An Inspired Day of Racing at Burc Beach
Racers and freestylers returned on the second day of the Burn Kiteboard World Cup with lighter wind than the day prior. Measuring 7-12 knots throughout the morning and afternoon, competitors entered the water around 11:45, more determined than ever to improve their placemenst and claim greater leads. Interestingly, after day one, John Heineken (USA) and Bryan Lake (USA) stood exactly even in the overall ranking, with a 5.7 total score. This meant that today’s races would carry even more weight, breaking this tie, and allowing for the ever-important ‘discard’, which each racer is allowed.
Race four required somewhat more time than races one, two, and three – due to the lighter winds; however, the course went unchanged. Along with the ocean current and variable winds, new challenges were brought to competitors, who faced wind “holes” and the need for new strategizing tactics. Heineken came out ahead in this race, after taking an opposite starting tack than most, while Steph Bridge (GBR) also held strong in her consistently first place completions.
The fifth race started with a tangle between Adam Koch (USA) and Alex Vychegzhanin (UKR), who later protested the occurance. Others went on with highly varied lay lines, Heineken and Riccardo Leccese (COL) separating from the pack, and Olivier Dansin (FRA) and Salih Alexander Cakir (TUR) fighting it out in a head-to-head battle. Cakir, the talented local racer, impressed many participants and spectators at this event, consistently placing in the top five and rising through the ranks since day one. In the last minutes of this race, Leccese gained a significant lead from the rest of the fleet, while Lake pulled ahead and Koch caught up with impressive speed, despite his tangle debacle at the start.
Always an entertaining finisher, Leccese crossed the finish line on race two with a victory scream, very pleased with his performance. In retelling his version of the events of the day, Leccese said, “I still have to perfect my new kites to get them just right, but I was very happy with my finish. I took several risks and different tacks, which helped me to come out ahead.” Riccardo went on to explain that he only has use of two kites at this stop in Turkey, so winds that fit his kite sizes are key. Even with this slight disadvantage, Leccese keeps an upbeat attitude regarding the remainder of the event, hoping for continued top placement finishes against this fleet of talented international racers.
In total, two races were completed and no freestyle heats were run, as the wind proved to be too light for such competition. Tomorrow, riders look forward to kiting in the Istanbul Strait and witnessing the sights of this vibrant city.