The 2014 African Kite Racing Championship returned to the Red Sea at 7Bft Kite House in Soma Bay. Champions from around the world, top-ranked sailors, and emerging young talent travelled to Egypt to compete for the 20,000 Euro prize money and join in the thrilling challenge to hunt down the German Course Racing world champion Florian Gruber in his efforts to defend his title in 2014.
This event was very important in the 2014 calendar, as it is highly contested and also the first IKA event in 2014 where the new registered equipment was able to be used in competition. Riders arrived to the beach checking out the new kites, boards and fins. We are stoked at Ozone to see the new Edge and Chrono kites in the fleet!
The first 3 days offered exciting and technical racing in relatively high winds with choppy waters, most competitors choosing 7-9m kites. Riccardo Leccesse was in top form taking the majority of bullets, just in front of team mate and 2013 World Champ Florian Gruber. These guys were choosing 8m or 10m Edges and dominating with the performance range along with their new board setups.
Day 4 brought similar strong conditions in the morning. The Twin tip division races were run, followed by the Formula Kite racers. As the wind began to decrease this gave the riders the opportunity to bring out the new Chrono foil kite for the days 3rd and 4th races. The moment many had been waiting for, official racing with the worlds top riders on the new Chrono! The performance advantage on the course with the Chrono was undoubtedly crushing. Racers where sailing higher to wind and smashing down wind in the lightest of breeze.
Day 5 was the final day of competition, where the fleet is spilt with the top ten going to the Platinum fleet to race for the podium spots. Florian and Riccardo had both sailed very clean throughout the week and virtually had their podium positions locked in, but the remanding spots were still undecided, which proved for some intense medal races. After two races with riders on their biggest kites including the 18m Chrono, it was our new addition Ozone team rider Alejandro Climent Hernandez who battled strong to take his podium position in 3rd overall.
Huge congrats to our team riders, Riccardo, Florian and Alejandro for a smooth Ozone 1 2 3 mens podium! Also to note is young Florian Trittel who was also racing very fast and smart, hot on their heels and at times leaving the top 3 behind, securing a solid 5th place overall.
We look forward to the next events scheduled. Good luck to all!
Below are some words from the no.1 Riccardo!
Photo Credit: Icarus Sailing Media
“I had an amazing week of racing at SomaBay, I was not expecting less from this place as it was my second year in row down there, I managed to race calm and focused against the fleet and my Ozone partners, day by day I was going faster. The first 2 days of racing I built more and more my desire to win, I definitely was not letting the Championship get away from my hands.
I’m so stoked that we could race in all winds, I had high expectations on my new gear and none of the kites I registered let me down, covering a huge gap I went for 8m and 10m Edge along with 12m and 18m Chrono.
I had an out performing week of racing, the Edge and Chronos scaled up my confidence around the course, after spending a month already on the new gear I got the feeling Ozone made it again. We hopefully will crush all the races along the year.
Congrats to my Ozone partners and Ozone lovers, Hi5 to Alejandro that filled out the podium in 3rd with a strong and tough comeback during the last 2 days
Ps: I hope you liked the awards – http://instagram.com/p/p25ek7kHXC