2013 Engadin Wind Best of 3 - Lake Silvaplana
The annual pilgrimage to defend the Engadin Best of 3 Challenge in Lake Silvaplana, 1800 meters high in the Swiss mountains. For the second year running, the kite team took the overall title following high scores in course race, speed and slalom. Competing against the best Swiss foiling moth sailors like Phillip Käsemann and windsurfers including Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Karin Jaggi, Patrik Diethelm and German Champion Sebastian Kördel - the battle was on to determine the best.
The kite team included North Kiteboarding riders Dirk Hanel, Olly & Steph Bridge and Swiss rider Dani Rey, who were all using NKB 2013 Race Ltd boards & NKB 2013 Dyno kites. The North team was joined by Simone Vannucci from Italy. The kite team dominated the course racing from start to finish while the slalom discipline was more suited to Bjorn Dunkerbeck who now has incredible 41 world titles.
The speed discipline was recorded with a speed gun from the judge tower & all athletes had an hour to set some records and get the legs burning. It was Dirk who was holding the fastest speed of over 62km/h (!) for almost one hour and then just in the final minute, Bjorn and Dani spotted a gust and went for final runs bringing their top speeds: Bjorn managed to get to 65,5 km/h , Dani finished with an excellent run over 64,8 km/h putting Dirk into third with 63,5 km/h.
However, although individual performances are important, the overall team is what counts, so for the 2nd year running, the 'Best of 3' trophy went to the kitesurf team & captain - Dirk Hanel.
The traditional Engadin marathon followed on Saturday and over 130 sailors, kiters and windsurfers registered for this spectacular race, which covers approximately 30 km, which is over 4 times the length of the lake.
For his 2nd year running, it was Olly Bridge from Great Britain who won the marathon with Simoni in 2nd and Philip Käsermann sailing his moth just 1 minute behind. Steph Bridge (NKB) won the woman's event while the younger freestyle members of team Bridge - PKRA Youth World Champion Tom & Vice Champion Guy Bridge put a spectacular freestyle show together and showed the crowds some old & new school style off the tower.
Another great event for the North Kiteboarding race team and kiteboarding in general at the 2013 Engadinwind in St. Moritz. See you next year!
Fastest waterman on the planet!!! Best of three Event in Lake Silvaplana
BEST of 3 - the battle of the fastest waterman on the planet went into a second edition this year! Team Kitesurf won with Kitesurfer Dirk Hanel winning the individual title.
The BEST of 3 Event was held for the second time at Lake Silvaplana last Sunday and Monday. Olympic Gold medalists, world champions and legends in different sports gathered to battle for the title of the fastest waterman in three different sports: Windsurfing, Kitesurfing and Sailing. The 3 disciplines in which the riders competed were speed, slalom and course race.
In the windsurfing team, the 41 world title holder Björn Dunkerbeck, Karin Jaggi 15 times PWA world champion and Windsurf speed world record holder together with Patrik Diethelm the fastest shaper in the Windsurf world were nominated as winners.
In the Kite team Steph Bridge, 4 time course race world champion, together with Dirk Hanel, course race production master class world champion and German outright speed record holder and former nautical mile world record holder won the race.
The Kite team adorned itself with Ueli Kestenholz snowboard world champion and X-games winner, who is a passionate kiter and full on crazy extreme sports man! Moreover young gun Olli Bridge, son of Steph Bridge was part of the kite team!
The sailing team included the strong Moth specialists Mathis Renker, 4 times Alinghi Swiss Tour Match Race winner and 7 time Swiss champion as well as Phillip Käsermann. Together with the two German champions in Moth sailing Markus Steeg and Nina Zühlke.
Furthermore, each team was joined by local Heros and Riders in the different sports categories. On Sunday, the 35th Wind Marathon ended with a sensation; for the first time the kitesurfers Dirk Hanel and Olli Bridge were faster than their windsurfing collegues.
By the time all sailors already had the 42 km marathon in the bones two slalom races where held. In the first race, the windsurfers Björn Dunkerbeck, Nicklolas Warenbourg and Patrik Diethelm where dominating. Due to a small incident on the starting line of the first slalom, Dirk Hanel was slowed down massively and could only catch up to position 4.
Whereas in the second slalom, after a clean start, Dirk was right in there on the same jibe mark with Björn and Nicklas. Then on mark three Dirk overtook the Windsurfers in the jibe, having the same or perhaps a bit faster downwind speed he held on to the victory in the second slalom. This final result was a great success for Dirk Hanel, being able to beat Björn who is leading the Slalom Tour of the PWA this year. Steph Bridge was also extremely happy to beat
Karin Jaggi in the direct comparison, who is currently leading the PWA tour in slalom.
In the afternoon a heavy rainstorm set in and with a good forecast for the second day the riders called it a day. Day two of the Best of 3 started out with 4 Course Races where again Olli Bridge and Dirk Hanel dominated the races taking all wins and three of the 2nd places in all races. The starts where always really exciting and sometimes close calls! Then the complete fleet was literally flying towards the other side of the lake. While the Moths had an incredible upwind angle the combination of angle and speed gave the advantage to the kiters. Consequently after 4 races Olli scored first and Dirk second followed by Mathias Renker in the Moth in 3rd place.
Last but not least, the races in the discipline speed were held. For this discipline the judging tower was equipped with a speed gun and communication display, so that all riders could see the maximum speed reached. The wind was getting a bit gusty which made it difficult for the athletes to line up for the start. Björn Dunkerbeck achieved the best speed result with 60,3 km/h followed by Patrik Diethelm, the fastest shaper in the world with 59,3 km/h. Kitesurfer Dirk Hanel, winner of the speed last year with 57 km/h. scored the third place, saying: “unfortunately the kites which performed so well in racing and also slalom where just not perfect for the speed due to an to flat profile”.
Team Kitesurf took a great victory in the team category not least because of the great performance of Steph Bridge beating Karin Jaggi in each discipline and Kitersurfer Dirk Hanel taking the win in the Individual Ranking.
After the two days of racing, everybody seemed happy and athletes as well as organizers agreed that this event has to be repeated next year with some more refined rules, maybe also at other places and in different conditions, but for sure with the same fun and enthusiastic teams like this year!
Team BEST of 3
- Kitesurf Team
- Windsurf Team
- Sailing Team
Individual BEST of 3
- Dirk Hanel 8 points
- Patrik Diethelm 10 points
- Björn Dunkerbeck 11 points
- Olly Bridge 12 points
- Steph Bridge 26 points
11. Karin Jaggi 30 points
Fotocredit: Engadinwind / Marc von Swoll