Formula Kite: Rise of British women

Published on October 17th, 2022

The British Sailing Team leads the Olympic medal count in both gold (31) and total (64), but when the sailing program for Paris 2024 was to include a Men’s and Women’s Kiteboard event, they had a lack of female riders.

Truth is, at the time there were not many women worldwide. Fourteen women attended the 2018 Formula Kite European Championships with only 4 able to complete all the races. The 2018 Formula Kite World Championships had 11 riders and only 3 able to complete all the races.

The world needed to get caught up to Daniela Moroz as the American had won her third consecutive world title at 17 years of age, so it was 2018 when the Brits initiated a talent search to identify and develop female athletes to win gold.

“While Paris 2024 seems a long time away, six years is a short time to develop world class athletes from scratch in a new event,” said Ian Walker, who was at that time Director of Racing at the RYA. “We want to get ahead of our competition so that we can give our athletes the very best chance of success.”

Now four years later, Moroz just won her sixth consecutive world title, but the Brits are closing in on her. With 58 women at the 2022 worlds, the British Sailing Team finished 3,4,7 with only the French close in elite depth (2,6,11) among the 27 competing nations.

“It’s awesome to see all the hard work we’ve all put in this year paying off, and I’m excited to keep the momentum going into training over the winter,” said Brit Katie Dabson about her fourth place finish.

What a difference a focused training program can make, and while Moroz remains the cream of the crop, her only teammate was 21st. Depth matters for successful Olympic programs, and it is the hope of the US Olympic program that she continues to dominate her event, as there may not be many other medal hopefuls for the next games.

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