North Rider Olly Bridge dominates Asian Race Continental Championships in Qatar
For the first time ever, Kite Racing went to the Gulf where the hosting nation of Qatar put on a great show for the 5 day event! Athletes from over 26 countries competed for the Asian Continental Championship title, where challenging light-wind conditions proved tough. Going into the Medal Race day in 1st place, Olly needed four clean races to come out on top. Riding the North Race Ltd 69, Olly was full steam ahead securing his bullet, and taking 1st in the under 18's & Under 21's.
Steph had a good regatta, although she struggled to hold rival Eleanor Kalinina from Russia off. Both riders were on equal points as they went into the final race, but light winds proved tough, leaving Steph in 2nd place at the end of the event.
The North Team Riders will return to the Gulf in ten days time for the ISAF World Cup Finals, where the top 20 competitors from across the globe will race the new Short Track format.
The North American Championships was one of the last continental Championships of the year. North Kiteboarding Team rider Olly Bridge headed out to the San Diego, California, keen to take home another title.
For those of you who haven’t kept up-to-date with his progress, Olly is on fire this year winning multiple events including the European championships.
San Diego is a famous light wind venue, playing host to the one series event over four days. This meant that riders would race in one fleet, competing in up to four races each day. The wind filled in at around noon each day, ranging between 4-11 knots. Along with the light winds, the riders also had to cope with a lot of seaweed! This can be complicated as it gets stuck to the fins creating a lot of drag which slows everything down. The combination of the light wind and seaweed meant the Race Crew was not able to do as many races as they would of liked, but against all odds, 11 races over the four days were completed.
Olly managed to win the event scoring impressive first and second place finishes. Now preparing for his last two events of the year - Qatar for the Middle Eastern Championship and the ISAF sailing world grand final in Dubai - Olly will be full steam ahead as he goes into these well respected events.
Good luck Olly!
Olly Bridge crowned king at the Formula Kite European Championships
Mielno, is a large coastal village in north western Poland. A well known tourist destination with sandy beaches, it lies on a spit between the Baltic Sea and the large Jamno lake. Playing host to the Formula Kite European Championships, the world's greatest riders gathered for a 5 day showdown. Once again, the NKB team took to the start line on the new, 2015 North Race Ltd 69 which has proved its high performance abilities since it's release. Good conditions greeted the start of the event as the qualifiers got underway. NKB rider Olly Bridge led the fleet, and Blasco Ozog showed great form.
Day three saw lighter winds for the start of the Gold Fleet. Olly was dominating the ranks with Blasco in second. Unfortunately the diminishing conditions meant that only three races were run. Winning two out of the three races, Olly was 13 points clear of second place going into the final day of competition. Sadly on the fourth and final day of competition the wind failed to put in an appearance, and the medal series was abandoned. Blasco Ozog finished 9th and Olly, was crowned European Champion for a second year running in both the men's under 18 and men's under 21
The video of the event
North Kiteboarding wins men and womans kite race world championship!
The Formula Kite Race World Championships took place on the Black Sea in Istanbul. Attracting the fastest men and women riders on the planet from over 20 countries, it was an impressive 5 day show of outstanding performance. Amongst our riders the new 2015 North Race Ltd 69 was the optimum weapon of choice, proving itself through its results, finishing consistently within the top 3 ranking.
The first two days of qualifiers saw the arrival of stronger winds, and riders rigging 11 – 15m Kites for a series of races which determined a Gold and Silver Fleet split for the days to follow. The Men's Race discipline was dominated by NKB Team Riders Olly Bridge and Maxim Moocher, with Blasco Ozog showing great form following Appendix surgery a few weeks prior to the event. In the Women’s discipline, Steph Bridge showed a return to full power and performance, demonstrating from the get go that she was in it to win it!
As Racing got underway there were signs of history in the making, with a double victory for both mother (Steph) and son (Olly) looking promising. However, a bad decision on Kite choice cost Olly his World Title on Day 4. The Regatta was now in the hands of Maxime Nocher who progressed into Medal Race day with 14 points, a clear lead ahead of the other top three riders. All of the four Medal Races were won by Olly Bridge bringing him closer to the top three, but it wasn't enough to make up for the damage done the previous day.
It's clear to see that the fastest Team in the world right now is North Kiteboarding and they're unstoppable. Be sure to follow them next week when they head to the Kite Race European Championships in Poland.
Maxime Nocher 1st
Olly Bridge 3rd
Blasco Ozog 4th
Steph Bridge 1st
Theo 9th silver fleet
Axel 6th silver fleet
Kitefoil Gold Cup - Silvaplana
The second Kite Foil Gold Cup stop was held on one of the highest mountain lakes in Europe- lake Silvaplana at 1800 mtrs above sea level. Kiters came from all over the world to compete in this growing discipline which has attracted the worlds best kite racers.
The first couple of days saw the normal gradient south wind coming up the valley from the Maloja Pass which bought excitement to the qualifying series with plenty of position changes. North riders from France, Maxime Nocher and Nicolas Parlier proved why they are leading the french foiling stops and gave Mr Johnny Heineken from USA some close racing. Current Formula European champion, Oliver Bridge from the UK made some decent tactical decisions giving him 3 bulletts on the final races and putting him in 2nd place going into the Gold Fleet races. Younger Brother, Guy Bridge - age 14 took top 5 places in all the 9 qualifying races giving him an 8th position going into the Gold Fleet. Meanwhile, Mum - Steph made it the only Woman to get in the Gold fleet.
The final couple of days the wind did not play the right game & did not allow any medal races to be completed. This meant that the overall scores for the 9 races stay as:
Oliver Bridge 2nd
Nicolas Parlier 3rd
Maxime Nocher 4th
Guy Bridge 8th & 1st Youth
Steph Bridge 17th & 1st Woman
The racers now switch discipline and head to Istanbul for the Formula Kite World Championships which start on 18/8.