Today marked the second and final day of qualifications for the men's fleet that will be split into gold and silver tomorrow. A big challenge for the riders in the middle of the flights who were struggling to advance to race with the top riders who will make it to the Gold fleet.
Racing kicked off at 12:00 hours with the first women's fleet race, seeing a huge windshift towards the end of the race, forcing the race committee to postpone racing for approximately one hour until the wind settled and the course was adjusted to the new wind direction. Racing for the mens flights commended at 13:30 and thereafter the full schedule of four race for each fleet was completed, demonstrating the consistency and superb racing venue of Hang Loose Beach. The conditions today were lighter forcing everyone to use bigger kites in order to plane. The breeze also caused some challenges for the top riders who were unable to hold on to the top spots and scored some lower results. One of them was yesterday's leader Italy's Leccese, who with one race outside the top 5 and one outside the top ten was not massively happy with his performance today, as he got knocked off the leaderboard top 5.
Despite a disqualification in the last race yesterday, Russia's Doronin came back even stronger today scoring another three bullets and claimed the top slot. A great performance as well from the young Bridge who moved up to climb in to second place – amazing that at only 15 years of age he is already challenging the more experienced racers.
The Russian team had even better results in the women's fleet with young Kalinina dominating out on the race track today. Lighter conditions are her favorite and she definitely showed that. The rest of the fleet shuffled a bit with Bridge having some troubles following the Russian, but saved her day by winning the last race. Bridge is now very close with Holland's Roose. The top 3 riders have already built a safe distance from the rest of the pack and it seems likely this will turn out to be a three horse race right through to the end.
A major upset on the beach today was an equipment protest filed by the race committee against three sailors for equipment not being found within reasonable tolerances. The ISAF International Jury disqualified the equipment but let the results so far stand – which means that amongst others, the current leader of the womens fleet needs to find replacement equipment until the morning of the next racing day. Backgrounds on the decision will be published in a separate press release.