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2024 Fuerteventura KiteFoil International Open Cup - Day 1

by Fuerteventura Kitefoil Open Cup 17 Feb 15:49 PST 15-18 February 2024
Maximiliam Maeder (Singapore) and Lauriane Nolot (France) lead the ranking - 2024 Fuerteventura KiteFoil International Open Cup © Sailing Energy

The world champions of the discipline, Maximilian Maeder (Singapore) and Lauriane Nolot (France), lead the standings during the first day of competition where more than 60 riders from 21 countries, including 14 Olympians, are participating.

The competition kicks off on the beaches of Corralejo, meeting the expectations for the world's best in the kitefoil discipline, with strong wind gusts (around 20 knots) and perfect weather. After the first races, Singapore's Maximilian Maeder, the current champion of the KiteFoil World Series 2023, and Frenchwoman Lauriane Nolot, the world champion and second in the Formula Kite world ranking, lead the standings. Nolot also tops the overall ranking of the KiteFoil World Series 2023.

For Spain's representative in the Olympic Games, Gisela Pulido, organizing this event is "incredible, as it's almost like a world championship." In her opinion, Spain has very talented sailors who will compete for a spot in France. "People from all over the world have come for this regatta," said the 10-time kitesurf world champion, who remains in the top 5.

For the Catalan-born rider, Fuerteventura is one of the best places for wind sports, especially during winter. "It's February, and we're in short sleeves; I don't want to go back to the mainland. I'm considering living here," added Pulido, currently based in Tarifa.

To ensure the proper development of the competition, Mirco Babini, the president of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA), supports it as the race director. "I'm sure it will be a wonderful event, with optimal conditions for the discipline. Every day we will have 5 races for the boys and 5 for the girls, alternating them so they can rest between each one," explained Babini.

Registrations close with more than 60 riders from 21 different countries

This weekend, Flag Beach will become the prelude to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where the Formula Kite discipline will make its debut. Specifically, registrations closed this Friday with a total of 62 competitors from 21 different countries, 14 of whom have already qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games. In addition to Maximilian Maeder and Lauriane Nolot, the European champion Riccardo Pianosi (Italy) stands out, among other internationally renowned riders.

Fuerteventura is committed to consolidating water sports competitions

During the official presentation held this Friday, the mayor of the La Oliva City Council, Isaí Blanco, guaranteed that they will continue working to bring international teams back every year for training and competition. Blanco pledged to improve facilities and services to make the stay on the island "more comfortable" and added that "Fuerteventura's goal is to be recognized touristically, not only for its sun and beach but also for the organization of sports events chosen by elite athletes."

The opening ceremony also featured the Councilor for Tourism and the Environment, David Fajardo, who reiterated the importance of turning La Oliva into a tourist destination: "Knowing the landscapes we have, and the good nautical conditions is essential for you to come here to practice sports. The goal is for our coastline to be even more known by athletes from the highest competitions, like Gisela Pulido, who has decided that her training ground will be here."

Marlene Figueroa, the island council delegate for Tourism, Blue Economy, and the Biosphere Reserve, thanked the athletes who have been training on the island for several months and highlighted the effort to consolidate the island as a training base. "Our intention is to support the consolidation of water sports that generate significant local activity and also local economy for everyone," she said.

The Fuerteventura KiteFoil International Open Cup, organized by the Canakite Experiences Sports Club with the collaboration of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation and the Canarian Federation of Latin Sailing, has been made possible thanks to the sponsorships of the Tourism Department of the Fuerteventura Cabildo, Promotur Canary Islands, and the subsidy from the Government of the Canary Islands. The event also has the unconditional support of the La Oliva City Council, through several of its areas.

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