Racing at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates has wrapped up with praise in abundance for the venue.
Abu Dhabi has spoilt the 270 competitors from 38 nations over four days of racing. Medal Races across the ten Olympic events and Open kiteboarding brought proceedings to a close in an exciting finale in the Emirati capital.
An 8-12 knot north westerly breeze tested the competitors on the final day of racing as the inaugural event came to a conclusion off of the stunning Corniche.
Bridge Blows Away The Kite Competition
In a four way single race shoot out for the Open Kiteboarding title, Great Britain's Oliver Bridge used his exceptional speed to blow away the competition.
Bridge has been exciting to watch on the race track with blistering pace that none of his rivals have been able to contend with.
After a tense semi-final Bridge qualified through to the final alongside 2014 World Champion Maxime Nocher (FRA), 2013 World Champion Florian Gruber (GER) and regular podium finisher Florian Trittel (ESP).
In one of the most important races of the year Bridge was relieved to turn his excellent series into gold by taking the victory,"That was pretty intense,"he smiled."We had two semi-finals and then the final which the winner would take, just on that race. I managed to remain unbeaten in all of my heats and then I won the final so I'm really happy.
"It's the first time we've had the kites in an ISAF event like this. I've had good results all year; I managed to win the European Championship so it's great to end the year with another win, which is a really important one.
"It's been pretty amazing in Abu Dhabi. We've had great conditions and great racing. Some of the days have been intense with short and fast races. It's been exciting."
Nocher fought hard to catch Bridge but was unable to match him. He was nonetheless pleased with his week,"The racing was fantastic today,"said the Frenchman."In the World Championship the races are usually 15 minutes long but here they're only 4-5 minutes so it's intense. I'm very happy to be second but it was a big fight between Ollie."
Gruber fended off Trittel to complete the podium.
Sailors' attentions now turn to the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series. Melbourne, Australia plays host to the first 2015 Abu Dhabi Final qualification regatta with racing scheduled to commence on 8 December 2014.
Live TrackingThe racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking.
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Fully-produced highlight packages from 27-30 November will be available to view on the">
Results will be available straight from the water here -www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php
Click here to view the entry list.
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About ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Abu Dhabi
All ten Olympic events will be contested in Abu Dhabi from 26-30 November, with an open kiteboarding event joining the fray around Lulu Island off the UAE capital's stunning Corniche.
With just 20 boats in each event the competition is set to be fierce. Equipment will be supplied in eight of the ten Olympic events (RS:X sailors shall bring their own equipment) and support will be available for travel expenses and accommodation.
The Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club will host the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final with some technical facilities located at the adjacent Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club. The venue is located on the main island of the city with immediate access to the beautiful waters of the Arabian Gulf.
The ten Olympic events will contest an opening series and a Medal Race with the kiteboard fleet using a short track format. Prize money will be in awarded to the top three overall finishers in each of the Olympic events from a total prize purse of US$200,000.
The qualification system for the 2014 Final was published on 30 July 2014 and is included Addendum A of the Notice of Race.Click here for the Notice of Race.The first sailors to secure their place were confirmed at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander where the top ten in each event were offered a place.