Rough opener at Formula Kite World Championships
Published on August 19th, 2014
Istanbul, Turkey (August 19, 2014) – The first day of the Formula Kite World Championships kicked off in challenging conditions with 18-20 knots of wind and heavy swell left over from yesterday’s storm. The race committee set up a new 2/3rd’s course with a longer first beat and two shorter laps to allow for tactical opportunities. A long reach to the finish line right in front of the beach with high speeds and spectacular crashed pleased both spectators and media representatives.
Florian Gruber (GER, UC/Ozone) and Riccardo Leccese (ITA, ML/Ozone) top the men’s leaderboard with the hotly contested women’s fleet between Steph Bridge (GBR, North), Elena Kalinina (RUS, TMV/ELF) and Erika Heineken (USA, ML/Ozone).
Gruber and Leccese dominated their respective flights with three bullets each. 17 year old European Champion Oliver Bridge (GBR,North) gave Leccese a run for his money in the green flight, with several lead changes in every race and a solid 2-2-2-1 result in the end. Alejandro Climent (ESP, UC/Ozone) and Blazej Ozog (POL, North) both showed a consistend performance to complete the top five.
The strong women’s fleet saw a battle between Bridge, Kalinina and defending world champion Heineken with three different winners in four races, with Aga Grzymska (POL, ML/Ozone) showing a consistent performance for fourth place and 16 year old runner-up Anastasia Akopova (RUS, ML/Ozone) coming in fifth position.
Racing continues tomorrow with qualifying races for the two-flight men’s fleet and the single opening series for the women’s fleet. The forecast looks a bit lighter than today’s tough conditions, with increasing winds towards the final medal series races on Saturday, August 23.