Stage Set For Engrossing Showdown of Globe’s Top Foilers as Rivals Meet to Fight it Out in China

Stage Set For Engrossing Showdown of Globe’s Top Foilers as Rivals Meet to Fight it Out in China

Battle in the eagerly-awaited first Formula Kite (foil) world championship will get underway in just five days on the waters off Weifang, China.

With most of the top kitefoil racers slated to compete, the six-day event will be one of the biggest clashes since rule changes converted Formula Kite to hydrofoiling.

The International Kiteboarding Association’s (IKA) KiteFoil GoldCup and the Hydrofoil Pro Tour (HPT) have slightly diluted competition in 2016 as some riders favour one over another, making it rare for so many of the leading riders to compete on the same stage.

Now, however France’s Nico Parlier, current HPT leader, is set to go head-to-head with his fiercest rivals in China. Fellow countrymen Axel Mazella, the KiteFoil GoldCup standings’ leader, and the multi-talented Julien Kerneur, back from injury, will undoubtedly push Parlier to the limit.

Last year’s GoldCup champion, Monaco’s Maxime Nocher, will also be very much in the mix, along with the young Briton Olly Bridge who will be looking to lay some ghosts and finally seize a world championship title that has eluded him by a whisker on several occasions.

The women’s line-up is also set for a mouth-watering showdown. The US teenage foil sensation Daniela Moroz will be up against reigning world champion, Elena Kalinina (RUS) and Alexia Fancelli (FRA).

Moroz, incredibly, bested Kalinina and Fancelli to take the top podium spot at the last HPT stop in Mauritius in August. But the American will also find herself up against multiple world champion Steph Bridge (GBR), who will be looking to make amends for a forgettable outing at the opening round of the 2016 GoldCup in Gizzeria, Italy, in July.

With at least 15 women intending to head to China, the event organisers will race the women in their own fleet rather than competing in mixed flights with the men - one of the major differences of the Formula Kite Class to the GoldCup and Hydrofoil Pro Tour.

Without doubt, though, the focus will be on the leading men. Parlier was untouchable at the HPT stop at Pointe D’Esny, Mauritius. Nocher was only able to manage a fourth in the standings, just ahead of Mazella, who had triumphed in Gizzeria.

Olly Bridge took the third podium spot at the GoldCup in Gizzeria. It was a feat he matched in Mauritius, just giving him the jump on his rivals Nocher and Mazella.

With so many riders at the top of their game the stage is set for an enthralling, no-holds barred contest in Weifang in the week ahead.