Lammerts and Gomez win in Lelystad

Home Waters Celebration in Formula Kite Women, while Benoit Gomez defies logic to win Formula Kite Men with a small kite.

© Sailing Energy / Allianz Regatta

All week Annelous Lammerts (NED) had set the pace in the Formula Kite women’s fleet. For winning qualifying, the Dutch rider earned a place directly in the four-board final along with second qualifier Gisela Pulido (ESP). Meanwhile it was two Israelis – Maya Ashkenazi and Gal Zukerman – who fought their way through from the two semi-finals to take their place alongside Lammerts and Pulido on the start line of the final.

The two Israeli riders pushed Lammerts hard all the way around the course, especially on the high-speed 30-plus knot reach towards the finish line. “I had nothing to lose,” said Zukerman, “so I push, push, push all the way. Annelous had to sail with a bit more safety so I tried to take my chance.”

Lammerts kept her nerve to win the race and take her first gold medal at a major international regatta. “That was my first ever final, and I know it’s an all-or-nothing scenario, so it’s change of mindset,” she said. “The qualifying is all about consistency but then in the final you have to get into ‘beast mode’. The others pushed me really hard but I kept going 99% all the way round. The trouble was they were going 105%. But I won and I’m super-stoked.”

Despite finishing last in the four-board final, Pulido’s championship point from qualifying in second place meant the Spaniard took the silver medal. Zukerman was second across the line just ahead of her teammate Ashkenazi, so it was Zukerman who took bronze with Ashkenazi in fourth overall.

© Sailing Energy / Allianz Regatta

Benoit Gomez (FRA) powered his way to victory in the first heat of the final, although not without a start line battle with his closest rival, Lorenzo Boschetti (ITA) where their kites came dangerously close to each other. From there the race became more straightforward for the Frenchman. As Gomez crossed the finish line he skyrocketed his board out of the water and celebrated 4 metres above the surface of the grey Markermeer. Gomez had used the week to experiment with new equipment and made a radical decision to fly a mid-size 15-metre kite in the light airs of the final day.

© Sailing Energy / Allianz Regatta

With all his rivals opting for the full-size 23-metre kite, opting for the mid-range kite was a brave choice, especially considering Gomez is the heaviest rider in the fleet. “I’m 112kg at the moment, trying to get to 117kg but it’s hard for me to reach that weight,” said Gomez. “There are a lot of different riding styles and many different techniques in the fleet, but for me it works to go with the smaller kite. It felt a bit risky but I had good speed. I’m super happy with that result. The level is going up, up all the time, so a lot more to work on.”

© Sailing Energy / Allianz Regatta

Behind the big Frenchman it was silver and bronze for the two Italians, Boschetti and Riccardo Pianosi respectively.


Formula Kite Men
1 FRA Benoît Gomez     
ITA Lorenzo Boschetti  
3    ITA     Riccardo Pianosi  
    Full results  

 Formula Kite Female
1 NED Annelous Lammerts     
ESP Gisela Pulido  
3    ISR    Gal Zukerman  
    Full results