2018 Ika Kitefoil Goldcup World Series, Weifang - Day Three

 Kitefoiling
Kitefoiling

 

Tuesday, 4th September 2018

Britain's Guy Bridge on a Charge after Seizing Three
Bullets in China


VIDEO: 2018 Kitefoil World Series Weifang - Day 3

British athleteGuy Bridgecharged up the leaderboard on the third day of theKiteFoil World Seriesat Weifang Binhai, in eastern China, with scintillatingly-quick and accomplished racing that earned him a hat-trick wins. The wins catapultedBridge, the younger sibling ofOlly Bridge, up the rankings to third spot overall on a day of confusingly-mixed conditions that finally came good late in the afternoon, enabling the race director to squeeze in four races.Bridge'sstellar outing on the two laps of the windward-leeward track on the Yellow Sea in 13kts to 18kts boosted his quest for overall victory at theInternational Kiteboarding Association (IKA) KiteFoil World Seriesseason opener.

But almost as important forBridgewas that with the mounting number of races he was able to discard from his tally another poor early score caused by a retirement for a broken line that had been costing him dearly. Still, fellow countrymanConnor Bainbridgedid enough on the third of the five-day regatta to hold his spot at the head of the order, though he suffered an expensive tangle with French racerTh?o de Ramecourtin the final race of the day. Multiple world championMaxime Nocher(MON) again had another strong day in the shifty, onshore breezes that only filled in after violent squall blew over the track. In what were ultimately excellent racing conditions,Nochernotched up three second places as he battledBridgearound the course, enough to cement his second spot overall.

Yet with two more days of racing scheduled at the Weifang World Series regatta-where prize money of ?60,000 is up for grabs-all the racers in the 32-strong fleet from 16 nations realise everything is still to play for. Next week many of the fleet will travel south to Fujian province's Pingtan island for the second of four scheduled KiteFoil World Series stops to crown the IKA KiteFoil World Champion. The reigning world champion, France'sNico Parlier, slipped a place to fourth overall after he suffered the misfortune of missing the day's first race when he went to change wet clothes after the rain squall, unaware the start was imminent.


But it was the youngerBridgewho set the scorching pace on his 15m kite, when rivals chose larger 18m or 19m kites. His first race did not go so well, when he could only manage a fifth after hitting some debris and crashing. But afterwards, he did not look back."I get really good speed with my 15m kite going upwind,"saidBridge."If I have enough to hold them off going upwind, then I can go well downwind. I'm pleased with today. It's a bit hard doing four races back-to-back, but I feel really good."Nocherenjoyed his duals withBridgeand is equally happy he is rediscovering the kind of form that has helped him capture so many world titles over the years."It was a good day,"said a smiling and relaxedNocher."In the first race, I crashed into some lines and ended up sixth. But after that it was good. It was fun racing against Guy Bridge. He was very fast today. Good racing. It was a little difficult to see the wind shifts with foggy conditions, but still interesting."

In the women's group, racing with the men, two-time Formula Kite World ChampionDaniela Moroz(USA), is more than holding her own. She sits in the middle of the extremely strong fleet and is learning a lot."It's very tactical and I'm really learning a great deal,"saidMoroz."It's great matching up against the guys. I'm really happy with my position, but my goal is to make it into the top ten of the KiteFoil World Series fleet this season."

Top three men after 12 races (two discards)

  1. Connor Bainbridge(GBR), 29.0pts
  2. Maxime Nocher(MON), 30.0pts
  3. Guy Bridge(GBR), 37.0pts

Top three women after 12 races (two discards)

  1. Daniela Moroz(USA), 133.0pts
  2. Elena Kalinina(RUS), 176.0pts
  3. Kirstyn O'Brien(USA), 232.0pts

Text Credits: Ian MacKinnon
Photo Credits: Alex Schwarz

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