Please select your home edition
Edition
SOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS 728-X-90 TOP

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

How these two kite-surfing siblings train together
A new series exploring how the GKA athletes train for competition In our new series, we'll be exploring how the GKA athletes train for competition. As the level of kitesurfing continues to explode, competitors are diving deep into diet, workouts and mental strategy. Posted on 26 Feb
Victorian Youth Champs set for April
Victoria's most talented youth sailors will descend on the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria Victoria's most talented youth sailors will descend on the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in April for the return of the Victorian Youth Championships and Coaching Clinic. Posted on 19 Feb
The new kitesurf and freestyle competition format
A refresher on the three world tours running for 2021 We have three world tours running for 2021: the Kite-Surf tour which involves wave kitesurfing and strapless freestyle, the Freestyle tour which involves twin tip freestyle kiteboarding and big air and the Hydrofoil-Freestyle Tour. Posted on 12 Feb
West Marine US Open Series Clearwater overall
Final day of racing held on Super Bowl Sunday Yes, it is Super Bowl Sunday, and the greater Tampa/St. Pete area is consumed by national and local media attention and fanfare for the big game. Posted on 8 Feb
West Marine US Open Series Clearwater day 3
Sailors set the stage for Sunday Sailors experienced another day of various conditions and new challenges on the water at Day 3 of 2021 West Marine US Open - Clearwater. Sunday marks the final day of racing at the regatta featuring 90 sailors in six classes. Posted on 7 Feb
West Marine US Open Series Clearwater day 2
Sailors, Kiters rip it up in the Gulf The action on the water picked up on Friday right where they left off from Thursday's first set of races in the Gulf. For some classes, Day 2 of 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing - Clearwater featured stronger winds than any other US Open event in 2021. Posted on 6 Feb
West Marine US Open Series Clearwater day 1
Good start for Lasers, Kites, and Foils in Clearwater The Gulf of Mexico offered new challenges for the sailors racing today at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing - Clearwater. The first two events of the new series in Fort Lauderdale and Miami were contested in the Atlantic Ocean. Posted on 5 Feb
2021 Kiteboarding Season schedule
Tentative dates for the season have been published The IKA and it's classes anticipate running the following events. It is our goal to provide a safe competition environment for our athletes and staff and we will work within the parameters defined by each hosting country and regulatory body. Posted on 2 Feb
2021 GKA World Tour schedule
We're ready to get the season up and running We're ready to get 2021 up and running! However, we must remain patient, flexible and able to pivot as rules and regulations continue to change. Posted on 15 Jan
Gran Canaria KiteFoil Open Europeans day 3
Swings and roundabouts With a slightly cloudy morning, there were a few worried faces around the rigging area, but the confident words from the locals proved correct, with the clouds blowing away and a perfect 16-20 knot gradient breeze blowing through Posted on 20 Dec 2020
Highfield Boats - SW - FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 BottomDoyle Sails 2020 - Redefining Boundaries 728x90 BOTTOM