Olympic Kite hopefuls ready to contest Europeans in Greece

Almost 140 riders representing 39 nations from every continent are set to contest the Formula Kite European Championships in Nafpaktos on the west of Greece this week. Taking place from 26 September to 2 October, the European Championships is the last major test before the Worlds in Italy in a few weeks’ time.

With the athletes foiling above the surface at speeds in excess of 30 knots in short races that last 12 minutes, and even shorter finals of just 6 minutes, the action will be fast and furious with little time to rest between heats.

© Robert Hajduk/ IKA Media: Thailand team are ready to roll


The western end of the Gulf of Patras is a well-known destination for kiteboarding enthusiasts. The local community in Nafpaktos is gearing up to welcome an Olympic discipline event for the first time.

Last year, both in the men’s and the women’s divisions the Open European champions were from outside Europe. Singapore’s 16-year-old Max Maeder is back to defend his title and will be the one to beat in the Men’s fleet.  His European rivals need to step another level if they’re to out-speed the teenager, whose achievements in kitefoiling are inspiring other young Asians to commit themselves to this high-thrills watersport. The four-time Open European champion Daniela Moroz from the USA opted out of defending her European crown this season, so the title is more likely to stay in Europe.

© Robert Hajduk/ IKA Media: Measuring in equipment

Mirco Babini, President of the International Kiteboarding Federation (IKA), predicted an exciting event in Nafpaktos. “As we are approaching the Paris 2024 Olympics, the competition at every Formula Kite event intensifies.  We look forward to seeing the progress of our sailors and the accelerating development of kiteboarding in more and more countries.”

© Robert Hajduk/ IKA Media: Practice day in Nafpaktos

Spyros Krotsis, director of the Lepanto 2022 Formula Kite European Championship, added: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the region of Western Greece, demonstrating not only how its weather and sea conditions are so favourable to the performance of wind sports, or for the undoubted beauty of the area and the strong characters of our traditions, but also the opportunity to show to the world the high standard achieved in the organisation of international sustainable events. We aim to highlight the Gulf of Patras as an undisputed stadium for water-board-sports activities.”

For more about the event: https://www.formulakite.org/2022europeans

© Robert Hajduk/ IKA Media: Spectacular foiling conditions