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Formula Kite Youth Europeans and Masters Worlds 2023 - Day 2

by International Kiteboarding Association 26 May 2023 08:14 BST 22-28 May 2023
Formula Kite Youth Europeans and Masters Worlds 2023 © Robert Hajduk | IKA Media

Thunder and lightning in the Sardinian sky brought an early close to competition on day two in Torregrande.

It wasn't all bad though, with three of the four scheduled races completed in the Formula Kite Youth European Championship and four races in the Kitefoil Open Masters World Championship.

In the girls' fleet, a broken harness meant girls overnight leader Héloïse Pégourié was unable to start the first race. Once back in the harness, however, the French rider pushed hard to win the next two heats and retain the overall lead ahead of two more French competitors, Lysa Caval and Chloe Revil.

"I've put myself under pressure now because I've used up my two discards with bad races," frowned Pégourié. "It's good to win the other races but it's never by much, the fleet are pushing hard and I can't afford any more mistakes."

Caval was feeling more upbeat with her scores of 2,3,2. "I was feeling fast today," said the French rider. "I was on my 21 [square metre kite] and we had a lot of power. It was the right choice but now I'm pretty tired so I'll sleep well tonight."

Rare Mistake From Pianosi

In the boy's fleet, a small chink in Riccardo Pianosi's armour saw the Italian spoil his run of first places with a second in the opening heat. Pianosi was forced to bail out of a daring port tack start and had to tack out early to avoid tangling with the starboard tackers. Vojtech Koska seized his opportunity, the Czech rider taking his first race win of the series. So Pianosi slips to second overall, just 1 point behind China's Qibin Huang who has scored a perfect seven from seven heats on his side of the qualifying draw.

On Monday Mattia Maini finished five hours of exams at his school in England, jumped on a plane and flew out to Sardinia just in time for the start of competition. Today he found himself leading a race. "I was ahead of Riccardo [Pianosi] which felt pretty cool," smiled the 18-year-old from Britain. "He got me in the end but I'm pretty happy to get a second place in that race. I was stoked, and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and see what gold fleet brings."

Turkey Wins the Day in Masters

After a shaky start to his Masters Worlds campaign on Wednesday, Turkey's Ejder Ginyol hit his stride on day two, scoring two firsts and two seconds to close the gap to series leader Billy Guy Maupas from France.

Charlie Bingham from the USA might be bringing up the rear in the Masters fleet, but then the 59-year-old only took up kitefoiling two years ago. "It's a been a big learning curve, that's for sure," laughed Bingham. "I mean, it's really fun and it's a huge challenge and you're among great people, in a great atmosphere. I'm not too bothered about the result, I'm just out there having fun."

Monika Zizlavska might have slipped to second in the women's Masters rankings behind Thailand's Benyapa Jantawan, but the Czech rider was smiling as much as ever. "The Thai rider is hugely experienced, so I was surprised to be in the lead yesterday and I'm very OK with my level," said the 40-year-old. "I come from the Czech Republic where we have no sea, no ocean, so this is all different for me, sailing on salt water, waves and so on. It's a big learning experience and I'm really enjoying it."

Friday sees the start of gold fleet racing for the boys in the Youth competition, and the forecast is for the sunshine to return to Torregrande Beach.

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