The first day of the North American Kiteboard Racing Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club had the 75 kiters split into two fleets to begin the qualifying stage of the event. Riccardo Andrea Leccese (ITA) and Johnny Heineken (USA) started fast by winning all four races in their respective fleets. In 4th is Adam Koch (USA) as the top Master, in 15th is Alex Aguera (USA) as the top Grand Master, and in 28th is Erika Heineken (USA) as the top woman.
Seventy Four registered racers start off day one in two fleets, yellow and blue with ten racers being women. The overcast day didn't dampen anyone's spirits as all the racers jockey for setting expectations for the rest of the week. The top three in the yellow fleet came down to Johnny Heineken, Adam Koch, and Brian Kender. The top three in the blue fleet came down to Riccardo Leccese, Bryan Lake, and Tomek Janiak. First and Second in each fleet were consistent with Johnny and Riccardo getting bullets in all heats and second place being tied between Koch and Lake. The top three women on day one are Erika Heineken, Catherine Dufour and Nuria Goma. As always check the official results for accuracy and protest updates.
The racers contended with regular boat traffic on the open race course. Tankers, pleasure boats, pilot boats and tourist ferries all played roles in quick decisions for the racers on the course. Yellow heat two started out with a huge tangle. Thankfully the race officials were swift in helping the downed kiters with no injuries. At one point the U.S.S Potomac steamed through the course and literally split the upwind port tack in half right after the start. The professionalism of all kiters led to clean racing despite all the moving obstacles.
Going forward it is going to be some very tight racing with only 12 points separating the top ten racers after day one. Anything can happen. The new coarse layout gets huge approval from racers and spectators alike. It's a two lap course with a reaching finish right to the beach. Great for racing, and beach spectators get prime viewing of the entire course and especially the finish.
If you're in the area, you are definitely going to want to come down and view the action. If you can't make it, the St. Francis Yacht Club has lined up some great media coverage. See the links below for all the up to the minute updates. A huge thanks goes out to all the officials and volunteers involved.
Stay tuned for more action on June 5th!
Racing continues: June 5th, 2013 approximately 1pm
St. Francis Yacht Club Race Office website:
http://www.stfyc.com/ Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pa geid=379035&ssid=295833&vnf=1
Direct link to results:
http://sailwave.com/results/ stfyc/ 2013kitenasqualificationseries. htm
Livestream! By Jamy Donaldson:
http://new.livestream.com/ accounts/3511933/events/ 2152265?query=kite+&cat=event
St. Francis Facebook site:
https://www.facebook.com/ pages/ St-Francis-Yacht-Club-Racing/ 106175099461351