Jingyue all the way

Could Christmas have come early for Jingyue Chen? Crossing the finish line in first place in six successive races, it was Jingyue all the way for the Chinese rider on day four of the Formula Kite Asia & Oceania Championships in Shenzhen, China.

Going into Sunday’s Medal Series for the top 10 riders, Chen took the leader’s yellow bib away from Chinese teammate Wan Li who slipped back to second overall ahead of Poland’s Julia Damasiewicz of Poland, although subsequent protests would switch things around later in the evening.

132977000001424004 zc v1 1700912632351 internet 2023 11 25 fk aoc d4 369 rh© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Julia Damasiewicz in a moment of frustration

Even if it was a perfect scoreline, Chen is still seeking higher levels of perfection from her kitefoiling. She knows that for next week’s event in Zhuhai, four hours along the coast, Chen will have to be operating at a higher level for when reigning World Champion Lauriane Nolot flies into town for the Kitefoil World Series Final.

Watch out! Lauriane will be here soon...

“My leeward mark roundings need to be tighter,” said Chen. “As I was coming downwind and going around the bottom mark I was giving away too much space to the girls behind me. That’s a big, big problem, because Lauriane will not give me the space or the time for mistakes like that.”

132977000001424004 zc v1 1700912671911 internet 2023 11 25 fk aoc d4 395 rh© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: High speed conditions on Shenshan Bay

2-1 to Damasiewicz

In the battle between Li and Damasiewicz, things got a little heated. This evening there were five protests between the two riders after a number of incidents on the race course. Damasiewicz put her point of view thus: “There was one time when she put her kite between my lines and I said I would not do anything about it the first time, but then it happened again, so I protested.

"Then there was a port/starboard between us, and then another situation later on. I think I have tried to do everything right, within the rules, so I feel quite confident when we go to the protest room. I am thinking positively about it.”

At the end of the protest hearings, Li was disqualified twice and Damasiewicz once, resulting in the Polish rider being elevated to second and the Chinese rider relegated to third, just a point behind. It’s a critical switcharound, as it means Damasiewicz earns the second spot in the four-rider final alongside Chen. Li’s drop to third means she will have to fight her way out of the semi-finals to earn an opportunity to scrap for the medals.

132977000001424004 zc v1 1700912694510 internet 2023 11 25 fk aoc d4 427 rh© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Men's fleet launch out of the start

Maeder in experimental mode

Meanwhile in the men’s fleet Max Maeder had done enough by the end of the morning session to have secured top spot in the Medal Series with the afternoon session to spare.  The Singaporean decided to use the afternoon’s three heats to do some experimenting. “I can’t remember when I got a UFD [start line disqualification] so I’m going to use this afternoon to really push the line and go for some good starts as close to the line as possible,” he said. “And I’m going to go for a port tack start even if it’s not looking great for it.”

True to his word, Maeder stepped ashore after racing with the port tack start attempt complete, although not entirely successful. “I was fifth in that race, it wasn’t a great start as I had to stop to let the starboard tackers go past me,” he grinned. “The other two starts I didn’t get a UFD but I had two of the best starts of my regatta. This is a good time to put in some training and try out a few things different from normal, especially with where I am in the regatta right now.”

132977000001424004 zc v1 1700912717950 internet 2023 11 25 fk aoc d4 418 rh© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Qibin Huang holds off Max Maeder for the closest of victories

Room for some upsets

Going into tomorrow’s Medal Series wearing the yellow bib with which he has become so familiar, Maeder is going to be hard to knock off the top spot. Qibin Huang has also earned himself a direct route to the four-rider final by finishing a clear second in the qualifying series. As to third-placed Haoran Zhang and the rest of the top 10, they will have to scrap their way out of the semi-finals if they're to join Maeder and Huang in the medal-deciding finale.

132977000001424004 zc v1 1700912745377 internet 2023 11 24 fk aoc d3 241 rh© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Sam Dickinson had a great afternoon session to sneak into the top 10

Denis Taradin is one of those who knows that a good final day can really lift you up through the rankings and even on to the podium. With a lighter wind forecast for the last day, this could open up the possibilities of a few upsets.



Maximilian Maeder


11.0 points


Qibin Huang


18.0 points


Haoran Zhang


34.0 points



Jingyue Chen


10.0 points


Julia Damasiewicz


21.0 points


Wan Li


22.0 points


132977000001424004 zc v1 1700912762363 internet 2023 11 24 fk aoc d3 231 rh© IKA media/ Robert Hajduk: Float like a butterfly...