Day three of the 2014 Formula Kite World Championships in Burc Beach, Istanbul/Turkey saw the beginning of the Final Series for the mens fleet, with Oliver Bridge (GBR, North) topping the leaderboard with a strong lightwind 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 womens 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 gold fleet was to hit the waters of the Black Sea first, with Nocher showing incredible lightwind skills, swapping places with the other light wind specialists Blazej Ozog (POL, North) and Bridge. The two leaders after the qualifying series struggeled 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 womens 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 the last day of the mens final series and the last day of the womens single opening series, before the top 10 of each fleet will fight for the ultimate podiumspots 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:http://internationalkiteboarding.org/images/documents/results/2014FKWorldsResults.pdf
A video profile of three of the top male contenders is available here: