The Young Gun

The 15-year-old world champion from the foiling kiteboard world has captured one of the highest awards in American sailing.

daniela moroz
Daniela Moroz, the 15 year old Californian Kiteboarder went home with a world championship title at the IKA Formula Kite World Championship.Alexandru Baranescu

Who is Daniela Moroz?

The 15-year-old world champion from the foiling kiteboard world has captured one of the highest awards in American sailing: Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. Her accolades outnumber her years, so what makes this California girl tick?

She's Competitive
Winning the Hydrofoil Pro Tour title was a goal from her first days of ­kiting. "I come from a competitive family," she says. "I focus on what I want to do, and I do it." She'll arrive a few days early at an event to suss out the venue and socialize, but once the competition starts, she says, it's all about the racing.

She's Not Sponsored Yet
Moroz's family and the St. Francis ­Sailing Foundation fund her travel and expenses, though she does get discounts on equipment. "Now that I have a world title, I'm working on getting some more financial help," she says. "It'd make things much easier. I could do so many more events."

She Started Early
Both her parents are avid ­windsurfers, and Moroz sailed her first race before she was born: the San Francisco ­Classic, on a windsurfer, while her mother was pregnant.

She's A Media Maven
Shooting video and photos are Moroz's hobby. "I try to show what I'm doing on my trips and how cool the events are," she says. "It's me walking around with my GoPro. It's a cool way to capture the sport — it's so visually appealing, why not share it?"

She's Here To Stay
While sailing disciplines for the 2020 Olympics haven't been announced, Moroz is stoked at the possibility for kiting's inclusion, calling it the pinnacle of the sport's potential. "I would totally want to go," she says. If that doesn't ­happen, the 2018 Youth Olympic Games will include kiting, and Moroz hopes for "at least a couple more world titles."