Connor Bainbridge is too strong for French rivals in the Sardinia Grand Slam opener. That’s what the opening day of IKA KiteFoil World Series’ round 3 in Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy) clearly said in the dramatic and highly winded scenery of Golfo degli Angeli. However, the exciting battle will still be long and all the top riders can’t wait for playing their cards again in Day-2.
Winner of two out of the five scheduled races, Bainbridge – turning 28 today, Thursday, October 7th – left behind him the strong French rivals, wrapping a dream-like debut at the Poetto beach in Sardinia’s capital city. Three Frenchmen placed from second to the fourth position: the defending champion Axel Mazella, Theo De Ramecourtand Benoit Gomez, winner of the fifth, fourth and second race respectively.
The racing day at the Poetto was marked by strong wind conditions that made the races really demanding for all the competitors. Bainbridge was particularly able to tame the tough conditions, clinching the victories and placing second, third and fifth in the other three regattas.
“I’m super happy with how I did, with only one mistake in the race fourth. I’ve never particularly been strong in high winds, but actually, I’m pushing hard and all the training I did is paying off. I think in the rest of the week there will be completely different conditions, I’ll do my best and we’ll see where we end up” Bainbridge commented.
Runner-up Mazella didn’t lose his high motivation: “It was hard to find a good wind, because it was shifty and super gusty. It will be a great battle until Sunday and I think me and the other guys are all at the same point to win“.
“It was really tough, the wind was really bumpy and gusty. It was really funny, ’cause everybody is in a good mood, we had a lot of fun with the top guys.” third-placed Theo De Ramecourt said.
Russian Denis Taradin was fifth in the opening day, ahead of German Florian Gruber and the best-ranked Italian Marco Calbucci, protagonist of a consistent race. German Maus, Mauritius’ De Falbaire and Croatian Dolenc rounded out the Top 10.
France is the queen also in the Women’s ranking, thanks to one of the most awaited athletes, Poema Newland. winner of Day-1 ahead of her countrywomen Jessie Kampman e Lauriane Nolot.
“I took the first two starts thirty seconds or maybe one minute after everyone. After that, I just tried to finish without crashes because the race was really strong and challenging. Anyway, I love this place and I’m enjoying every race”, Poema Newland stated.
Tomorrow, Friday, October 8th, the second racing day at the Poetto will start at12:00 am. The event will be broadcasted in live streaming on IKA and Sardinia Grand Slam’s Facebook platforms.