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IKA KiteFoil GoldCup - Nocher Comeback

Monaco’s Maxime Nocher, signalled his comeback to form by clinching the opening round of the IKA KiteFoil World Series in Weifang Binhai, eastern China

Multiple world title holder Nocher performance over the regatta’s 22 races was characterised by steady progress, that saw him only top the leaderboard on the penultimate day, matched by a cautious error-free final day in which he sealed victory.

Reigning IKA Formula Kite World Champion, France’s Nico Parlier, pushed Nocher all the way, taking three wins from three in the final days’ 8kts to 11kts breezes.

In third place was Britain's Connor Bainbridge who paid the price for the growing pace and consistency of both Nocher and Parlier.

Bainbridge had a lock on the leaderboard’s top spot for the opening three days and looked unassailable, racking up win after win.

But over the final two days of the competition, Bainbridge began to falter, surrendering his second spot to Parlier when he posted two low-placed finishes on the final day, but still posted his highest-place finish of the year.

Said Bainbridge. “I got a little bit unlucky in the first race and got in tangle at the windward mark. After that, my head wasn’t in the race. But I’m stoked with my overall performance even though today was a difficult day because I let the pressure get on top of me.”

The trio, among 32 athletes from 16 countries, got to share in the €60,000 prize purse, the richest in kiteboarding, and take a step closer to the IKA KiteFoil World title awarded at the end of the scheduled four-stop tour to the best overall racer.

In the women’s group, which raced together with the men, the US’s triple Formula Kite World Champion, Daniela Moroz, still just 17, bested her rival, Russia’s Elena Kalinina, and took 16th spot overall in one of the highest-level KiteFoil fleets ever assembled.

Weifang GoldCup - Top men after 22 races (28 entries)

1st MON 151 Maxime Nocher - - 48 pts
2nd FRA 95 Nico Parlier - - 63 pts
3rd GBR 154 Connor Bainbridge - - 72.2 pts
4th GBR 153 Guy Bridge - - 81 pts
5th GBR 152 Oliver Bridge - - 90 pts
6th FRA 98 Theo De Ramecourt - - 97.6 pts
7th SLO 155 Toni Vodisek (U19) - - 100 pts
8th FRA 159 Axel Mazella - - 115 pts
9th GER 93 Florian Gruber - - 136 pts
10th BUL 94 Alexander Bachev - - 171 pts

Weifang GoldCup - Top women after 22 races (3 entries)

16th USA 41 Daniela Moroz - - 250 pts
20th RUS 10 Elena Kalinina - - 353 pts
26th 161 Kirstyn Obrien - - 455 pts

Full results available here

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