Tight racing at Formula Kite World Championships Oman as France�s Nico Parlier asserts dominance

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tight racing at Formula Kite World Championships Oman as France’s Nico Parlier asserts dominance


Tight racing at Formula Kite World Championships Oman as France’s Nico Parlier asserts dominance


With the top fleet stacked with the world’s fastest kite racers the battles at the Formula Kite World Championships in Oman just got a lot fiercer in awesome conditions that provided a perfect stage for the riders’ supreme athleticism.



France’s Nico Parlier dominated in breezes that freshened and hovered between 9 and 11 knots for much of the day off Muscat’s Al Mouj Beach on the Gulf of Oman, framed by a dramatic mountain backdrop. 

On smooth waters, Parlier was pushed all the way by his friend and countryman Axel Mazella – who managed to overhaul his rival in race one – and Britain’s Olly Bridge. Often with just metres between them, the three had thrillingly-close finishes after high speed sub-eight minute laps of the race track. 

In the women’s fleet, the reigning International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite World Champion Daniela Moroz, from the US, showed she is human after all when she missed out on winning two of today’s five races. The 16-year-old’s superiority on the leaderboard is so dominant however, that a second and third place, plus a hat-trick of wins, was enough to cement her top spot. 

The epic day at the 2017 IKA Formula Kite World Championships, hosted by Oman Sail with associate sponsor Al Mouj Muscat, was marked by fractious drama on the water when reigning IKA Formula Kite World Champion Maxime Nocher, from Monaco, collided with a number of other riders while on port tack.

The incident, the subject of a number of protest hearings in the jury room, forced the USA’s Riley Gibbs and France’s Theo Lhostis, to withdraw from racing for the rest of the day. Nocher also changed out of his wetsuit and pulled out of the fray for the remainder of the day. 

Day three of the championship saw the leading riders divided into gold, silver and bronze fleets for the two-day finals series, seeded on the basis of the opening exchanges in the qualifiers. Day five of the competition, dedicated to a medal series, will pit the top 10 men against one another for the crown and the spoils. 

On the basis of Parlier’s near-peerless day, riding on his biggest 19m kite, he would appear to be in the box seat for the title. At one time, Parlier struggled in lighter breezes that perhaps favoured lighter rivals, but he now appears to have mastery of all conditions. 

“It’s definitely been a little bit tighter today,” said Parlier. “It’s mostly between me and Axel Mazella as usual, but now that we’re competing with Olly Bridge and some other good riders, it changes everything.” 

As overnight leader, Bridge, who had been competing in a different fleet in the opening qualifying series, knew he would have his work cut out for him with the French duo in the mix. He finished in second place on the leaderboard, splitting the pair. 

“It’s definitely been more difficult today,” he said. “But I’m getting better. Nico Parlier is just very, very fast. Upwind, downwind, everywhere. But with Axel Mazella, I’m quite close, so I am happy with things.”

Check out the highlights from day two here: 


and check back later for the highlights from today:


Full results can be found at: www.formulakite.com/results

Top five men after six finals series races (one discard)

1 Nico Parlier (FRA)                9pts

2 Olly Bridge (GBR)              15pts

3 Axel Mazella (FRA)             17pts

4 Julien Kerneur (FRA)          47pts

5 Johnny Heineken (USA)      54pts

Top three women after 17 races (three discards)

1 Daniela Moroz (USA)          15pts

2 Alexia Fancelli (FRA)           29pts

3 Elena Kalinina (RUS)           33pts

(Provisional results before protest hearings)

For access to high resolution photography and TV footage, please go here: 




Global media contact

Oman media contact

Daphne Morgan Barnicoat

Assim Al Saqri

+34 678 659 317 | +968 970 84836

+968 93807401

[email protected]

[email protected] 




©2017 Oman Sail. All rights reserved.



Oman is an increasingly popular kiteboarding destination. Thanks to near-perfect wind and sea conditions the Sultanate has quickly obtained a ‘must-visit’ status within the ever-growing global kiting community.

Popular kite spots – ranging from sheltered lagoons to spectacular wave spots – include Masirah Island, Bar al Hickman at Al Khaluf, Al Jazir north of Salalah, Sawadi Beach in Mussanah, Quryatt, Ras al Hadd, and Muscat’s Al Mouj beach, the venue for the Formula Kite Worlds.

The recent Kite Speed World Championship event held at Masirah Island saw Oman described as a ‘kiteboarding paradise’ and a ‘revelation’ by competitors who enjoyed idyllic, windy conditions.


Oman Sail is a pioneering national initiative established in 2008 that is using the sport of sailing in a novel and ambitious way to rekindle the Sultanate of Oman’s maritime heritage, to foster Oman’s socio-economic development and to promote the country as a high-end and adventure tourism destination.

The scale, vision and early success of this unique programme, which aims to instil confidence and teach valuable transferable life skills to a generation of young Omanis, is without precedent.

Oman Sail is proving a catalyst in the growth and development of Oman while playing a key role in raising the country’s regional and international profile. To stay up to date: www.omansail.com


The high-performance Formula Kite class is the newest discipline in kiteboarding, and sees competitors skim above the water on hydrofoils fitted to their boards.

The class is currently campaigning to be recognised as an Olympic showcase event at Tokyo 2020 with full medal status for Paris 2024, and the world championship in Oman will play a major role in its bid for inclusion. The rapidly growing sport of kiteboarding has an estimated 1.5 million participants worldwide.

The Formula Kite Worlds event has attracted international male and female entries from countries including France, Spain, Australia, Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Poland, Mexico, Croatia, Monaco, Russia, Denmark, New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Uruguay, the Cayman Islands, Turkey, Venezuela and the United Kingdom among others.

The event will run from November 19 to 24 and a championship fleet of up to 105 male and female competitors are expected.


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