Maxime Nocher: a foil kiteboarding expert even in light winds | Photo: IKA

Maxime Nocher claimed the first event of the 2017 KiteFoil GoldCup, in Daecheon Beach, Boryeong, South Korea.

The Monegasque kiteboarder could not have wished a better start to the season. Fresh from winning the first stop on the 2017 Hydrofoil Pro Tour, Nocher proved he will be hard to beat this year.

Despite the light winds, the 2016 KiteFoil GoldCup champion managed to win all the races run in the Yellow Sea. Riccardo Leccese tried everything he could to stop the flying Frenchman, but Nocher was a perfect kiting machine.

"In the day's second race I was leading by far, but I caught a plastic bag and just couldn't remove it and keep moving. Leccese passed me, and I still had the bag on my fin. I did that whole leg with the plastic bag, but past the gate, it came off. Then I got the lead again," explained Maxime Nocher.

"So, overall I'm very happy to have won this event. It's been hard to deal with these conditions, but I'm near perfect in these light winds and Leccese could do nothing."

In the women's competition, 16-year-old Anais Mai Desjardins surprised everyone with a hard-fought win against Alexia Fancelli and Bitna Kim.

The 2017 KiteFoil GoldCup will now travel to China for two consecutive stages.

2017 KiteFoil GoldCup | South Korea

Men
1. Maxime Nocher (MON)
2. Riccardo Leccese (ITA)
3. Maks Zakowski (POL)

Women
1. Anais Desjardins (FRA)
2. Alexia Fancelli (FRA)
3. Bitna Kim (KOR)