#jadeoconnor – An Irish kitesurfer has taken Ireland's first podium finish of the 46th Trofeo Princesa Sofía 'Palma Olympic Class Event in Palma this evening. Dubliner Jade O'Connor finished third overall in the Formula Kiteboarding Class, six points behind Russian Anastasia Akopova on 23 points. Felllow Russian Elena Kalinna was a clear winner of the Spanish series on nine points in the five–strong fleet after three medal races sailed this afternoon.
O'Connor was named 'Woman Of The Year 2014' at Outsider Magazine's Awards. She had an outstanding year which saw her achieve eighth overall at the Worlds, fourth at the Europeans, and is the current British Ladies Champion. Jade competes in ISAF's Formula Kiteboarding Class which was showcased at ISAF Abu Dhabi Grand Finale last November, and is now included along side the 10 Olympic Classes at future ISAF World Cup events, including Palma.
The kites made their first appearance in Palma this year for the Trofeo Sofia event. Ten challenging races were sailed by a mixed teams of male and female riders coming from all over the world to mark history witht the debut of kite racing alongside the usual ten Olympic classes and the 2.4 pralympic event.
Elena Kalinina from Russia won all the races in the women division: "I am so excietd with my results here. I really didn't expect to win all the races. The racing conditions were not easy but in the end we did 10 races. The venue today in Can Pastilla was much better for launching and for racing. I hope we will be there next year. It was great to be part of the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR with all the other Olympic classes, it is a great start for our future and hope we will be included again in more regattas with the Olympic classes." About her goals for the rest of the year the 18 years old Russian rider adds: "This win is giving me confidence to go and compete in the year main regattas: the European and world championship. Then I hope to be selected for the Sailing World Cup final in Abu Dhabi." Same reaction from Florian Trittel who took nine races out of ten. "I am very proud to win this event in Palma. I hope we will return next year with more riders. This is a good step towards the inclusion of kite in the Olympic Games!"