Cream rising at Formula Kite World Championships
Published on August 21st, 2014
Istanbul, Turkey (August 21, 2014) – Day three of the 2014 Formula Kite World Championships at Burc Beach saw the beginning of the Final Series for the men’s fleet, with Oliver Bridge (GBR, North) topping the leaderboard with a strong light wind performance. Maxime Nocher (FRA, North) jumped into second position with a 1-2 score, while Riccardo Leccese (ITA, ML/Ozone) defends his bronce podium spot.
In the strong women’s fleet it was again a neck-on-neck battle between leader Steph Bridge (GBR, North), defending World Champion Erika Heineken (USA, ML/Ozone) and 17 year old runner up Elena Kalinia (RUS, UC/Elf).
Due to light and variable winds, racing was postponed first until 1600 hours when the breeze finally stabilized at 7 knots and racing got underway.
The men’s gold fleet was to hit the waters of the Black Sea first, with Nocher showing incredible light wind skills, swapping places with the other light wind specialists Blazej Ozog (POL, North) and Bridge. The two leaders after the qualifying series struggled with the condition and finished only in 7th (Leccese) and 14th (Gruber). In the second round of racing, conditions had improved to 8-10 knots and the usual battle was on between Bridge, Leccese and Nocher, with Bridge clearly leading the second Final Series Race when crashing shortly before the finish line and Nocher catching up fast. Both came to the finish line overlapped, with the better end for Bridge.
A strong performance also from two other Under-18s in the fleet, Mario Calbucci (ITA, UC/Elf) scoring a 5-4 and Alexander Bachev (BUL, UC/Ozone) scoring a 9-5.
In the women’s fleet it all comes down to a battle between Bridge, Heineken and Kalinina, after 10 races and the second discard only 5 points separate them, and in the forecasted light conditions for day 4, Kalinina might be able to further close the gap to the two leaders which are only 2.7 points apart. Aga Grzymska (POL, ML/Ozone) also showed a strong performance in the light winds with a 2-4 score, but is already 9 points behind the third place.
Racing continues on day 4 with Friday being the last day of the men’s final series and the last day of the women’s single opening series. On Saturday, the top 10 of each fleet advance to fight for the ultimate podium spots on the final day of the competition in a 4-race-no drop medal series.
Overall standings after 10 races:
1. Oliver Bridge (GBR, North) – 6 pts
2. Maxime Nocher (FRA, North) – 11 pts
3. Riccardo Leccese (ITA, ML/Ozone) – 16 pts
4. Blazej Ozog (POL, North) – 20 pts
5. Florian Gruber (GER, UC/Ozone) – 24 pts
1. Steph Bridge (GBR, North) – 13 pts
3. Erika Heineken (USA, ML/Ozone) – 15.7 pts
2. Elena Kalinina (RUS, TMV/Elf) – 18 pts
4. Aga Grzymska (POL, ML/Ozone) – 27 pts
5. Astrid Berz (SUI, ML/Ozone) – 35 pts
Full results can be found here: 2014FKWorldsResults
A video profile of three of the top male contenders is available here: