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.
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