Race for world titles hots up in Germany

Published 27th August 2023 by Ian MacKinnon


Kiko Roig tops podium for first time as title holder Capucine Delannoy gets back to winning ways in Sylt

Defender GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt, Germany 2023
Brandenburger Strand, 22—27 August

The winners at the Defender GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt, in Germany, were crowned after two big days of action on the North Sea in the first strapless freestyle contest of the year at the mid-point of the season.

France’s Capucine Delannoy, reigning world champion in the Kite-Surf discipline on the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour, got her title defence back on track after taking a narrow win in Sylt.

The 17-year-old goes top of the rankings after two finals’ defeats in the pure wave format of the Kite-Surf discipline in the season’s opening rounds. With upcoming stops in Morocco and Brazil to close out the championship, the title race is finely poised.

“It feels very good,” said Delannoy. “I came here to the event with a goal—to win. I didn’t really give myself any other options. It was the win, or nothing. So now I’m back on top of the rankings, but there’s a discard at the end of the year, so it doesn’t mean much. I have to win the next event, and I’m going to train for it.”

Stunning upset

In  the men’s contest, Spain’s Kiko Roig had a breakout moment when he took the win to go top of the podium in a career first. Roig defeated the Cape Verdean powerhouse Airton Cozzolino (ITA) in a stunning upset, and the Spaniard was still digesting his triumph.

“I’m really happy,” said Roig. “I still don’t believed what’s happened. That’s two events this year on the podium. One was a third place and now a first. It’s something magical. I couldn’t quite believe it when I came to the beach and they told me I’d won.”

While Cozzolino was dejected by his performance in the final after a series of dominant heat wins as he progressed in Sylt, the world title is still within his grasp as he goes tops the standings after three events.

“For sure second place is OK,” said Cozzolino. “I don’t care about the world championship. I just take it event by event. When I think about the world championship I always get too nervous. I will keep pushing hard and I can still do it.”

Delighted home crowds

The biggest shock in Sylt, where the conditions proved difficult and the competition was compressed into two of the five scheduled days, came when tour leader Matchu Lopes (ESP) was sent packing after making it only as far as the last 16.

Lopes now lies second on the overall leaderboard after was dispatched from the Sylt competition by Brazil’s Pedro Matos. Matos sits third on the tour, though his run in Sylt was ended surprisingly in the quarter finals by the young German, Keanu Merten.

Merten delighted home crowds who lined Brandenburger Strand when he landed the third podium place by a fraction of a point in a tight battle with another new face, France’s Theo Demanez.

The women’s final that was closed out on day two of the competition was a similarly close affair, where Capucine Delannoy just got the better of Camille Losserand. The Swiss 19-year-old finds herself third in the rankings as a result of her runner-up spot in Sylt.

Race for podium

The race for the third place on the podium went to France’s Zoe Bazile, who just managed to edge out the Italian rider, Sofia Monti.

The next stop in the Kite-Surf discipline on the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour comes in less than a month in Dakhla, Morocco. Join us here for all the action.

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Lukas K Stiller

Defender GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Sylt 2023 results

1 Kiko Roig (ESP)
2 Airton Cozzolino (ITA)
3 Keanu Merten (GER)

1 Capucine Delannoy (FRA)
2 Camille Losserand (SUI)
3 Zoe Bazile (FRA)

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