Maeder and Nolot claim Gold in The Hague

Formula Kite Men

Maximilian Maeder (SGP) has long been tipped for the top and he delivered in a dramatic Formula Kite Men final to claim his maiden kiteboarding world title.

The 16-year-old won silver a year ago in Cagliari, and entered the final with one of the three victories he needed to take the crown.

Defending champion Toni Vodisek (SLO) required just one win to take gold, but Maeder took the opening race to join him within one race of victory.

Axel Mazella (FRA) then won the third to keep his own hopes alive, but despite making the fastest start in the third race, he lost control and fell out of the reckoning.

Vodisek had started that race slowly, making the bold decision to head back to shore to change his equipment – abandoning any chance of winning that race and hoping that Maeder would not wrap up gold in the process.

The Singaporean did just that, however, taking advantage of some fortune that had gone his way before quoting golfing great Gary Player, whose words continue to inspire him.


Maeder said: “What a race. Big respect to my competitors. The emotions of everyone saying ‘Good luck Max, go for it Max!’ and everyone cheering me on and giving me energy, it pushed me and it felt like they were cheering me on even though they weren’t here.

“The Olympics are there for me, I’m qualified and I’ve got the World Championship title, it’s a dream come true.

“Everyone is so close together and it could have swung anyway so it was all about who had the blessing of lady luck and who managed to come out on top.

“There’s a very good saying that I think about: ‘The harder I train, the luckier I get’, I think that sums it up very nicely.”


Formula Kite Women

Lauriane Nolot won 10 of 16 races in the qualifying series to finish top of the pile in the Formula Kite Women standings and then backed that up with victory in the very first race of the final.
The Frenchwoman, who already has a bronze and a silver to her name, got the better of her British rivals, leaving Ellie Aldridge and Lily Young in second and third respectively on the podium.
And having come into the week with concerns that the weather conditions might not favour her, Nolot was thrilled to come away with victory.

“This week was good, tough overall,” she said. “We had wind almost every single day, except for yesterday. I love windy conditions so it was really great for me.
“I’m really happy with what I have done on the water. I think there are a lot of good things on the water, there are still things to improve but overall it’s a good week and I’m really proud of myself.
“I’m world champion but I think it hasn’t really sunk in yet. Maybe in a few days but for now I’m in my little bubble.”