Oman Oman Formula Kite World Championships

Thursday, 23 November 2017



Thursday, November 23, 2017

Intense clashes as racers push for Medal Series at Oman Formula Kite World Championships


Intense clashes as racers push for Medal Series at Oman Formula Kite World Championships


Competition at the Formula Kite World Championships in Oman saw the stakes raised as the leading racers battled to secure a top 10 spot and the chance to go for glory in the Medal Series on the final day on Friday.



The duels on the water off Muscat’s Al Mouj beach in the top fleet, with riders battling for position, were intense, with the slightest mistake proving costly in what is undoubtedly the strongest kitefoil racing line-up of the year.

France’s Nico Parlier barely put a foot wrong on the penultimate day of the five-day regatta on the Gulf of Oman’s flat waters, in a shifty 10 to 11 knot breeze, extending his lead and giving himself a healthy advantage. It didn’t all go his way, however, Britain’s Olly Bridge managed to get the better of the Frenchman in one race, notching up his first win and taking second place on the leaderboard. This victory came right after he had failed to complete the previous race and had to be rescued after breaking two lines and seeing his kite tumble into the water. 

France’s Axel Mazella secured third place on the leaderboard after a day of neck-and-neck competition with rivals Parlier and Bridge that saw ultra-fast (just over) seven-minute laps of the course. 

Despite intense competition from a classy field – with 10 of the 18-strong gold fleet riders aged under 21 – the leading trio were in a class of their own. The chasing pack, however, was almost as quick, with most finishing just seconds after the leaders. 

The biggest winner on day four of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite World Championships, hosted by Oman Sail with associate sponsor Al Mouj Muscat, was Riley Gibbs, from the USA, who put in a stellar performance and notched up a clutch of high-placed finishes. 

He was awarded a scoring redress for the five races he was forced to miss on Wednesday after a collision in a port-starboard incident with the reigning Formula Kite World Champion, Maxime Nocher, from Monaco. The award propelled him to fourth on the leaderboard and secured his place in the Medal Series.

Slovenian Toni Vodisek, 17, put his best foot forward on day four, enjoying his finest day on the water so far with a brace of second and third place finishes in the top fleet’s six races, putting him fifth overall. 

Russian Denis Taradin had a slightly more chequered outing, but his strong finishes in the opening clashes of the two-day Finals Series were enough to put him in ninth place overall going into the final day. 

“Behind the leading three guys there is a battle for every single place,” said Taradin. “It’s definitely the toughest fleet I’ve ever sailed in. The whole line-up is packed. I love every single moment of it. I try not to care too much about the result, enjoy myself and not make too much trouble in my mind.” 

Frenchman Théo de Ramecourt, tenth overall, was also revelling in the intensity of the competition that he believed ultimately could only be good for his future performance.

“The level here is just insane,” said de Ramecourt. “One race you can be number four, then number 14. You just can’t make any mistakes. It’s really hard, but it’s so interesting. We now have a new vision of what racing is. I’m so happy with my speed and performance.” 

In the women’s fleet, another battle has been unfolding out on the water between France’s Alexia Fancelli and Russia’s Elena Kalinina, with both trailing in the wake of the reigning Formula Kite World Champion, Daniela Moroz, from the USA, who posted six wins out of six today. 

Fancelli was pleased to have bagged a second and a trio of third place finishes that gave her the edge and put her in second place on the leaderboard over former Formula Kite World Champion, Kalinina. The pair, are just one point apart going into the final day. 

“I’m so pleased that I’m in the game with Elena Kalinina for a second-place finish,” said Fancelli. “We’ve had a long day, but I’m absolutely going faster. So now it’s about tactics and reading the wind shifts on the course to earn the best advantage.”

Check out the highlights from day three here: 

and check back later for the highlights from today: 

Full results can be found at:

Top five men after 12 finals series races (two discards)

1 Nico Parlier (FRA)                     14pts

2 Olly Bridge (GBR)                     27pts

3 Axel Mazella (FRA)                    31pts

4 Riley Gibbs (USA)                     56pts

5 Toni Vodisek (SLO)                   87pts

Top three women after 23 races (four discards)

1 Daniela Moroz (USA)                 19pts

2 Alexia Fancelli (FRA)                  43pts

3 Elena Kalinina (RUS)                  44pts

(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

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+968 93807401

[email protected]

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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:


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.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 November 2017 )