Hello and welcome to San Diego, California!
It's Friday and that means Free Practice kicks off over San Diego Bay ahead of the weekend's race schedule
We make a very welcome return to the Golden State in 2017 after an eight-year break and it's fair to say everyone is happy to be back!
We'll update you with the results this afternoon and give our first insights into the track here...
We've got two new fresh-faced Challenger pilots making their debut in San Diego this weekend – Kenny Chiang of China and Hungarian pilot Daniel Genevey...
You can get a sense of what they are up against in this preview story...
Tomorrow we'll introduce our new pilots fully and check out the form ahead of Qualifying, but for now – today's results are coming your way :)
We had 2 Free Practice sessions for the Challengers, with them all taking off to race in California for the first time
Florian Berger of Germany, and the defending 2016 Challenger Cup champion, was by far the strongest contender across both sessions
The track here in San Diego has 15 gates and is flown in 2 laps...
And while the weather conditions are relatively mild here, there can be changes in wind direction – which played a part in today's outcomes
OFFICIAL CHALLENGER FP1 RESULTS:
OFFICIAL CHALLENGER FP2 RESULTS:
The Free Practice sessions also highlighted the key parts of the track which will prove to be the make or break sections – namely Gates 3 and 7– at either end of the track
Penalties were picked up as the pilots tried to define the best lines to tackle the Vertical Turning Manoeuvres and they'll be looking to clean these up after plenty of track analysis this evening
Moving on to the Master Class Free Practice sessions, the Airgators were put to work with several pylon hits to contend with
Our big news here in the USA is the arrival of Matt Hall's new Edge 540 V3, which he is racing for the first time this weekend
The Australian pilot is feeling confident and at home in his new steed
And Hall isn't the only pilot to be showing off something new... Japan's Yoshi Muroya has given his Edge 540 a new lick of paint...
OFFICIAL MASTER CLASS FP 1 RESULTS:
LE VOT 1:04.958
We're almost finished with Master Class FP 2 and we'll update you with the results when they're in...
OFFICIAL MASTER CLASS FP 2 RESULTS:
LE VOT 1:02.720
We'll be back tomorrow for Qualifying, so it's over and out for today :) Thanks for joining us and see you for epic racing in the morning!
Hi everyone and welcome to sunny San Diego where it's buzzing with excitement here at the Embarcadero!
Today's Qualifying will get underway in 60 minutes with the Challenger Class pilots, followed by Master Class Qualifying at 1600 local time in 2 hours :)
The Challenger Qualifying will be covered here on our live blog and then we'll have the live stream online for full coverage of the Master Class session so stay with us from now until we wrap up after the press conference later this evening...
We've had the final Free Practice session for the Challengers earlier and it was Germany's Florian Berger who topped the timesheets to make it 3/3 so far here in San Diego