SINGAPORE: Fresh from his Asian Games gold medal win in September, Maximilian Maeder is making waves again at last week’s 2023 Kitefoil World Series in Austria. After four days of gruelling and intense race, he took the top spot in the opening leg, while Flo Gruber of Germany came in second spot, and Denis Taradin from Cyprus took third place.
Maeder had been on top form even before the Asian Games as he won the Formula Kite Sailing World Championships in August, which earned him a spot for the Olympic Games in Paris next year. At the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Maeder topped all his races to win the gold medal in the Formula Kite event, ahead of China’s Zhang Haoran and Joseph Weston from Thailand, who took bronze.
“Max Maeder hit the sailing headlines again!!! After winning Gold in the Asian Games, Max had to make his way to Austria for the start of the European World Series. And what a great start, after four days of racing which ended yesterday, Max was on the highest podium winning the competition at Lake Traunsee, Austria,” posted the Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF) on their Facebook page after Maeder’s triumph in Austria earlier in the week.
Maeder, currently displaying a fine form in the international Formula Kite competition, is reportedly receiving support from the Sailing Federation that is working with the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Ministry of Defence in light of his National Service obligations next year. The SSF’s head of high performance and coaching, Chung Pei Ming, highlighted this to the Straits Times.
This is crucial so as not to disrupt his training and preparations as the home-schooled national sailor will turn 18 years old in Sept 2024, a month after the Olympics in Paris next year.
The current Kitefoil World Series is into its second leg in Cagliari, Italy, which started on Thursday, Oct 12. It is beginning to look like a close fight between Maeder and Italian sailor Lorenzo Boschetti. They were matched on points on the opening day, but on Friday, Maeder won three of the four races, with Boschetti winning the other race.
“A couple of things went right for it to happen, some fortunate circumstances for me. I was first to go out to the right side of the course on the last windward leg after it worked out well for the riders on the first upwind. Then my training partner Martin [Dolenz] caught a plastic bag on this foil, and the rest going too far left on the course, along with a combination of some lucky moments, a touchdown from Lorenzo, a tight layline from Cameron, and things worked out for me,” explained Maeder on how he recovered from eighth position to first place during his race on Friday in an interview with Kitefoil World Series.
Overall, the Singaporean sailor Maeder still sits at the top of the leaderboard, ahead of Boschetti, who sits in the second spot. Croatian Martin Dolenc is currently in third place, while silver medallist from the opening series Gruber is in sixth place.
After this second leg in Italy, Maeder will return to Singapore for a short break before travelling to Zhuhai, China, for the Kitefoil World Series final leg on Nov 24.