 16 Oct 14:10 BST
Daniela Moroz sailing with the gold pinnie denoting her first place ranking in the event - 2021 Formula Kite World Championship © Robert Hajduk for International Kite Association

After 10 races in the men's fleet and 12 in the women's, the qualifying series of the 2021 Formula Kite World Championship has come to a close with gold, silver, and bronze fleet racing beginning Saturday, October 16.

Securing spots in the gold fleet from the US Kitefoil Squad:

  • 1st - Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.)
  • 15th - Markus Edegran (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
  • 30th - Kai Calder (Alameda, Calif.)
After winning all three races on day one, two firsts and two mishaps on day 2, and a worst score of second place on day three, four-time World Champion Daniela Moroz sits in first place overall heading into tomorrow's gold fleet racing. "Racing has been really close in the women's fleets," said Moroz, who sailed with a larger kite than most of her competition for the day and pushed through to the end. "I've been working on making consistent incremental gains throughout the event and making each lap a little bit better. I'm really excited for the next few days and to fight for my fifth title."

Markus Edegran had a strong day, winning a race and putting up a consistent score line through a combination of good starting, tactics, and board handling. "That kind of performance was both a confidence boost for Markus, and a validation for the entire Squad," said coach Charlie McKee.

"I'm finding myself in a similar position to the Kite European Championships," said Edegran, reflecting on the September event in Marseille, France. "I've sailed consistently enough to advance to gold fleet with the door to the semifinals (top 14) open. A decent day in gold fleet tomorrow will be enough to continue to the next stage and get a top 10 finish at my first World Championships."

Snagging the 30th and a ticket to the gold fleet after moving up four places from day two is Alameda, California athlete Kai Calder. "It feels great to put it all together in the last day of qualifying and get through by the skin of my teeth," said Calder after a solid day on the water in a maximum-pressure setting. "The fleets have been super tight and the racing level is through the roof. I'm super stoked to have achieved that goal and I look forward to keep sending it."

Coach Charlie McKee commented on the collective strength of the squad and how the group has been applying their teamwork on and off the water: "We are midway through the World Championships, which has been an amazing display of skill and athleticism. The team-first approach of our athletes was on full display today. We had some tough moments early in this regatta, but they really lifted each other up and came through with some great performances this afternoon."

The 2021 Worlds is the first major event for the US Kitefoil Squad as a dedicated training group, and Moroz, Edegran, and Calder had a lot of praise for their teammates and the large role they played in their advancements. "I need to give a huge shout out to our crew that has been collectively raising the bar," said Calder. "We have all put in a lot of hours on the water and all of us truly had the potential to make it."

Advancing to the silver fleet from the US Kitefoil Squad (places 31-60):

  • 31st - Will Cyr (San Diego, Calif.)
  • 37th - Evan Heffernan (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
"It's been a heck of an event," said Cyr. "It's my first time in Europe, and I'm excited to see the level out here. For the last year and a half, all my close battles have been with Kai, Evan, and Markus during the travel- restricted Covid era. It felt great to leverage the lessons learned from our time together to dive headfirst to this diverse fleet. I am proud of how our team has performed and excited to see where our trajectory leads us. One thing is for sure, our combined efforts will lead to so much more than any of us could do alone."

"Today was a tough day for me," said Heffernan. "I had strong movements in all my races but was unable to hold on to the results I was looking for. This is the first major event of the quad, and it is evident that the Olympic spirit is among the fleet. The level has dramatically improved and I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead to get back to the top. So far, it has been a great event for our squad with strong support from the US Sailing Team. The next steps on the path are already in the works for what will make the greatest impact. Today was tough but has increased my drive to push my abilities."

Racing will be live streamed on the US Sailing Team Facebook page beginning at 0745 ET on Saturday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17, courtesy of the International Kite Association.

Results available here.

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