World Champions poised for Euro glory
© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Max Maeder celebrates the fourth of his four wins

World Champions poised for Euro glory

- Moderate breeze between 14 to 17 knots
- Maeder turns on another display of invincibility in the men’s fleet
- Nolot almost as dominant in the women
- With only the Medal Series remaining, some riders get closer to Olympic selection
- Oh, so THAT’s The Stig!

On day five of the 2024 Formula Kite European Championship in Mar Menor, Spain, Max Maeder and Lauriane Nolot took a step closer to winning back their European titles from two years ago. The men’s and women’s Formula Kite World Champions put on a masterclass on a day of moderate breeze on the flat water of Mar Menor. Four back-to-back races would be bring Gold Fleet to a conclusion, with the riders battling to break into the final 10 for Sunday’s Medal Series.

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© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Another high-speed day on Mar Menor


Maeder, the 17 year old from Singapore, had proven unstoppable on the previous day. Could he get yet another clean sweep. A perfect four from four? Yes, he could, was the emphatic answer.

In the first race of the session, Great Britain’s Connor Bainbridge pushed Maeder all the way down the final run of the two-lap race, the fleet frequently exceeding speeds of 33 knots, sometimes more than 35, hitting double the speed of the wind.

In the next two races Valentin Bontus from Austria looked like he had the legs to match Maeder. “I felt I was getting closer to Max,” smiled Bontus. “But when I got close it still wasn’t close enough. And sometimes you wonder if Max has got an extra gear that he’s not showing us until he really needs to.”
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© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Poema Newland (blue) chasing Jessie Kampman (blue)


In the last race of a breezy afternoon it was Poland’s Maks Zakowski who followed the World Champion across the finish line. That second place finish was sufficient for Zakowski to scrape into 10th place and book himself a place in the Medal Series. Whereas rival for Polish Olympic selection, Jan Marciniak, finished two places back in 12th. On such moments can Olympic selection be decided.

Similarly in the Italian trials, where Lorenzo Boschetti has not managed to show his best form this week, finishing down in 20th place, Riccardo Pianosi has raced a solid regatta to find himself in 6th overall. While it’s going to be tough for the young Italian to win back his European title from last year, he does at least look one step closer to representing his country at the Olympic Games.
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© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Ellie Aldridge (green) does her best to avoid Elena Lengwiler in the air


In the women, Lauriane Nolot was almost as dominant as Maeder, winning the first three heats but narrowly losing out in a last-race battle with fellow French rider Poema Newland. The other French rider Jessie Kampman had been strong all afternoon but a slip-up in the final race meant she fell to third overall.

This means that Nolot and Newland go straight through to the four-rider final of the women’s Medal Series. Kampman on the other hand will have to fight her way out of the Semi Final stages along with Britain’s Ellie Aldridge and the rest of the top 10 women. Elena Lengwiler has been a revelation all week long and the Swiss rider holds on to 5th place overall.
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© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Axel Mazella, lying in second overall, and through to the Final


Daniela Moroz has gradually improved over the week, the six-time World Champion from the USA getting more acquainted with unfamiliar equipment that she’s been trialling this week. Although she’s only 7th, perhaps Moroz’s experience of the Medal Series format will come into play on the final day.

In the men, Max Maeder has earned a well-deserved place in the four-rider final on Sunday afternoon where he will be joined by France’s Axel Mazella who finished a close-run second at the end of Gold Fleet racing. Mazella will be relieved to find himself as top Frenchman and still able to perform at a world-class level even when he’s only just coming back from a serious knee injury in January.
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© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Ellie Aldridge in the water as Jessie Kampman (red) holds on

Connor Bainbridge and Valentin Bontus are the best of the rest and will hold the upper hand in their respective Semi Finals. But the whole nature of the Formula Kite Medal Series means that anyone who has made it this far, can still take the ultimate prize.
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© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Gal Zukerman looking good for Olympic selection for Israel


Joining expert kiter Jemima Crathorne and sailing journalist Andy Rice in the commentary booth on Saturday was the 2022 World Champion from Slovenia, Toni Vodisek. Having already qualified for the Olympic Games, Vodisek is giving himself the week off from competition but admits he was getting envious watching all the action on the water. He says he also loved being able to commentate on the close racing from the studio and is looking forward to returning for the final day of action. Tune into the Livestream on Sunday at 1200 hours local time (Spain) on YouTube and Facebook.



Maximilian Maeder


17.0 p


Axel Mazella


44.0 p


Connor Bainbridge


49.0 p




Lauriane Nolot


20.0 p


Poema Newland


31.0 p


Jessie Kampman


38.0 p

More info at

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© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Poema Newland celebrates a win in the last race