Martin Dolenc crowned 2017 TwinTip:Racing European champion

July 17, 2017 | Kiteboarding
2017 TwinTip:Racing European Championship: the new format has jumps | Photo: IKA

The 2017 TwinTip:Racing European Championship tested a new competition format that will be used in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, in Argentina.

As a result, riders sailed 175 short races in a downwind slalom set-up with jumps. The event sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association got underway in the waters of Gizzeria, Italy.

There was some controversy about the refereeing concept with many kiteboarders demanding explanations for judging decisions on penalties for tangles or touches on obstacles to be jumped.

"In the beginning it was difficult - the refereeing concept is a total game changer in sailing terms, so it was a very steep learning curve for everybody," noted Markus Schwendtner, technical director at IKA.

"Refereeing is a bit of revolution, but it's the only way to deal with the large number of continuous races (175) in which the referees made more than 300 calls."

Martin Dolenc, 17, felt comfortable with the new TwinTip:Racing format and beat his veteran racing rivals with incredible confidence and prowess.

"I'm so, so happy. This is my first European senior title, so it's really great to get it. To be honest, I'm really surprised. I just didn't expect to be this fast. I wasn't really training for this before coming here, just a couple of sessions."

2017 TwinTip:Racing European Championship | Top 3

1. Martin Dolenc (CRO)
2. Olly Bridge (GBR)
3. Florian Gruber (GER)

Girls (Under 19)
1. Nina Font Castells (ESP)
2. Daniela Moroz (USA)
3. Alina Kornelli (GER)

Boys (Under 19)
1. Victor Bachichet (FRA)
2. Cameron Maramenides (USA)
3. Toni Vodisek (SLO)