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20 August 2014, 09:13 am
Challenging First Day At IKA Formula Kite Worlds
Day 1
IKA Formula Kite Worlds underway in Turkey

IKA Formula Kite World Championship 2014
Istanbul, Turkey

Florian Gruber (GER) and Steph Bridge (GBR) top the leaderboard after the first day of racing at the 2014 Formula Kite World Championship at Burc Beach, Istanbul, Turkey.
Florian Gruber (GER, UC/Ozone) and Riccardo Leccese (ITA, ML/Ozone) are tied at the top on five points whilst in the womens fleet there is a tight battle between Steph Bridge (GBR, North), Elena Kalinina (RUS, TMV/ELF) and Erika Heineken (USA, ML/Ozone).

The first day of competition kicked off in challenging conditions with 18-20 knots of wind and heavy swell left over from Monday's 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 crashes pleased both spectators and media representatives.

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 consistent performance to complete the top five.

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 on Wednesday 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.

Results 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

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