Tom Bridge ventures to Egypt for his first PKRA event!
North Kiteboarding Team Rider Tom Bridge, is the youngest of the Bridge Brothers, an outstanding trio of kiteboarders hailing from the UK. Taking advantage of his school holidays, he headed to Soma Bay, Egypt for his first PKRA event.
Light winds met his arrival, so Tom took advantage of the warm waters on a 10m Vegas. Later that day, the opening ceremony saw him flying the flag for Team UK with Jo Wilson and Aaron Hadlow, a role model and inspiration for any young kiteboarder.
“It was really good to be in warm water, in a shorty wetsuit and session with a bunch of great riders from all around the world. I also got to fly the English flag with Jo Wilson and Aaron Hadlow which was pretty special”
A 0630 start had competition getting underway. Tom, unfortunately was feeling particularly ill prior to his heat, which left him struggling to put in his best performance and ultimately out of the competition.
“I didn't get a second chance, so for the rest of the holiday I learnt new tricks like the Low Mobe 5 and Crow Mobe. I'm stoked to be returning home with these two tricks in the bag as I take off with my left foot, which is not my regular side. I was super happy to be part of the event, see the level of riding and strategy used during competition...and take my riding to the next level. Thanks Dad for taking me and to my sponsors for the support.”
fotocredit: Toby Bromwich
North Race Team scores in Egypt!
The African Continental Championships in Egypt was the perfect way for the North kite Race Team to start the season. Most riders registered sizes 9, 11, 13, 17 mtr Dyno 2013ltd kites and all were riding the new race ltd 69.
Following the 1st 2 days of qualifiers, mens gold fleet racing was an intense battle amongst the top 30 qualified Kiters. The North Race team were consistent & managed to get 3 team members earning their place in the final days medal Race. These included: Maxime Nocher (FRA) , Florian Gruber (GER) and Blazeg Ozog (POL)
Meanwhile a heated competition was going on in the womans division with UK rider- Steph Bridge consistent & showing experience counts for a lot in the varying wind conditions. North race team manager - Dirk Hanel took some bad luck in the protest room , narrowly missed gold fleet but dominated silver fleet with a string of bullets.
Other North race riders included 2008 Race World Champion , Charles Deleau (FRA) who was stoked to make a come back into Gold fleet along with Danish rider James Johnson. Youth World race Champion, Oliver Bridge (GB) is learning the hard way, mixing some confident starts and gaining vital bigger fleet expereince with some top 10 results. Olly is age 15 and took 2nd Youth & overall 20th in the mens Gold fleet racing.
The final medal Race day was a huge one for the North Race Team and the pre- track training, tactics, strategy & shared knowledge really paid off. It was Maxime who cranked up the big gears, moving from 8th place to a podium 3rd final position in a series of 5 minute short track races. Team mate-Blazeg was black flagged on race 1 ending his medal day glory while the German, Florian took a penalty in the race 2 ending his overall ranking in 2nd.
The womans finals also left spectators on an edge , however with good power on all points of sail, Steph did what she set out to do – win the 1st medal race which would Secure her the tittle. French rider – Ariane Imbert proved that time on the water really counts & now, after only starting racing last year is top 10 in the womans fleet.
Podium places for 3 of the North race Team riders , followed by a big party & a huge energy amongst the team to be riding the best boards & kites for the 2013 race season.