After day 1 of the African Kiteboarding Course Race Championship at Soma Bay, Egypt, four heats were completed in good conditions. In the women, Britain's Steph Bridge leads from Elena Kalinina of Russia and Agnieszka Bilska of Poland. World Champion Erika Heineken is in fourth. In the men's event world champion Johnny Heineken of the USA is joint leader with Riccardo Leccese of Italy.
Steph tweeted . . . "Pretty happy with day 1 - still a long way 2 go & competition strong-yehaaa"
An on form Steph Bridge from Great Britain was the star performance of the day claiming three wins from the first three races in the women’s event, and wrapping up race 4 with a second place. With the discard kicking in after race 4, Bridge has a perfect three point score.
Winner of race 4 was Poland’s Agnieszka Bilska who is third overall on an equal 8 points with Russia’s Elena Kalinina, with the Russian holding the tiebreak advantage in second overall. Reigning World Champion Erika Heineken was a little inconsistent in her opening day and is placed fourth on the leaderboard.
In the men’s fleet, the 61 kiters are split into two fleets, and the fleet split saw World Champion Johnny Heineken up against the Italian Riccardo Andrea Leccese. Proving that World Champions don’t always have it their way, each of them took two wins and two second places, to sit on equal points, but with the tiebreak advantage favouring Leccese who tops the leaderboard.
Expect this to be an extremely close showdown between these two as racing unfolds. Florian Gruber (GER) sits tight in third overall, counting a string of top 3 finishes after discard.
The men have been split into two fleets and will sail another day of qualifiers, before being split into gold and silver fleets for two more days of racing on Wednesday and Thursday, with the top ten going through to Friday’s medal race. The women will sail as one fleet through until Friday, when the top 10 will go through to the medal race.
Kiteboards - 2013 African Course Racing Championships
Women (15 entries)
1. Steph Bridge (GBR)
2. Elena Kalinina (RUS)
3. Agnieszka Bilska (POL)
Men (61 entries)
1. Riccardo Andrea Leccese (ITA)
2. Johnny Heineken (USA)
3. Florian Gruber (GER)
G New / IKA
27 March 2013 7:18 GMT