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2014 Formula Kite World Championships Day 1

Florian Gruber (GER, UC/Ozone) and Riccardo Leccese (ITA, ML/Ozone) top the leaderboard at the 2014 Formula Kite World Championships at Burc Beach, Istanbul/Turkey. In the womens fleet it is a neck-on-neck battle between Steph Bridge (GBR, North), Elena Kalinina (RUS, TMV/ELF) and Erika Heineken (USA, ML/Ozone).

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The first day of competition kicked off in challenging conditions with 18-20 knots of wind and heavy swell left over from yesterdays 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.

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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.

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The strong womens 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 consistant 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 mens fleet and the single openng series for the womens fleet. The forecast looks a bit lighter than todays tough conditions, with increasing winds towards the medal series races on saturday.

Overall standings after 4 races:

MEN:
1. Florian Gruber (GER, UC/Ozone) - 5 pts
1. Riccardo Leccese (ITA, ML/Ozone) - 5 pts
3. Oliver Bridge (GBR, North) - 7 pts
4. Alejandro Climent (ESP, UC/Ozone) - 11 pts
5. Blazej Ozog (POL, North) - 13 pts

WOMEN:
1. Steph Bridge (GBR, North) - 7 pts
2. Elena Kalinina (RUS, TMV/Elf) - 10 pts
3. Erika Heineken (USA, ML/Ozone) - 10.7 pts
4. Aga Grzymska (POL, ML/Ozone) - 14 pts
5. Anastasia Akopova (RUS, ML/Ozone) - 26.7 pts

Full results can be found here: http://internationalkiteboarding.org/images/documents/results/2014FKWorldsResults.pdf

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