Better than a stick in the eye

Published on August 12th, 2018

Eighteen nations stood on the podium to claim medals among the 10 Olympic events at the 2018 Sailing World Championships, held August 2-12 in Aarhus, Denmark. None of them, however, were from North America.

But with kiteboarding expected to be among the events for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the Formula Kite World Championships was also included and USA can take some solace in Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.) winning the Women’s title.

This marks the third consecutive World Championship title for Moroz. The talented kiteboarder has won the Hydrofoil Pro Tour in 2016 and 2017, the Women’s Formula Kite World Championships in 2016 and 2017, and recently the 2018 Formula Kite Europeans in Warnemuender, Germany.

For the Sailing World Championships, held once every four years, this was the first time to include the kiteboarding men’s and women’s world titles. While the outlook for USA at Tokyo 2020 is mixed, the kiteboard events could prove to be fruitful four years later.

“The idea that we’re being included amongst other Olympic classes pre-2024 is validation that our sport is growing,” remarked USA coach Robbie Dean. “With the results that USA has achieved at this 2018 Worlds, it’s validation that we, as a country, are doing it right.”

The 17-year-old California native has been kiting since the age of 11. Her affinity for water was passed down from her parents who are both competitive windsurfers and kiters themselves. Moroz’s impressive sailing resume includes being named US Sailing’s 2016 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year.

“We loved having the kites share in this event experience with the other Olympic classes,” remarks Malcolm Page, Chief of Olympic Sailing, “and feel we are getting a head start into the future of sailing talent [like Moroz] by including them just as any other U.S. athlete participating in Aarhus.”

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