Day three of the 2014 Formula Kite World Championships in Burc Beach, Istanbul, Turkey saw the beginning of the Final Series for the men's fleet, with Oliver Bridge (GBR) topping the leader board with a strong light wind performance.
Maxime Nocher (FRA) jumped into second position with a 1-2 score, while Riccardo Leccese (ITA) defends his bronze podium spot.
In the strong women's fleet it was again a battle between leader Steph Bridge (GBR), defending World Champion Erika Heineken (USA) and 17 year old runner up Elena Kalinia (RUS).
The gold fleet was to hit the waters of the Black Sea first, with Nocher showing incredible light wind skills, swapping places with the other light wind specialists Blazej Ozog (POL) and Bridge. The two leaders after the qualifying series struggled with the conditions and Leccese finished in seventh and Gruber in 14th. 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 before crashing shortly in front of 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) scoring a 5-4 and Alexander Bachev (BUL) scoring a 9-5.
In the women's fleet it all comes down to a battle between Bridge, Heineken and Kalinina, after 10 races and the second discard only five points separated them. The forecasted light conditions for Kalinina was opportunity to further close the gap to the two leaders who were only 2.7 points apart. Aga Grzymska (POL, ML) also showed a strong performance in the light winds with a 2-4 score, but is already nine points behind third place.
Racing continues on day 4 with the last day of the men's final series and the last day of the women's single opening series, before the top ten in each fleet will fight for the ultimate podium spots 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