Teen Kitesurfer Wins World Title


Madeleine Singh

Now the world champion of women’s kitesurfing, sophomore Daniela Moroz beat out top international competitors in Weifang-Binhai, China at the 2016 IKA Formula Kite World Championship on Septemeber 15.

Kitesurfing, also commonly called kiting or kiteboarding, is a sport in which the participant rides on a modified surfboard over the water while holding on to a parachute-like kite filled with wind. The athletes traverse a set course, with the first one to reach the finish earning victory. “I got first in all four races on the first day, so that day I finished with a total of four points,” said Moroz, describing the competition’s scoring system.

The goal is to finish the competition with the least amount of points possible, and Moroz did just that, beating out Russian kitesurfer Elena Kalinia by 4 points. “I still can’t really believe it happened. It’s all kind of a blur,” Moroz said.

At the competition, there were about 70 athletes representing over 20 different countries. The women’s fleet was comprised of 15 girls from 9 different countries. “It was the first event where the women have their own fleet, which is really exciting because all the best girls in the world showed up,” said Moroz, who also said that the competition was the biggest kiting event she’s attended thus far.

Moroz reports that kitesurfing has been confirmed for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which she plans to attend. The International Sailing Federation and International Olympic Committee will be making their decision this upcoming February as to whether or not kitesurfing will be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. “If kiteboarding goes to 2020, I will definitely be there. It’s a dream of anyone to represent the USA at the Olympics, and it’s certainly something I dream of doing,” said Moroz.

Moroz attributes her success to her parents, who were both long-time windsurfers who became kiters as kiteboarding developed. “I was exposed to windsurfing at a very young age and would definitely not be at the level I am now if it weren’t for my parents’ support and influence,” she said.