Lauriane Nolot, a kitefoil specialist supported by Banque Populaire Méditerranée, retained her world champion title on May 19th in Hyères. She is the favorite to win the Olympic title this summer in the Bay of Marseille.

A full clutch of medals for Lauriane Nolot

There are few French athletes who have been able to dominate their discipline for several seasons like Lauriane and perhaps no other French champion will be considered such a strong favorite in their discipline this summer when the Olympic Games Paris 2024 begin… Yet that’s just what Lauriane managed to do with such a distinctive victory at the Formula Kite World Championship staged in Hyères last week. In 2023, she had already won the World Championships and the Paris 2024 Test Event, forming a series of successes that led the French sailing world to name her “Sailor of the Year.”

After returning to Fuerteventura in the Canaries to repeat the preparation routine she used last year, she began 2024 with the same outstanding level of success. She started in March by winning the European Championships in Spain before coming last week to Hyères on the Mediterranean coast between Toulon and Saint-Tropez to win the World Championship in this new Olympic discipline of kitefoil racing. This dominance is largely due to her tactical sense on the water, which is more a kind of instinct considering how quickly decisions must be made on this type of surface.

The championship results were also encouraging for the French team with Jessie Kampman taking 3rd place in the women’s race and Poema Newland, an athlete supported by Banque Populaire du Sud, finishing just short of the podium. In the men’s race, Lauriane’s training mate Axel Mazella – also supported by Banque Populaire Méditerranée and, like her, European champion in Spain for the fourth time – came in 4th position after collecting a penalty point for refusing a right of way in the final. Despite this disappointment, this result confirms that he is well in the running for a medal in Marseille this summer.

Tough on herself

Lauriane ended the week in Hyères brimming with confidence. She is perfectly well acquainted with the locality, both the Salins and Almanarre beaches, where she started kiting after accompanying her father and brother to these spots. Her discovery of this sport led her to give up the horse-riding she practiced as a child near her little village of Camps-la-Source and to go with her family on weekends to the beaches of the Var in southeastern France. Her determination to outshine her father and brother meant that she trained even harder, a motivation that naturally made her rise to an elite level. This same determination still governs her relationship with competitions. She is obsessed with constant improvement and the striving to obtain marginal gains. Together with her trainer, Ariane Imbert, they have developed a scoring system in which they break down and analyze every aspect of her training routine: every jibe, every tack, every turn is analyzed, attributed a score, and so on. And yet, not once has Lauriane ever awarded herself the maximum mark… That’s how you prepare for an Olympic title!