Kiteracing Oceanic Championships – Day 1
Despite obtaining a penalty after breaking the start in Race 6 today, World Champion Florian Gruber from Germany held his lead finishing top after Day Two of the Kiteracing Oceanic Championships at Leighton Beach, Fremantle.
British youngster Olly Bridge has moved into second fastest position and Maks Zakowski from Poland into third after consistent sailing in light wind conditions averaging 11.4kn and high temperatures in the mid 30’s.
Competitors are enjoying Perth’s sailing conditions and third placeholder Zakowski said it was similar to home making it a comfortable ride today. “I got the first bullet [race win] of the day. I prefer light wind conditions so 14m kites are fine for me. In Poland we get light winds a lot so I’m used to it. If it drops tomorrow and I can get onto my 19m kite, those are my conditions.”
Also happy with his racing today is fourth placeholder Alejandro Climent-Hernandez from Spain. “I just tried to race clean today. I got a second, first and a third, which I was pretty happy with, and then a fifth today. On the last race, I changed down to an 11m kite as the wind built, but should have stayed with my 14m.”
It wasn’t such plain sailing for Blazej Ozog from Poland who is currently in fifth. “I was over a minute late on the first start due to a tangle but I managed to pull it back to take third. In the next race I tried to block Florian [Gruber] who was on a pin end start but he went over too early, and so did I! The last two races I got two second places. I switched to bigger fins for the lighter winds, but they feel slower for me,” he said.
The battle between Poland’s Aga Grzymska and France’s Ariane Imbert showed no signs of waning today with Grzymska taking the overall lead, winning Races 5 and 6 and Imbert taking out the final race of the day. Her selection of bigger fins for the lighter wind conditions may well have been the pay off.
Tomorrow the course racing will be followed by the first heat of the Freestyle Jam, from approximately 3pm, where competitors aim for the best tricks and big air to score the best points. With sunset markets, the Oceanics Bar, Aussie Beach BBQ and free twilight movie screening, there will be plenty of action both on and off the water.
The medal series races will be fought out on Saturday and Sunday with A$30,000 in prizemoney up for grabs in the course racing and A$5000 for the Freestyle competition.
The Kiteracing Oceanic Championships is officially sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). 100 championship points are awarded to the event winner.
Watch the video highlights from the first day of racing at the inaugural Kiteracing Oceanic Championships on Leighton Beach in Fremantle, Western Australia.