Please select your home edition
Edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW LEADERBOARD

2020 Gran Canaria KiteFoil Open European Championships - Overall

by Oliver Hartas 20 Dec 2020 21:36 PST 17-20 December 2020

Gran Canaria proved to be the premium location for European December sailing once again today, with a perfect 16-20 knot breeze pumping through for the final day of racing. Theo de Ramecourt (FRA) secured the overall win in the open division, with Ellie Aldridge (GBR) taking out the Womens title and Arthur Lhez (FRA) crowned the Under 19 Champion.

Guy Bridge (GBR) led the pack early in the first race of the day but Maxime Nocher (FRA) managed to overtake by the first downwind mark and sailed a higher course on the following upwind, with Theo de Ramecourt sailing a lower, faster course, managing to overtake by the first tack. The lead was extended by the second downwind, with Theo taking a comfortable win in the first race of today over Maxime, with Martin Dolenc (CRO) completing the podium.

Due to the unusual weather conditions over previous days causing the racing to be behind schedule, the Race Committee planned to run six races back-to-back without a break today, supplying water and food to the on water personnel to be available to the riders to ensure they are able to remain competitive.

In a dramatic turn of events, event leader Theo de Ramecourt was back on the beach shortly after the start of the second race of the day, after an incident with another rider. Said de Ramecourt: "I crashed into Alexander [Ehlen] from Monaco and I snapped a bridle so I couldn't go upwind. I managed to come back ashore and thanks to Stan from SK Shapes I managed to fix it and go back out for the next race." Had he been unable to get back out on the water again, there was a very real possibility that his championship would be at risk, however, fortunately he was able to return to the race area and continue racing.

At the completion of that race, being Race 10, all competitors are now eligible to discard their two worst scores, which may have not affected the top of the leaderboard all that much, but caused much bigger changes further down the scoreboard. In the women's rankings, the second discard was most useful to Julia Damasiewicz (POL), who was previously carrying two DSQ's, but now jumps back up the rankings, directly behind Ellie Aldridge (GBR), as the two highest ranked female riders, sitting in 23rd and 24th overall.

"I am feeling the pressure a little bit," commented Aldridge. "She's [Damasiewicz] been right in front of me in quite a few races, it's quite funny how we always find each other on the race course and have some good battles."

With the weather conditions being perfect, the race committee decided to have a short break after Race 11, the third race of the day, having the competitors rest ashore for 20 minutes before heading back out for three more races as the wind remained perfect at 15-20 knots.

In Race 12, Maxime led Theo at the bottom gate, securing his first victory over his compatriot, the only other 1st place score for Maxime coming when Theo was ashore with damage during Race 10. Denis Taradin (RUS) took 3rd place, his third such result in this event, however the rider has unfortunately been plagued with issues at this event, registering three DNC's on his scorecard. With only two discards, he has to carry one of these in his final score, pushing him down the overall ranking.

As a testament to the dominance Theo de Ramecourt has shown at this event, just before rounding the bottom mark to head to the finish of Race 13, Theo had quite a big crash, which cost him approximately 15 seconds. However, Theo had such a lead over the chasing Nocher that he was able to recover and still cross the line 19 seconds ahead of his compatriot.

Overall it was Theo de Ramecourt who sealed the victory after the 14th and final race of the day, with Maxime Nocher securing silver and Guy Bridge completing the podium. "It was really intense on and off the water but I am super stoked I was able to do it," said de Ramecourt. The Open Champion completed the final race using a different, smaller hydrofoil from the same brand, an example of the advantages of the open development nature of the class. He commented"I felt really good with my equipment, I work really closely with the designers, so I decided to go to the smaller one [foil] which I really like. It all worked perfectly! I am really looking forward for (sic.) more events next year!"

In the Under 19 category, it was another Frenchman who placed 1st; Arthur Lhez (FRA). Said Lhez "I am really happy to win the U19 division because this is my last year [as a youth]. The first two days were really tough, mentally and physically, and these last two days were super hard for me. I crashed super hard today and had a big headache but I was always focused and tried to keep smiling and I think that is what made me win!"

Challenging Arthur in the youth categories were Jakub Jurkowski (POL) in 3rd, and Maximilian Maeder (SIN). Maximilian performed brilliantly at this event, finishing 2nd in the Under 19 category and 12th overall. Additionally, he was also competing in the Under 17 and Under 15 category, at just 14 years of age. Said Maeder "It is very exhilarating! I feel that I make way too many mistakes, and I am just a rookie in how to stay at the top. There are a lot of people who can be competitive at the top, but what truly makes the best people the best is they can keep that top spot once they've got it. I don't feel that I have that level of consistency yet, I am too inexperienced, but luck went my way and here I am!"

Jakub has proved to be a promising rider as well, with Maximilian commenting "His nickname is 'Speedy!' He finished behind me here, but knowing how he trains and how dedicated he is, in the future I think he could be a great opponent!"

Finishing in 23rd overall, Ellie Aldridge secured the Womens title, ahead of Julia Damasiewicz, with local crowd favourite Gisela Pulido (ESP) achieving the bronze position. "It was a good event. The first few days were a bit sketchy, the wind was difficult to predict, but today was really good, it felt like proper racing. Some of the other girls were a bit unlucky with protests in the past couple of days, so it gave me a bit of a gap, but today was really fun racing around with them. Even though we are all racing in one fleet, all the top girls are kind of together, so it's really fun to have super tight racing with both Julia and Gisela." said Ellie.

Results after 14 races: (2 discards)

1. FRA 46 Theo de Ramecourt 14 pts
2. FRA 41 Maxime Nocher 21 pts
3. GBR 60 Guy Bridge 45 pts
4. CRO 37 Martin Dolenc 52 pts
5. GER 55 Florian Gruber 65 pts

Find complete results here.

Related Articles

Representation and aspiration
Why the sailors themselves matter far more than what they sail A lot has been made of the International Olympic Committee and World Sailing's decisions for the tenth sailing medal at the Paris 2024 Games. Posted on 14 Jun
IOC approves Men's & Women's Kiteboarding
As Sailing's 10th Medal Event for Paris 2024 On Thursday, June 10, World Sailing was informed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the IOC Executive Board approved Men's and Women's Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition. Posted on 11 Jun
Registration open for GKA Youth Freestyle Tour
First scheduled event to be held at El Gouna, Egypt in July The GKA is proud to host the Youth Freestyle and Kite-Surf World Tour. We're stoked to have confirmation for our first scheduled event in El Gouna, Egypt and registration is now open. Posted on 29 May
Youth show the way
World Sailing's crucial mid-year meeting vote for kiteboarding alternative World Sailing held their crucial mid-year meeting last week to decide the alternative for the Mixed Offshore Keelboat event at the Paris Olympics Posted on 17 May
Alternative events for Paris 2024 approved
World Sailing's Council meeting concludes 2021 Mid-Year Meeting World Sailing's Council have approved the Men's and Women's Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) and Men's and Women's Two Person Dinghy (470) as the first and second alternative event proposals to Mixed Offshore at Paris 2024. Posted on 14 May
Alternate reality
Is the Paris 2024 10th medal hammering a square peg in a round hole? This time 40 years ago the drummer Nick Mason released an album called Fictitious Sports. As with his band Pink Floyd, Hipgnosis were called upon for the album art, creating the image you see above, which seemed apt as an intro for this editorial. Posted on 3 May
IKA event update May 2021
The first international kiteboarding events will commence as planned from July onwards With travel restrictions easing and mass vaccination progressing quickly, the first international kiteboarding events will commence as planned from July onwards. Posted on 3 May
Next generation of stars named in Futures Squad
Athletes come from the eight confirmed Olympic classes for the Paris 2024 Games Australian Sailing is pleased to announce the inaugural group of athletes and coaches to be selected to the recently launched Performance Pathway Futures Program. Posted on 22 Apr
The RYA Youth Nationals is back!
The event will welcome as many as 350 young racers from all over the country The RYA is thrilled to announce that the RYA Youth National Championships is coming back with a bang for 2021 - and entries are opening on Monday. Posted on 20 Apr
New Tracing Sticker Program launching Summer 2021
Goal is to maintain beach safety and access for kitesurfers around the world At its core, the Global Kitesports Association's main objective is to continually ensure that kitesurfing has safe practices through the development and implementation of equipment standards. Posted on 10 Apr
Savvy Navvy 2021 SW FOOTER v2Highfield Boats - SW - FOOTERHella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 002 gif Bottom