Kites to the Olympics

Published on March 6th, 2019

In this report by Kimball Livingston for Sailing World, he highlights how America’s top female foil talent is deep into her studies in preparation for the 2024 Olympic Games.

What comes next for an 18-year-old three-time world champion and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year? How about schooling in basics she might have missed along the way to those three world titles in kitefoil racing. Daniela Moroz came out of the blocks as a phenomenon. Now, with kiting set for Olympic competition in 2024, she has work to do.

“There will be girls coming into kiting from dinghies and skiffs,” she says. “I lack that background. I need to work on strategy. I need to work on tactics. And I want to start sailing on a college team next year and get in a lot of races.” And that, frankly, is a unique take on the relationship between Olympic competition and college sailing in America. For Moroz, who grew up on San Francisco Bay chasing two-time women’s world champion Erika Heineken around the buoys, the journey begins anew.

Meanwhile, anyone anywhere with kiting ambitions for 2024 will be going to school, one way or another.

“The proposed Olympic format could be very cool,” Moroz says, “but it’s nothing we’ve seen before — a relay race pairing a male and a female. From what I understand so far, men and women will alternate leading off, with partners waiting in a holding area, and I think surely there will be a component of GPS tracking so racers in the next flight know when to take off.

“Obviously, it would be hard to literally pass a baton. A GPS trigger sounds realistic, but we’ll find out,” she says. “The 2019 world championships are in May on Lake Garda, and that will be everyone’s first shot at this format. Then the exhibition event at the Tokyo Games will give us a solid picture of what’s up. Tokyo is two years out, but I’m already counting the days.” – Full story

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