The Formula Kite World Championships began in Lake Garda ©IKA

Defending champions Nico Parlier of France and the United States’ Daniela Moroz began impressively on the opening day of the Formula Kite World Championships in Lake Garda.

Parlier produced a series of strong races in the men’s competition, with 87 competitors having been split into three heats.

The Frenchman triumphed in all four of his heats to leave him top of the standings on three points, with one result discarded.

He is followed by the British duo Olly Bridge and Connor Bainbridge, who were in the same fleet at the Italian venue.

Both athletes claimed one win and two second-place finishes, which left them one point shy of Parlier.

France’s Théo de Ramecourt earned two wins in his fleet, while compatriot and former world champion Maxime Nocher claimed one triumph.

With one of their results discarded, the Frenchmen lie on five points after the opening day of racing.

The men’s field will contest a second day of qualification races, before the top athletes are brought together for the final two days.

The men's field have been split into three fleets for the opening two days of racing ©IKA
The men's field have been split into three fleets for the opening two days of racing ©IKA

The 30-strong women’s field have been placed in one fleet for the duration of the World Championships.

Moroz sought to show her superiority over her competitors, the American winning the first three races to head the standings.

She has three points, with Russia’s Elena Kalinina placed second on six.

The top three is completed by Australia’s Breiana Whitehead, who has 14 points.

The Championships are set to continue until Saturday (May 4).

Kitefoil racing is set to make its debut at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, having been approved as one of 10 sailing events last year.