Damasiewicz battles back against the French

Breeze of 7 to 12 knots, later gusting up to 20 knots
Three wins from four shows Damasiewicz means business
But Héloïse Pégourié still holds the lead in the girls
Qibin Huang of China wins first day of boys’ gold fleet racing
Julia Damasiewicz promised herself she could do better, and on day 4 in Torregrande, Sardinia, the Polish rider delivered.

With three wins from four races, Damasiewicz rises up to second place overall in the Formula Kite Youth European Championship. She’s moving to within striking distance of the event leader, France’s Héloïse Pégourié.

The reigning Youth World Champion was pleased and relieved to have rediscovered some of her best form. “I'm really happy about it,” said Damasiewicz. “I actually didn't expect expect it to go so good. I gave myself a good talk last night, and now I feel ready to claim more bullets. I actually had a great battle with the French girls today on the water. So big thanks to them. I had fun today on the water with them.” 



She and her fellow Polish riders also had fun with their French rivals in a battle of Tug of War on Torregrande Beach in front of Eolo Ristobar beach café. In front of a crowd of fellow riders, coaches and supporters the Polish put up a good battle but the heavier French foursome prevailed in the end.

The day started with three French in the top three, although Chloé Revil slipped to fourth after the dramatic rise of Damasiewicz. Like most riders, Revil struggled with kite size selection on such a variable day on the water. “I did the first three races on my 21 [square metre kite] and the last race on my 15. It was always difficult to make the right choice because the wind was very gusty, very shifty.” Revil added: “It was shifting 30 to 40 degrees, and at times it was 8 knots then a gust up to 20, so it was a very complicated day.”

© IKA media / Robert Hajduk: Poland struggling to hold France (left) in the Tug of War



It was the first day of gold fleet competition for the boys, a chance to see who would come out on top in a head to head between the two top riders, Riccardo Pianosi and Qibin Huang.

The Italian won the first heat, but the Chinese rider won the next two, placing Huang first overall by a single point. Holding third place is Vojtech Koska from the Czech Republic, while Paul Labordere enjoyed a really solid session to move up to fourth overall. “Some big guys out there, I’m just 76kg, so I can’t make too many mistakes because they have the speed,” smiled the French rider. “My starts and my consistency were much better so I’m really proud of how I went today.”

© IKA media / Robert Hajduk: Tricky, variable day on the Gulf of Oristano

The regatta moves into the final two days of competition this weekend, with the dramatic Medal Series set to decide the podium winners on Sunday.