Russian teenager realises dream seizing gold at Europeans in Olympic pathway class

The young Russian kiteboard foil racer Mikhail Novikov took the European crown in the A’s Youth Foil one-design class on the final, climactic day of action in Montpellier, southern France.

Novikov, 16, was late to the start of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) A’s only race of the final day and did not compete. But with his unbroken run of bullets in earlier races off Villeneuve-Lès-Maguelone beach, the blond teenager was already guaranteed the crown.

“It feels amazing,” said Novikov, just before he was awarded his trophy in the U17 category. “I was second in the A’s Worlds, now I’ve got what I wanted, the European title, and I’m very happy. My next move is into Formula Kite.”

In the U15 category France’s Enzo Louber maintained the poise he had shown in the earlier races in the five-day regatta that suffered two windless days in the middle of the action. His performance was enough to secure the U15 title.

The IKA A’s Youth Foil European Championships, a one-design Olympic pathway class for 11 to 16 year-olds, was being staged in tandem with the Formula Kite Europeans event.

On identical SABfoil boards and hyrdrofoils, and Ozone Edge tube kites, the young A’s athletes were able to battle furiously on a level playing field that focuses on the racers’ abilities in a fun and safe environment.

The A’s Youth Foil Europeans, the second major event after the inaugural Worlds in Italy in July, fielded a roster of 18 racers. The compact fleet was the result of pandemic restrictions that have made kites produced at Ozone’s shuttered Vietnamese factory difficult to obtain.

Simone Vannucci, the FIV sailing federation head coach for kiteboarding in Italy which has three boys at the championships, remains optimistic for the A’s Youth Foil class’s prospects, while being aware of the challenges.

“For sure the A’s Youth Foil class is the future of Formula Kite,” said Vannucci. “It’s a great format. It’s one-design and fun. If anything we’ve trouble keeping the older, bigger kids down, as they want to jump on to Formula Kite gear.”


U17 A’s Youth Foil European Championship

1 RUS Mikhail Novikov

2 POL Jan Koszowski

3 ISR Yoav Barzilay  


U15 A’s Youth Foil European Championship

1 FRA Enzo Louber               

2 SUI Gian Andrea Stragiotti

3 POL Jakub Balewicz


Full results: