KiteFoil GoldCup to be staged off Hang Loose Beach
Published on July 8th, 2015
Gizzeria, Italy (July 8, 2015) – Many of the globe’s leading kite hydrofoil riders tested out the warm waters of the Mediterranean, warming up ahead of the opening ceremony at the KiteFoil GoldCup to be staged off Hang Loose Beach. This will be the second stop (July 9-12) on the 4-event KiteFoil GoldCup series in 2015.
The racers ripped across the relatively smooth waters off south-west Italy’s coast measuring their pace against friends in the tight-knit set while tweaking hydrofoil and kite settings to gain maximum advantage in the “open” KiteFoil GoldCup class.
In the gathering breeze that hit about 14kts, the riders initially put up their biggest 18m kites, but at its height some of the seven women due to compete opted for kites as small as 9m. The wind forecast looks good and may see many on smaller-sized kites over the coming days.
In all 48 kiters from 18 nations registered to contest the four-day event with the stunning coastline of Calabria serving as the backdrop, for the contest hosted by Hang Loose Beach with Audi Zentrum as one of the major sponsors.
A low-key opening ceremony heralded the start of the proceedings, but it could yet presage fireworks on the water with European Formula kite champion Olly Bridge (GBR) and reigning course-board world champion Maxime Nocher (FRA) going head-to-head on their foil boards.
Sadly, leading foil contender Nico Parlier (FRA) was forced to pull out just a day before the start after suffering a deep gash on his foot on a beach elsewhere needing eight stitches and making it impossible for him to compete. Top Americans Johnny Heineken, sister Erika, and Joey Pasquali also did not make the trip.
In the roster of women, who will compete in the same fleets as the men, Britain’s multiple Formula board world champion Steph Bridge will be up against the young Russian, Elena Kalinina, for the honours.
For several days already riders have been concerned about plastic bags and large jellyfish in the water that can lead to hard crashes at more than 30kts when either become wrapped around the foil.
No doubt the ultra-competitive fleet of men and women will find ways to overcome the obstacles thrown their path to put on four days of spectacular racing guaranteed to excite and enthrall.
Tour Website – http://kitefoilgoldcup.com/
Report by Ian MacKinnon.