St. Francis Yacht Club
San Francisco, CA USA
by Eric W. Due (modified by TKB for dateline)
Kite racing explodes onto the scene at Crissy Field in San Francisco, CA, USA yesterday as the official start of the North American Kite Racing Championships got underway. Seventy four registered racers started off day one in two fleets, yellow and blue with ten racers being women. The overcast day didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits as all the racers jockeyed for setting expectations for the rest of the week. The top three in the yellow fleet came down to Johnny Heineken, Adam Koch, and Brian Kender. The top three in the blue fleet came down to Riccardo Leccese, Bryan Lake, and Tomek Janiak. First and Second in each fleet were consistent with Johnny and Riccardo getting bullets in all heats and second place being tied between Koch and Lake. The top three women on day one are Erika Heineken, Catherine Dufour and Nuria Goma. As always check the official results for accuracy and protest updates.
The racers contended with regular boat traffic on the open race course. Tankers, pleasure boats, pilot boats and tourist ferries all played roles in quick decisions for the racers on the course. Yellow heat two started out with a huge tangle. Thankfully the race officials were swift in helping the downed kiters with no injuries. At one point the U.S.S Potomac steamed through the course and literally split the upwind port tack in half right after the start. The professionalism of all kiters led to clean racing despite all the moving obstacles.
Going forward it is going to be some very tight racing with only 12 points separating the top ten racers after day one. Anything can happen. The new course layout gets huge approval from racers and spectators alike. It’s a two lap course with a reaching finish right to the beach. Great for racing, and beach spectators get prime viewing of the entire course and especially the finish.
If you’re in the area, you are definitely going to want to go down and view the action. If you can’t make it, the St. Francis Yacht Club has lined up some great media coverage. See the links below for all the up to the minute updates.
Racing continues: June 5th, 2013 approximately 1pm
Livestream! By Jamy Donaldson (thanks Jamy! Stay tuned for Jamie’s new DVD Gust II!)