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Kitesurf

The values of kiteboarding, a booming sport that harnesses wind power, are in line with those of ENGIE regarding the development of low-carbon energy sources.

ENGIE has been supporting French kiteboarding since 2008, primarily through two events: the ENGIE Kite Tour, a circuit which in 2021 will comprise five stages held between March and October, and the French Kitefoil championships. And as proof of kiteboarding’s success, it has been chosen as an Olympic discipline for the 2024 Games.

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As an official partner of the French Federation of Free Flight (FFVL) since 2008, the Group is committed to promoting free flight sports and supporting the development of their practice in France, including a CSR (handikite) version. In addition to the various practices of kite, the sports of Free Flight are for example paragliding, hang-gliding, kite flying, boomerang.

Following the change of delegated responsibility in January 2017, ENGIE has also partnered with the French KiteFoil Championships organized by the French Sailing Federation (FFVoile).

The Group is proud to have Alex Caizergues, four-time kite speed world champion and current holder of the world speed record for kitesurfing with an average speed of 107.3 km/h over 500m, as an Ambassador for promoting the sport. This support of kitesurfing for over ten years also reflects the Group’s policy with regard to sport sponsorship, with sustainable support based on loyalty, a desire to contribute to developing practice of the sport and excellence at the elite level.

ENGIE also promotes the development of handikite (kitesurfing for athletes with disability) and the practice of kitesurfing at all levels, whether young talents participating in national competitions or the general public.

The 2021 ENGIE Kite Tour
 

For the thirteenth year in succession, ENGIE is the Title Sponsor of the main Speed Crossing circuit in France, known as the ENGIE Kite Tour. Created in 2004 by FFVL (French Kitesurfing Federation), this event has in just a few years become the major event for all kiteboarding fans – men and women of all ages and backgrounds, members of the French team or amateurs, to meet up on the same start line, whatever board they use (foil, twintip or directional) and whatever their level. 

The tour, organised since 2019 by the French Sailing Federation (FFVoile) and ENGIE, is a key competition promoting kiteboarding as a sport for everyone in France.
  
In 2020, four of the five ENGIE Kite Tour stages were held despite the pandemic situation. The close cooperation between the FFVoile and ENGIE resulted in a higher number of participants in at least one stage (196, an increase of 58%) and a greater number of participants overall (330, an increase of 74%). What a great success! 

Every stage of the ENGIE Kite Tour, held at different beaches around France’s coastline, is the scene of a great sporting show. 
Between March and October, the 2021 tour will comprise five stages for the first time ever, visiting two new kiteboarding spots:

 

  • La Manche – La Hague (4-6 June)
  • Lorient-Gâvres (18-20 June)
  • La Grande Motte (24-26 September)
  • Marseille (8-10 October)
  • Arcachon (22-24 October)

 

Large crowds of avid spectators will come into contact with the top French athletes in the sport, including Alexia Fancelli, who finished 3rd at the 2018 world championships in Aarhus, Poema Newland, silver medalist at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, and Anais Mai Des Jardins. The four top kitesurfers in France - and perhaps the World - Axel Mazella (recently arrived in Team ENGIE and two-time Formula Kite European Champion in 2019-2020), Nicolas Parlier, (three-time Formula Kite World Champion), Théo de Ramecourt (fourth in the Formula Kite World Championship 2019) and Maxime Nocher (2019 French Foil Kiteboard Champion) will join this prestigious line-up.Naturally, the speed record holder, four-time world speed champion and Group Ambassador for more than 10 years Alex Caizergues will be there for every stage.

You can keep up-to-date with all the news of the competition on the official ENGIE Kite Tour website.
 

World record for Alexandre Caizergues

 

At Salt and Speed, organized in November 2017 at the Salin-de-Giraud site at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône in the South of France, kitesurfer Alexandre Caizergues, who has been sponsored by ENGIE since 2010, was hoping for a good weather window that would give him a chance of beating his own world speed record for kitesurfing.

 

On Monday, November 13, 2017, Alex Caizergues set a new world record of 57.97 knots over 500 meters, equivalent to 107.36 km/h, beating his own previous record, set back in 2013, of 56.62 knots, equivalent to 104.8 km/h).

The French kitesurfer, a four-time world champion, has made yet another piece of history in his sport. Back in 2010, Alex Caizergues was the first man to sail at a speed of over 100 km/h.
 

French Windfoil and Kitefoil championships

 

ENGIE was also sponsor of the French Kitefoil, Windfoil and Kitefreestyle championships, which were held from August 26 to 30, 2019 at Port-Leucate, in south-western France. The titles of Men’s and Women’s French champions are decided annually at this event.


In 2021, the Group will once again partner with the French Championships in Hyères between 17 and 24 April.