When the Apprentices are also the Masters

Last year saw the introduction of Male and Female categories in Kiteboarding Formula Kite. The move to more foil-borne events mirrors the developments seen in Olympic competition over the past year since the Tokyo 2020 Games.

These disciplines are so new in the sailing world that there are few competitors at senior level over the age of 30. Just as teenagers dominated the podium when skateboarding made its debut Olympic appearance at Tokyo 2020 a year ago, it’s quite possible that teenagers will win medals in these new foiling disciplines at the next Olympic Games in two years’ time.

Among the world’s best at senior level is Singapore’s 15-year-old Max Maeder, winner of the Youth Worlds last year in Oman. Already weighing more than 90kg and strongly built for his young years, Maeder has been winning events against all the senior riders on the Kitefoil World Series. “I’m so happy to have the privilege to compete with all of the best youth riders around the world and wish them the best of luck,” said Maeder.
“It feels like a great honour to represent your nation at such a big event, and I think the atmosphere on and off the water will be incredible.”

Last year’s silver medallist in the female kitefoiling division, Julia Damasiewicz (POL) is back to see if she can get to the top of the podium in The Hague. Having won the most recent Kitefoiling World Series event in Traunsee, Austria, the 18-year-old Polish rider broke the incredible winning streak of 32 consecutive international regatta wins over the last six years by five-time Formula Kite World Champion Daniela Moroz (USA). Damasiewicz will surely be hard to beat in Scheveningen, although last year’s youth bronze medallist from France, Héloise Pegourié, has also displayed world-beating form at times this year.

While it’s common to see winners of medals at Youth Worlds go on to win Olympic medals some five or ten years later in their career, it’s quite possible that some of the medallists from The Hague will be standing on the Olympic podium in Paris just two years from now.