Fresh off his win on the Hydrofoil Pro Tour and currently sitting at the top of the world sailing ranking, Northern France’s ThÃ©o de Ramecourt has been taking the kite racing world by storm. ThÃ©o has three French championship titles under his belt and is gearing up for the 2024 Olympic Games. We caught up with him just before the European Championships in Puck, Poland.
A LOT OF KITEFOIL RACERS HERE IN NORTH AMERICA ARE SPENDING A LOT OF TIME ON WINGS. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR WINGRACING?
I think wingsurfing is great tool for the windsports world. Everywhere on the planet you have big chop and windswell and wingsurfing turns that chop into a playground. It’s both technical and really fun. For sure there will be racing with the wing; it could be really popular because it’s much more accessible compared to formula kite racing. You don’t need much experience to race around a buoy, so it’s probably safer for the riders and organizers and may be a great vehicle for growing the racing spirit. At this point I wouldn’t swap kite racing for wing racing because the kite allows you so much more speed and the limits on that haven’t been reached yet. The wing is much slower, so from a performance perspective, it’s much less interesting to me at the moment.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR WAY INTO KITESURFING AND RACING?
I grew up in Cayeux-sur-Mer, a small town in the north of France and my father had always been involved in watersports. Before kitesurfing, he was windsurfing, and I grew up sailing and then learned a bit of windsurfing. When depower kites appeared, I tried one with a friend of mine around 2009. Cayeux is located on the English Channel and the conditions are tough; you have passing pressure systems and rough water so it wasn’t the easiest place to learn, but from the moment I touched the kite, I was addicted. A couple years into kiting, there was a speed crossing event and I decided to compete with a friend of mine. The competitive side of the sport was really engaging for me, and I got a courseboard and started racing. When the custom foil shops like Taroaa started building the new foils we started doing foil crossing events. The evolution was so fast. Back then, the foil development was happening in small shops, but at every event the wings were improving. At first, foilboarding was something I was doing on the side of courseboard racing, but then foiling became the official racing format. After a couple of years, I got the opportunity to move to the south of France to participate in a sports study program. That allowed me to be close to a great training spot and set me up to begin winning the French championships…. To read the rest of Kite Racing’s New Formula subscribe to Tkb Magazine.