The KiteFoil GoldCup and world championship wrap-up

The KFGC concludes and a world champion is crowned


Foil racing has blown up this year but and one of the two world tours, the KiteFoil GoldCup, just drew to a close. The final event took place at the Sardinia Grand Slam where the world champion of foil racing was also crowned. Here’s a wrap-up for you on who won what.


Ian Mackinnon / Images: Alex Schwarz

Men’s World Champion – Parlier

France’s Nico Parlier put on an imperious display to seize the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil World Championship on the final day of racing on the Italian resort island of Sardinia. Even before the last race of the Sardinia Kiteboard Grand Slam, Parlier’s haul of bullets during the four days of competition meant he had the championship in the bag because of his vastly superior score.

But after adding two more bullets to his tally in the opening two races on the flat waters of the Gulf of Angels off Cagliari’s Poetto Beach, Parlier looked like he would make it a perfect hat-trick in the day’s final race after rounding the first top mark in the lead once again.

Uncharacteristically, he fell when he missed a gybe in the light, shifty breezes and had to watch much of the head of the fleet ride past as he tried to restart. Yet by the bottom mark Parlier was back up to sixth position and with his raw pace and finesse he managed to claw his way back to finish second, just behind countryman Axel Mazella.

“I could have stayed on the beach for that last race because I knew I had it won already,” said Parlier. “Still, I had to stay concentrated for the whole regatta. As I expected, the level of competition was very high. So I’m really delighted to  win.”

The Sardinia Grand Slam is the official world championship event this year and so, while Nico hasn’t won the KiteFoil Gold Cup tour in its entirety he does take home the world champion crown.



Men’s Tour Winner – Mazella

Axel Mazella’s stellar performance earned him the second spot on the podium for the World title, but as the regatta doubled as the fourth stop of the 2017 IKA KiteFoil GoldCup series it was also enough to secure him the overall World Series title.

The 20-year-old Frenchman had been peerless at the GoldCup’s previous back-to-back stops at Weifang and Pingtan, China, last month, when he won race after race in light conditions that left rivals awed by his speed and precision.

“I’m really, really happy to win the tour title,” said a beaming Mazella. “But it’s slightly bitter-sweet. I’d loved to have taken the World Championship title too. We’ve had all the top guys here, so it was very tight and very interesting. I hope it will be the same at the Formula Kite Worlds in Oman next month.”



Men’s Defending champion – Nocher

The intense competition at the top of the fleet left reigning IKA Formula Kite world champion and KiteFoil GoldCup title holder, Maxime Nocher (MON), in an unfamiliar third spot on the podium.

But after a four-month layoff and little training for the event, Nocher was pleased with his showing after a consistent series of top place finishes in the regatta’s 12 races that have left him hungry to get back on top in the increasingly competitive environment.

“It was very tight and I’m quite happy for my comeback,” said Nocher. “For sure I will go to Oman now. The level in foiling is really going up. Before, I was just leading. Now there’s very little between the top 10 guys. The technology is advancing like crazy and I’m working on my own foil. So let’s see.”



Women’s World Champion – Bridge

Steph Bridge, among the three women racing in the competitive mixed fleet, won the women’s title, but was nonetheless dismayed with her final day’s outing that took the gloss of things a little.

“I had a bit of a disaster,” said Bridge. “I don’t think I’ve ever in my life been out in such tricky, gusty conditions – (it was gusting up to 40 knots on the final day) – but it’s the same for everyone. It’s just that it’s just not good to end a great event on sad note. I felt I should have done better.”



Women’s Tour Winner – Desjardins

French 16-year-old Anaïs Mai Desjardins, undoubtedly a rising star, took the second podium spot behind Bridge. But her win at the KiteFoil GoldCup in Korea and a third in Weifang, China, were enough for her to take the overall tour crown.


The 2017 Rankings



IKA KiteFoil World Championship (Men)
1 Nico Parlier (FRA)                          
2 Axel Mazella (FRA)                        
3 Maxime Nocher (MON)

IKA KiteFoil World Championship (Women)
1 Steph Bridge (GBR)
2 Anaïs Mai Desjardins (FRA)
3 Sabrina Schlossnikel (GER)

IKA KiteFoil World Championship (U21)
1 Axel Mazella (FRA)
2 Guy Bridge (GBR)
3 Theo de Ramecourt (FRA)

IKA KiteFoil World Championship Masters
1 Ivan Doronin (RUS)
2 Benjamin Petit (FRA)
3 Pier Luigi Capozzi (ITA)
IKA KiteFoil GoldCup Men
1 Axel Mazella (FRA)
2 Theo de Ramecourt (FRA)
3 Theo Lhostis (FRA)

IKA KiteFoil GoldCup Women
1 Anaïs Mai Desjardins (FRA)
2 Alexia Fancelli (FRA)
3 Elena Kalinina (RUS)

IKA KiteFoil GoldCup Masters
1 Benjamin Petit (FRA)
2 Ivan Doronin (RUS)
3 Amil Kabil (USA)

IKA KiteFoil GoldCup (U18)
1 Martin Dolenc (CRO)
2 Anaïs Mai Desjardins (FRA)
3 Toni Vodisek (SLO)


Find the full rankings at

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