After three light-air races on day one of KiteFoil World Series Austria, Martin Dolenc opened his scoresheet with a strong defence of last year’s victory on Lake Traunsee. “We call him the Traunsee King,” said Swiss rider Karl Maeder of his Croatian friend and rival.
There is a particular style of riding and racing that is required for the soft and mysterious breeze at the southern end of the Austrian Lake, and Dolenc does appear to be the master while others struggle with the conditions.
Chased hard in the first two heats by his training partner, the reigning World Champion Max Maeder from Singapore, Dolenc always looked in control and took two winner’s guns. In the third race it was Jannis Maus of Germany who leapt to the front, with Maeder again in second and Dolenc across the line in third but still leading overall.
On such a short two-lap race course where the races lasted around seven to eight minutes, every decision had to be spot on if you were going to make it around the course in good shape. Aside from Dolenc’s solid performance it was a good outing for the Maeder brothers with 17-year-old Max currently in second and 15-year-old Karl in fifth. Sandwiched between the brothers in third and fourth respectively are Denis Taradin of Cyprus and local talent Valentin Bontus of Austria.
The women were racing off the same start line as the men and like Dolenc, last year’s winner Julia Damasiewicz is feeling happy to be back on the tricky waters of Traunsee. “I feel really comfortable, I like it a lot and after winning here last year the place has happy memories for me,” said the Polish rider whose 2022 victory in Traunsee marked the first time that USA six-time World Champion Daniela Moroz had been beaten in competition for six years.
Racing is scheduled to continue at midday on Friday with the Medal Series set to take place on Sunday 8 October. The final two days of competition will be live streamed this Saturday and Sunday.
1. Martin Dolenc – CRO – 5.0
2. Maximilian Maeder – SGP – 10.0
3. Denis Taradin – CYP – 12.0
1. Breiana Whitehead – AUS – 32.0
2. Julia Damasiewicz – POL – 39.0
3. Alina Kornelli – AUT – 40.0