From October 2nd to 6th, Poetto beach in Cagliari hosted the 2019 edition of the Sardinia Grand Slam, the fourth and final stage of the Kite Foil World Series by the IKA (International Kiteboarding Association).
Over 60 athletes from all 5 continents met face-to-face for four days of racing in 20 stages. The Frenchman Axel Mazella just needed to keep his fourth place in the overall standings to overtake the previous world leader, Toni Vodisek, and win the title of Kite Foil World Champion.
Nothing could have been done by the fellow countrymen fighting at the Poetto in Cagliari. First of all, Theo De Ramecourt, returned home with the most deserved victory of the Sardinia Grand Slam. However, for Nico Parlier, winner of the Sardinian event in 2018 and world champion in 2017, second place was not enough. After losing the title last year in the direct battle with Maxime Nocher, this year he had to settle again for the silver medal in both podium, the Sardinia Grand Slam and in the World Ranking.
Nocher, Kite Foil World Champion in 2018, failed to replicate last year’s great performance and finished fifth at the Sardinia Grand Slam and 3th at the Kite Foil World Series.
In the female category: Daniela Moroz is the new world champion of kite foiling, marked by four victories, in the female category in four stops of the World Cup Series.
The Sardinia Grand Slam represented the climax of two crucial weeks for Sardinia’s role in the international kiteboarding scene. It took place immediately after the Torregrande Formula Kite European Championship, confirming the fact that, with the inclusion of the Kite Foil among the Olympic disciplines of Paris 2024, this kind of event is becoming increasingly important and Italy, with Sardinia, plans to be one of the protagonist nations of this change.
If on the one side, the Sardinia Grand Slam of Kite Foil is back for the third consecutive year on the Poetto beach in Cagliari, on another side, it is the whole region who’s movement is fast and will continuously increase.
In the world, according to the data from IKA, the International Kiteboarding Association has almost 3 million kiteboarders and while in Italy are close to 25,000. In Sardinia Island there are 15 official schools recognized by the Italian Sailing Federation where you can practice kiteboarding in an incredible number of spots with great conditions. Kiteboarders from all over the world are more and more likely to choose Sardinia as destination for their active holidays.
Beside Cagliari, you can practice almost all over the island, with some international known spots including the Bay of Chia, Porto Botte, Isola dei Gabbiani and the beach of Porto Pollo, Barisardo, Capo Mannu and the wave spots in the province of Oristano, Villasimius. These are just some of the excellences that Sardinia offers to kiteboard and watersports enthusiasts in general.
And as if this situation was not enough, in conjunction with the performance of the Sardinia Grand Slam, in Cagliari there was another event that helped to make the eyes of sailing enthusiasts focus on the city: the launch of Luna Rossa.
On October 2nd, in the presence of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and all the top sports and institutional officers, the Ac75 was officially presented, Luna Rossa’s boat that will take part in the next America’s Cup in 2021 and will be in the water ready to win the World Series that will take place in Cagliari from April 23rd to 26th, 2020.
The just concluded three year Sardinia Grand Slam, the return of Luna Rossa and next year’s World Series are just some of the actions implemented by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia from October to April, to contribute concretely to the seasonal adjustment process. On the occasion of the presentation to the media of the 2019 edition of the World Cup, Giovanni Chessa, Councilor of Tourism, Crafts and Trade of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, has undertaken the commitment to insert the Sardinia Grand Slam among the great events to be sustained in the three-year period in arrival, so that its presence can be guaranteed in Cagliari in the future, as has happened since 2017.
The conditions are already there: the city was confirmed for the third consecutive year as capable of hosting events of this level, and as for kiteboarding and general sailing sports, Poetto is now recognized all over the world as one of the best spots for competitions and training. It represents a heritage that the Sardinia Grand Slam helps to enhance year after year.