Three winners in marginal conditions on Traunsee

There were three race winners on day three of KiteFoil World Series Traunsee, although it wasn’t an outcome to please everyone.

After no racing the previous two days of scheduled competition, the 6 to 8 knot breeze offered some hope of getting some racing completed. There was never a lot of weight or certainty to the breeze however, with the top of the race course always looking soft near the windward mark.

© Robert Hajduk / IKA: Lauriane Nolot on the edge of control

Early on in the women’s race, the two favourites in the fleet were battling for the lead on the first lap. As they reached the bottom of the course, reigning Formula Kite World Champion Daniela Moroz (USA) held a narrow lead over Lauriane Nolot (FRA). Lying in third was last year’s Kitefoiling Youth World Champion from Poland, Julia Damasiewicz, who was first of the leading group to tack away towards the high cliffs on the right-hand side of the course.

© Robert Hajduk / IKA: Julia Damasiewicz searching for the next gust

Damasiewicz pulled off a perfectly executed tack in the softening breeze. Moroz too was safely around but had fallen behind the young Pole. Meanwhile Nolot couldn’t complete her tack and suffered that sinking feeling as her board touched the water and disappeared beneath the surface of Traunsee. Stranded, the French rider was unable to complete the race.

© Robert Hajduk / IKA: Men's fleet at full bore out of the start line

Damasiewicz won the race, Moroz was second and only six of the 22 female riders completed the course. In third was Jessie Kampman (FRA) followed by Alina Kornelli (AUT) and two British riders, Ellie Aldridge and Jemima Crathorne.

© Robert Hajduk / IKA: Martin Dolenc (CRO) fired up for victory

Big questions were raised about the validity of the race. Damasiewicz felt she had won through choosing her moment to execute manoeuvres carefully. “The girls that finished the race took the right strategy and were watching the wind, looking for the best gust to complete a tack,” said the Polish rider. “I was pumping a lot too, and I think good pumping technique is really important in those conditions.”

© Robert Hajduk / IKA: Guy Bridge (GBR) leads Max Maeder (SGP) in a close duel

The men are competing in two groups - yellow and blue. In Yellow Group, Martin Dolenc (CRO) had already seen one race lead dashed when the race was abandoned while the Croatian was holding a strong lead. Dolenc proved the master once again in the race that endured to the finish line, the Croatian punching the air with relief as he took the winner’s gun ahead of Markus Edegran (USA) and Jannis Maus (GER) who had led in the early stages.

© Robert Hajduk / IKA: Bridge blasts around the leeward mark

Dolenc commented: “Jannis was ahead of me for most of the race, but I got ahead of him when he went a bit over the layline on the last upwind, and I was lucky to catch him there. Once I was in front I had clear air and that made it easier to get to the finish line in first place. Clear air is really critical when there is so little wind on the course.”

On the other side of the Men’s qualifying in Blue Group, a battle raged all the way round the course between Guy Bridge (GBR) and Max Maeder (SGP). Bridge was foil pumping his board vigorously around the course, particularly through manoeuvres but even in a straight line. Maeder by contrast was much more static and looking to ride a smoother style around the course. 

© Robert Hajduk / IKA: Beautiful but tricky Traunsee

In the end Bridge’s more high-energy approach to light-airs kiting prevailed as the Briton took the winner’s gun ahead of the Singaporean. “I enjoy foil pumping and I think that helps me in those light conditions,” said Bridge. “I think the pumping gave me the edge over Max sometimes and in the end maybe that was what made the difference.”

Maeder had to admit that his view about pumping being less efficient than a smoother style might have been flawed thinking in today’s conditions. “I still believe that pumping is mostly inefficient but we are always learning in this sport and Guy sailed brilliantly today,” said the 15 year old. “Maybe there is a point in really light conditions when you get more power from pumping the board than you do from the drive in the kite.”

© Robert Hajduk / IKA: Staying on the foil was more vital than ever today

With only one day of racing remaining, the pressure is on. The forecast is rarely to be relied upon in Traunsee, so the riders will be doing a dance tonight to appease the wind gods. All things being well, racing commences on Sunday at 1000 hours, with the livestream of all the action beginning at 0930 hours.


1 CRO Martin Dolenc 1p
GBR Guy Bridge 1p
3    SGP    
Maximilian Maeder  
3 USA Markus Edegran 2p

1 POL Julia Damasiewicz  1p   
USA Daniela Moroz  2p
3    FRA    Jessie Kampman  3p
Full results: