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Formula Kite World Championship opens in Oman

The 2017 IKA Formula Kite World Championships was officially opened Sunday in front of Oman Sail’s headquarters at Al Mouj Muscat Marina.Steph Bridge -

Reigning International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite World Champion, Monaco’s Maxime Nocher, will defend his title.

Leading challengers include France’s Nico Parlier, the “open” Kitefoil Class world title holder, and his countryman Axel Mazella, the KiteFoil GoldCup World Series victor.

In the women’s division - raced separately from the men over the six days of competition - reigning IKA Formula Kite world title holder, the US’s Daniela Moroz, still just 16, defends her title.

Included in the 58 competitors from 22 countries are three British entries, Guy and Oliver Bridge and Steph Bridge.

The Formula Kite Worlds, run over five days’ racing, is a “closed” event that restricts riders to four registered series production kites and one production hydrofoil.

It is the same format that will be deployed if kiting is successful in its bid to become a “showcase event” at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The impending decision partly explains why such a strong field has turned out for the kite racing calendar’s climactic event.

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