Olly Bridge shines at the Kitesurf Tour Europe
North Kiteboarding team rider Olly Bridge travelled out to Italy for the second and last stop of the Kitesurf Tour Europe, held on Hang loose beach in Gizzeria. Riders such as current World Champion Florian Gruber and African Champion Riccardo Leccese, had also made it to Italy to compete. With Olly already familiar with the spot and kiting conditions, he was ready when the event started.
The event started with light thermal winds, perfect for the course racers. They managed to run five races with Olly securing four bullets and a 2nd place. With such a strong performance on the first day, he was in a very good position to do well in whole event.
Second day of competition had very similar conditions to the first. The wind was light in the morning so again, perfect for the course racers. Olly again started the day strong, winning the first two races by good distance. He led the third race of the day, but on the final reach to the finish line hit a plastic bag and was overtaken by Florian Gruber. This unfortunate glitch, put Olly back into second place in this race. After the three races the wind picked up enough to run the freestyle single elimination, and by the end of the day Olly was sitting comfortably in first position in the overall ranking.
The third day of competition brought a completely different set of conditions. The wind was light and off shore so again, the course racers were first to start. The wind was light so all the riders opted to take their bigger kites but, during the race the conditions changed. The wind increased up to 30 knots with big gusts seeing Olly switch down to his 7m Dyno for the next race where he managed to win event. Because of the good wind the racing was put on hold and the Freestyle Double Elimination got underway. After the Freestyle had finished the organisers decided to run one final course race. The conditions were unchanged so taking his 7m Dyno, Olly won the last race of the day.
The fourth and final day of competition saw cross onshore 8-12 knots, and as the Freestyle competition had finished the whole day was dedicated to the course racers. Managing to run four races, Olly won three with one second place.
Winning this event puts Olly in a very good position for the World Championships in three weeks’ time.
The North Race Team hit the African Formula Kite Racing Championships
The African Formula Kite Racing Championships in Soma Bay, Egypt drew to a close last weekend after a fantastic week of variable conditions over the course of the competition. The last day was greeted by super light winds of 7 knots, evening out the performance spectrum after the stronger winds earlier on. These light conditions proved to be ideal training grounds for the North Race Team who are prepping for the World Championships in Turkey next month. The African Formula Champs, was the first event of the season where new and registered 2015 equipment could be used. UK rider and reigning European Mens Champion Olly Bridge, commented on how he was 'really dialled in to the North Race LTD 69 and that the 2015 race kites are faster than ever.' A great performance by German National North rider, Jannis Maus (18yrs) saw him racing in the Platinum Medal race and finishing 9th overall. Blasco Ozog from Poland, sailed consistently across the variable wind conditions winning the Final Medal race in the Platinum Fleet. Olly Bridge, tied in 3rd place, giving him an 4th since he lost out in the Final race. The regatta became harder for him as the lighter winds took hold, costing him many places over the final few days. Steph Bridge meanwhile, had a full five day battle with Russian youngster Eleanor Kalinina, who has certainly found her pace coming into the season. The North Race Team are now busy preparing for the KTE Germany and Italy followed but the World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey in August.
Results Mens: Olly Bridge (GB) 4th , Blajez Ozog (POL) 6th, Jannis Maus (GER) 9th.
Results Women’s: Steph Bridge (GB) 2nd
The Bridge Episode
Team North Kiteboarding proves unstoppable at The French International Kite Foil Championships
The French International Kite Foil Championships was held in La Ciotat, Côte d'Azur in southern France. Attracting the ever growing number of Kite Foil Race competitors, riders from across Europe gathered to compete for the Title.
Maxime Nocher, who has been dominating the Gold Cup Kite Foil Championship was the favourite going into the event. Performing outstandingly, he won all but four of the races, riding with huge consistency and control. Not far behind him was his Foil team mate Nicolas Parlier and UK's Olly Bridge who was there to compete in his first Foil event.
The new 2015 Dyno was the weapon of choice for North Kiteboarding riders, who used everything from 5m to 15m over the four day event, proving themselves and the Dynos high performance in the variable winds.
Olly started as he meant to go on, winning the final two races and staying true to his competition ethos; '”You are only as good as your last race!” Normally a Formula Class rider, Olly is the current mens European Champion so this event was a good opportunity to see which were the quickest foils and to size up the competition.
Guy Bridge was competing in his first Race event and secured a 16th overall and made the podium with a 3rd in the Youth division. Herve Rousseau won the Masters and placed 6th overall, proving that he has no intention of slowing down, scoring top five results amongst a strong fleet.
The woman's fleet was strong, with many racers having years of experience on Foils. Attending her first Foil Race event was Steph Bridge, taking 2nd place with Ariane Imbert placed 3rd overall.
The Kite Race Foil Tour is off to Lake Silvaplana in August, where racers from all over the world will congregate for the second stop on the Gold Cup Tour
1st Maxime Nocher
3rd Nicolas Parlier
4th Olly Bridge
6th Herve Rousseau
16th Guy Bridge
2nd Steph Bridge
3rd Ariane Imbert
Olly Bridge blasts across the finish line 1st in the Eurosaf Delta Lloyd Regatta!
The Delta Lloyd is one of the most prestigious and largest regattas for Olympic Classes in the sailing industry. For the first time in the history of the event, Kite Racing gained recognition and was welcomed into the Eurosaf Delta Lloyd Regatta for 2014. The integration saw a new format for Kite Racing emerge, including a direct qualifier to the ISAF Sailing World Cup Grand Final.
Medenbilk International Sailing Centre, Holland played host to the event from the 20-24th May. North Team rider Olly Bridge was there to test the new format and help develop Kite Racing to become a fixture for the 2020 Olympics. The three days of competition brought the crème de la crème of Race riders from across the globe, including the current World Champion Florian Gruber and Italian Champion Riccardo Lechesse with many Nations being represented.
Along with the new format, came a new Short Track Course, an exciting layout with a reaching start, downwind and upwind gates and plenty of manoeuvres, such as tacking, gybing and laylines. So much variety offered the riders endless opportunities to switch positions throughout the race although a cracking start was crucial. Riders were separated into heats of six with the course taking approximately eight minutes and as the event finished, all of the riders had competed in 11 heats.
Olly Bridge put in an outstanding performance, collecting nine bullets and two 2nd places. Main rival, Florian Gruber was hot on his heels throughout the competition, but lost out in the final race leaving Olly to finish 1st in the Delta Lloyde Regatta 2014.
Stay tuned for the next regatta, the Kite Race IKA African Continental Championships where the Race Team with be representing with the new 2015 North Dyno and North 69Ltd 2015.