Olly Bridge and Maxime Nocher take the cake at the ISAF sailing World Cup in Abu Dhabi!
The ISAF sailing World Cup is one of the most prestigious race events on the calendar, and was hosted last week in the decadent location of Abu Dhabi. 20 of the world's top Kite racer's gathered to compete in a 4 day high speed showdown, along with other Olympic sailing classes.
For Kiteboarding to be integrated and included in such a reputable event and embraced by the Olympic sailing world is always encouraging for the sport as a whole.
Thanks to textbook race conditions, Stage 1 – which was completed on the first day – took the form of 4 fleet races in order to determine a seeding for Stage 2. Stage 2 has undertaken a new format known as Short Track, a series of 40 elimination heats to ascertain the top 10 riders to compete in the Finals.
On Medal Race Day, North Team Riders Maxime Nocher and Olly Bridge found themselves going head to head for 1st and 2nd place, with the added pressure of the $10,000 cash prize for the winner.
Both athletes put in star performances, and showed immense skill in keeping calm as the nerves and tensions built. With the finish line in sight, Olly steamed ahead to take gold and Maxime silver.
A huge congratulations goes to both Team Riders, who have show a lot of dedication to their sport this season!
*check the half finals and finals (5h 15min)
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
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.