Kitesurfing phenomenon Daniela Moroz is balancing her dreams of an Olympic medal at Paris 2024 with her role as a member of Jimmy Spithill’s United States SailGP Team
Sailing an F50 catamaran for the first time is a daunting prospect for even the most experienced of sailors. Terrifyingly high top end speeds, internal organ crushing g-forces during manoeuvres – to say nothing of the ever-present threat of a major wipe out – make simply existing onboard a major challenge.
However, for American kitesurfing phenomenon Daniela Moroz – a member of the United States SailGP Team – dealing with the speed and intensity of the action on the US boat was less of a problem than for most rookie F50 sailors.
Born and raised in San Francisco, California Moroz – now 21 – won her first Formula Kite world championship in 2016 at the age of 15 and has since claimed four more world titles in the high performance foiling class.
It’s no real surprise then that she was not phased by the turbo acceleration and blistering pace of the F50.
“I’m comfortable hanging out at the back of the boat at such a high speed – I obviously trust our skipper very well – it has been an incredible experience and the speed has just been a cherry on top for me,” she says.
When, prior to the SailGP Season 2 grand finale event in San Francisco earlier this year, Moroz found she had a little free time on her hands during the training days and could not resist lining up against the fleet on her foiling kiteboard.
It turned out she could give the multi-million dollar cats and rockstar crews a pretty good run for their money.
“The concepts are the same and you are going pretty much the same speed,” she says. “I was holding with them upwind, and they were a little bit faster than me downwind.”
I was watching that day as Moroz scorched around the bay – a tiny dot alongside the towering rigs of the F50 catamarans.
She appeared in complete control and utterly at one with her equipment. Her kite and her board seemed like extensions of herself that she could easily bend to her will.