Welcome back to Poetto beach in Cagliari, Italy, where we join day 4 and the decisive penultimate day of the Kiteboard Youth & Masters World Championships. We expected some epic races– and that’s what we got. The top ten riders in each of the Youth and Masters fleets at the end of the day would advance to Sunday’s 4-race medal stage to decide the World Champions. The kiteboarding racing format is similar to that used for Olympic sailing, supporting kiteboarding’s mission to be added to the event line-up for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The wind filled into the racing area early in the morning, allowing the race committee to stay on schedule. The breeze had eased a little compared to earlier in the week, giving an opening for the lighter riders to gain an advantage, finish higher up the fleet and edge their way up the overall leaderboard.
The day opened with the Masters Silver fleet, where Erwin Gruber, father of the kiting star Florian, again flourished in the conditions, to knock out a winning performance of 3 bullets from the 4 races.
In the Masters Gold fleet series leader, Wilson Veloso from Brazil, secured two race wins and one second place finish, as he dueled with Poland’s Tomek Janiak. Third place on the leaderboard remains wide open with many contenders in with a shot to claim the bronze medal in tomorrow’s Championship deciding day. Amongst the likely frontrunners for the bronze is Spain’s Pedro Garijo Velasco, who found his form yesterday, and was back on pace today, winning the first race of the day.
In the Youth fleet, Maxime Nocher, the young gun from France, delivered an astonishing performance – a monumental full house of aces – 4 back to back wins in the 4 races. Florian Trittel from Spain had been waiting for his moment to attack, and today he executed a perfect strategy, outfoxing Poland’s Maks Zakowski in two of the races - finishing in second place behind Maxime, and also securing a 4th place . The girls are racing in the open fleet, so head to head against the boys. Elena Kalinina from Russia took every advantage from the decrease of breeze and powered around the track, to twice finish in 3rd overall and clamber up the leaderboard to qualify through to tomorrow’s Medal Race. Maks’ scoreline gave him two second and two third places, so he has lost some ground on his title quest, but with 4 medal races tomorrow – the podium is still wide open
Sunday heralds the final day of racing here at the Kiteboard Youth & Masters World Championships in Cagliari, Italy. We are looking forward to another intense day of racing and crowning the 2014 World Champions. Stay tuned!
Watch the video highlights: