French Maxime Nocher dominates first stop of inaugural Kite Foil Gold Cup
Published on March 21st, 2014
A group of thirty of the world’s best kiteboard racers descended on the Baja California gulf town of La Ventana to participate in one of the most anticipated regattas of the year. Hosted by Playa Central Beach Club it was the first stop of the Kite Foil Gold Cup international tour on March 14-17.
This groundbreaking tour, in its inaugural year, features the newest discipline added to the bevvy of international kiteboarding competition. It was anyone’s guess who would come out on top as this marked the first meeting of the biggest names in the fleet.
Sailed over four days and fourteen races, the event had all conditions presented. From light and shifty to gale force winds, a fair test was administered by the Race Committee lead by PRO Robbie Dean. The real question that everyone wanted to see answered was how the newcomers in the fleet would fair against the pioneering French contingent.
The epic battle ensued after a brief delay on day one. By late afternoon, the wind had slowly built to six knots and the sailors rigged their biggest kites. Sailing at speeds more than doubling the windspeed, French sailor Maxime Nocher was clearly dominant in the light wind qualifying series scoring all first place finishes.
The championship series was conducted over the following three days with thousands of spectators viewing from the beach. In the big breeze that occurred, Nocher continued his dominating performance, scoring all bullets over the fourteen race series. However, the battles for second through sixth were completely insane. Sailors John Heineken, Nico Parlier, Julien Kerneur, Joey Pasquali, and Bryan Lake provided entertainment rivaled only by the other foiling classes around the world. Big crashes, lead changes, blistering speeds, and new tactical maneuvers made it one of the most exciting sailing championships to date.
The four stop Kite Foil Gold Cup tour continues in September with a stop in St. Moritz, Switzerland and then on to Townsville, Australia. The tour concludes in the motherland of Hydrofoil Kiteboarding, Gruissan France. Look for these athletes as they compete for international fame in this new and exciting discipline presented by the International Kiteboarding Association.
Event website: www.playacentralkiteboarding.com
Final results: sailwave.com/results/kitefoilgoldcup2014/finalsseries.htm
Tour website: www.kitefoilgoldcup.com
Robbie Dean reporting