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IKA KiteFoil GoldCup World Series, Weifang

Britain’s Connor Bainbridge retained his lead at the top of the standings on Day 2 in China

Overnight leader Bainbridge retained his lead at the top of the standings after he grabbed a win and a less auspicious seventh spot.

The Briton had a slice of luck in the day’s first race when he was forced to tuck into the pack at the start as he had forgotten to wear his timing watch.

But his superior pace and strategy on the two-and-a-half laps of the course were enough to secure a comfortable win.

Bainbridge came under pressure from reigning IKA KiteFoil World Champion, France’s Nico Parlier, who edged his way up the order at the KiteFoil World Series being fought out off Weifang Binhai’s Joy Sea Beach in eastern China.

The multiple world champion notched up a win and a third place in the only two races of the day after the early, shifty offshore breezes died completely.

The finishes helped move Parlier up to third spot overall at the end of the second of five days of racing.

The KiteFoil World Series season-opening event-with its total prize money of €60,000 -is the first of four scheduled tour stops.

For the first time, China is hosting back-to-back tour stops, with the racers heading south to Fujian province’s windy Pingtan island next week for the second act of the unfolding drama that has drawn all the world’s fastest KiteFoil athletes.

The field packed with talent in Weifang has seen the head of the fleet jockeying for position, with Bainbridge the surprise package as he burst into the competition and held the lead for the second consecutive day.

Britain’s Guy Bridge, recently crowned Formula Kite European Champion, did his best to shrug off an ill-starred opening day, notching up second and third places that moved him up to ninth spot overall.

France’s Théo de Ramecourt slipped one spot to fourth overall unable to quite match an excellent first day.

In the women’s group, racing with the men, the US’s double Formula Kite World Champion, Daniela Moroz, again retained her lead over Russia’s Elena Kalinina.

Weifang GoldCup - Top men after eight races (28 entries)

1st Connor Bainbridge (GBR), 16.0pts
2nd Maxime Nocher (MON), 24.0pts
3rd Nico Parlier (FRA), 30.0pts

Weifang GoldCup - Top three women after eight races (3 entries)

1st Daniela Moroz (USA), 93.0pts
2nd Elena Kalinina (RUS), 129.0pts
3rd Kirstyn O’Brien (USA), 181.0pts

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