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Daniela Makes It 6

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  • Daniela Makes It 6

    First world title for Vodisek, No.6 for Moroz
    Strong onshore breeze of 12 knots building to 20 knots, blue skies and blue water at Poetto Beach
    Toni Vodisek (SLO) wins his first world title
    Daniela Moroz (USA) wins her sixth world title
    Silver and bronze medals go to France, Singapore and Great Britain
    Poetto Beach saved its best for last, with strong onshore winds and challenging waves to decide the climax of the 2022 Formula Kite World Championships in Cagliari, Sardinia. The past six days have produced all kinds of conditions and have made the battle for the men’s and women’s world titles a true test of all-round ability.

    Daniela Moroz from the USA made it look easy as she foiled to victory in the one and only race in the women’s final. Slovenian Toni Vodisek crashed out of his first finals race, with Max Maeder from Singapore pulling all square for race two. This time Maeder crashed and Vodisek seized his chance, winning the world title with a 10-metre big-air celebration moments after he crossed the finish line.


    In the first women’s semi-final, Great Britain's Ellie Aldridge only had to win one race to earn her place in the four-board final. However, it was another British rider Maddie Anderson who put a win on the board after a barnstorming performance in the wavy conditions. In the next race however, Aldridge hit her stride and was first across the line, booking her place to the final round.

    Another British rider, Katie Dabson, was in the box seat for the other semi-final. Yet in two successive races Dabson suffered some spectacular wipe-outs at critical moments. The British rider saw her advantage ebbing away as Breiana Whitehead from Australia and Gal Zukerman from Israel drew level on two match points each. In a who-beats-who scenario, Dabson finally saw out her semi-final and joined Aldridge as the other qualifier in the final.

    Out of the start in the first race of the final, the two stand-out performers of 2022 leapt out to an early lead. French Lauriane Nolot took a narrow advantage ahead of the American rider Daniela Moroz on the approach to the windward mark. But then, Nolot crashed, and Moroz moved into a lead that she would extend until the finish. Victory to Moroz, silver for Nolot and bronze for Aldridge.


    Moroz spent her formative kiting years on San Francisco Bay and still does a lot of training there today. “Those were great conditions today, I felt pretty comfortable in the waves”, she said. “I’ve had to work harder than ever this year and the level is going to keep on going up. I’m super happy to have won here.” After an unbroken five-year streak of victories in all events came to an end earlier this year, Moroz’s sheen of invincibility was broken. Nolot has become a real threat to the American’s strong grip on the top of the fleet, so for Moroz this was a sweet victory to be back on top for the biggest event of the year. While the will to beat each other is strong, Nolot and Moroz are also the best of friends on shore. This is a friendly rivalry that looks likely to go all the way to the Paris Games in 2024.


    French riders Axel Mazella and Theo de Ramecourt made short of work of qualifying from their respective semi-finals, both earning their place in the final alongside Toni Vodisek from Slovenia and Max Maeder from Singapore who had already qualified from their performance in gold fleet racing a day earlier.

    Vodisek and Maeder took an early lead ahead of the French out of the start line of the first final race. Maeder moved ahead and narrowly led Vodisek at the windward mark and started to stretch away downwind. The Singaporean continued to lead and when Vodisek crashed at high speed downwind, Maeder’s job became even easier. Not that anything was easy in today’s wavy conditions.

    Now the top two were tied on points. In the next race however, it was Maeder who crashed downwind and never recovered. The French riders couldn’t keep up with Vodisek initially although in the closing stages de Ramecourt pulled out all the stops to close down on the Slovenian. It wasn’t enough. Vodisek held his nerve, crossed the finish line victorious, launching himself more than 10 metres into the sky as he celebrated his first ever world title.

    Maeder was unhappy to have taken silver but admitted he hadn’t been good enough. It turned out de Ramecourt had been UFD disqualified for starting too soon, so the bronze medal went to Mazella.

    After finishing runner-up to the 16-year-old Maeder at the recent European Championship, Vodisek turned the tables on the young Singaporean and looks to be getting back to his best. “Maximilian has been pushing me to raise my level. He is such an inspiration at such a young age. I have had a few second places and I don’t like that, so I’ll be working hard for next season when I go back to Slovenia.”

    Poetto Beach delivered a full range of conditions across the six days of competition. For the 150 riders from 44 nations, it was a big learning experience, and Vodisek and Moroz have set a new bar of performance in high-speed kitefoiling.
    Results Men
    1 SLO Toni Vodisek
    2 SGP Maximilian Maeder
    3 FRA Axel Mazella
    Results Women
    1 USA Daniela Moroz
    2 FRA Lauriane Nolot
    3 GBR Ellie Aldridge

    For the full standings, please visit
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    An amazing run for Daniela!



    • #3

      First, a massive thank you to my coach Chris and technical advisor Nate for their tireless work and dedication to helping me become the best athlete I can be. They worked so hard the last few months helping me and I truly couldn’t have done it without them.

      Next I have to thank my parents for their constant support and for coming out to Sardinia to watch me race.

      Thank you to all of my partners, sponsors, and suppliers for making all of this possible. I recently announced Mirabaud as one of my main partners going into 2024, and it is their financial support along with the St Francis Sailing Foundation and US Sailing Team that help me do this full time. Additionally, Flysurfer Kiteboarding - my kite sponsor of 5 years now on which I’ve won 4 World Championships now, Levitaz Hydrofoils, Tarifa Foil Boards, SK Shapes, Robline Ropes, Sailmon Instruments, and Ride Engine. THANK YOU.

      And now, how the leadup to world title Special went down.

      I arrived in Europe at the beginning of September to start my preparation for the World Championships, giving me 6 weeks to train before the first day of racing. My priorities were to test out some new kites I had just received and to also gain some muscle mass as I believed that these things were key to gaining back the speed I had been missing over the summer. I also began working with Chris Rashley, who was joining my team as my full time coach for the rest of this campaign, and also brought in my good friend Nate Housberg to help me as my technical advisor for the next several weeks, which I had divided into 2 phases.

      Phase 1 was 3 weeks in Hyeres, France, entirely dedicated to testing out my new kites and spending lots of time in the gym getting stronger. Hyeres is one of my favorite places to kite because of the different conditions, and in September you can ride in anything from 5 knots to 30 knots within the same week, so it was the perfect place to go test all my kites in a wide range of wind conditions. It was nice to be in a single place for so long (yes, 3 weeks in one place is a long time for me), and we built an awesome routine while we were there. I went to the gym every morning to work out. There was an incredible bakery just across the street from the gym, so of course I had to stop for coffee, croissants, and baguettes on my way home (by the end of the trip, Nate and I were eating one baguette a day). Next I would make breakfast and meet with Chris to plan the sessions for the day and what we would be working on depending on the conditions. Then we would head to the beach once the wind picked up and get on the water. Hyeres delivered incredible conditions as usual, with several days of more than 25 knots and big swell balanced with some days of completely flat water and barely enough wind to foil. We made the most of every day, and by the end of the 3 weeks I was extremely confident in my new kites and much faster than before.

      Phase 2 of my World Championships leadup plan was 2 weeks spent training at the venue where the regatta was being held: Poetto Beach, located just outside the city of Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia. I’ve been coming to Sardinia to race every year since 2018 (apart from 2020), and it’s become another one of my favorite venues. It’s a very technical spot with many different wind directions, and the offshore mistral is my favorite. The offshore wind can blow to 30 knots, sweeping across the island and eventually spilling out over Poetto Beach. It’s not far from the conditions in San Francisco, except that it’s completely flat water, no current, and no shipping traffic, making it significantly easier for riding. On the onshore days, a strong sea breeze picks up, bringing big swell with it. There are several other wind directions and sea states common this time of year, and the biggest reason I wanted to arrive at the venue this early was to get familiar with these different types of days and practice riding in the different conditions. It was for this reason and a few others that I decided to skip the European Championships, which were happening about a week before the Worlds. Although it was a bold move, I believe it was the right call.

      After 2 weeks at the regatta venue, I could not wait to get racing - I had never felt more ready to deliver my best performance at a regatta. Despite being slightly disappointed with my results from the summer, I had no doubt that I was going to be more competitive than ever. I was really proud of the progress I had made in the weeks leading up to the Worlds, not only on the water, but off the water. I had been meeting with a sport psychologist on a weekly basis to help me build a strong and confident mindset. I had been practicing mindfulness, meditation, and visualization. I had been working out and felt super fit. I felt so good and so ready in a way that I had never felt before. And on October 11th, it was finally time to get racing.

      We started with 3 days of the opening qualifying series in which competitors are mixed in 2 separate fleets based on world ranking. We did 3 races in strong onshore conditions on day 1, no racing on day 2 because of a lack of wind, and 1 race on day 3. I was the only competitor, male or female, to win every race of this qualifying series, but my closest competition, Lauriane Nolot from France, was only a point behind. On day 4, the top 25 sailors went into gold fleet, completing 4 races. It was a beautiful mistral day with 20-25 knots eventually picking up to gusts to 30 knots, extremely gusty and shifty, and completely flat water. It was a day I had sailed in repeatedly in training, and I knew exactly what I had to do. After a disqualification due to being over early (UFD) in the first race, I continued to win the following 3 races, even finishing with a healthy lead of about 800m in the last race. This scoreline kept me in first, but still only a couple points ahead of Lauriane, who was consistently finishing second. Day 4 brought more offshore wind, but this time it was extremely light and patchy. I started the day a bit slow but progressed throughout the 4 races. Going into the final race, I was 1 point ahead of Lauriane, and needed to stay ahead in order to maintain my first place advantage going into the last day of the regatta. I managed to do just that, and so only needed to win one race in the final series in order to win the world title.

      The final day brought the onshore wind back with some big chop. I was nervous but excited, and proud of how I had performed and progressed all week. Now it was time for the last little push. It was Katie Dabson (GBR), Ellie Aldridge (GBR), Lauriane Nolot (FRA), and me in the women’s final. As I was waiting for our start, the wind picked up just a couple knots, and the other girls went in to change from 15m to 11m kites. I opted to stay on my 15m, knowing I should be able to match their speed upwind and be faster downwind. Off the start it was Lauriane that took the lead clear ahead with me just to windward. As we were approaching the top mark, Lauriane crashed and I was able to take the lead. From there I knew I just had to sail clean and I could win this race. On my 15m kite I quickly extended my lead on the downwind, and by the end of the second lap, I was 300m ahead in first place. When I rounded the last mark and reached across to the finish line, there was an overwhelming sensation of pride and joy unlike anything that I had ever felt before. I immediately found Chris out on his coach boat, and as I sat down, I said, “I think we got the job done.”
      Written By Daniela Moroz

      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery