After four full on days of racing at the Kiteboard Course Racing Worlds in Cagliari, Italy the Heineken siblings of John and Erika have taken the men's and women's crown following a strong performance.
The result for John ensures a successful defence of the title he won in Sylt, Germany last year whilst older sister Erika picks up her first world title.
With the scores delicately poised heading into the final day of racing in the men's fleet the first race of the day provided spectacular racing that mixed things up. The start went off with two riders going on port, but at the windward mark the whole fleet arrived within seconds. Event leader Johnny Heineken crashed while tacking, costing him seconds, and it was Adam Koch who came down to the bottom gate after two rounds only a couple of meters ahead of Johnny. After ten minutes and a race length of app 3.5 kilometres, both riders came over the finish line overlapped in true photo finish style. Again the same picture for the next finishers, being only few meters separated when finishing.
In the all deciding final race no one wanted to take a risk, and the fleet went off in a solid 12 knots breeze with puffs up to 20 knots. Heineken went ahead at the weather mark with tight racing for podium places behind him. Adam Koch (USA) came through in second followed by European Champion Riccardo Leccese (ITA) and Julien Kerneur (FRA).
Chasing up was Maxime Nocher (FRA), who managed to pull himself up to third place by the finish whilst Heineken took the bullet ahead of Koch. Kerneur and Leccese followed.
Just one point separated Erika Heineken (USA) and Steph Bridge (USA) in the women's fleet heading into the penultimate race and a victory for the Brit pulled her level on points with Heineken. It was winner takes all in the final race and the pressure was on.
Heineken and Bridge got off to the best start in the final race aiming for the top spot on the podium and at the windward gate the American had a good lead. Heineken maintained her advantage until the finish to take the bullet whilst Bridge took second place in a photo finish.
Men's Top Five
1. John Heineken (USA), 4 pts
2. Adam Koch (USA), 6 pts
3. Julien Kerneur (FRA), 13 pts
4. Riccardo Leccese (ITA), 13 pts
5. Maxime Nocher (FRA), 14 pts
Women's Top Five
1. Erika Heineken (USA), 4pts
2. Steph Bridge (GBR), 5pts
3. Caroline Adrien (FRA), 10 pts
4. Nayara Licariao (BRA), 13 pts
5. Christine Boenniger (GER), 15 pts
View highlights from the opening day on the ISAF TV Player.
More results, pictures, videos are available at www.kitecagliari.com