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.
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
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
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.
KITE RACE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013 - CHINA
NORTH KITEBOARDING TAKE 3RD, 4TH, 5TH MENS KITERACE WORLDS AND 2ND IN WOMANS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Over 160 riders from more than 40 countries gathered to battle for the men’s and women’s titles in five days of competition at the International Kiteboard Association course racing world championships being staged in China for the first time. The North International Team travelled from all parts of the world for this, the final showdown of the year & battle for the title, joined also by team manager - Dirk Hanel.
From day 1 the conditions were perfect as winds of more than 20 knots blew steadily over Boao's King Bay, Hainan. The fleets were split and a total of 4 races per day were sailed in each fleet. This qualifying series took 2 days and determines a Gold/Silver/bronze fleet. The womans fleet was one opening series until the final day when they also have the medal race format. Consistency and keeping out of trouble was the key to success with only 1 discard in the whole regatta. Conditions were similar for these 2 days with all North Kiteboarding riders choosing their 9mtr or 11mtr 2013 Dyno kites and a rolling swell at the windward mark which was placed on the reef to liven things up a bit! These 2 days was about keeping things clean and for young Olly Bridge - mens European Champion at age 16, this allowed many older riders to have their say in the protest room. Maxime Nocher (FRA) took a big fin cut on his heel which meant a trip to hospital for stitches, however this only later enhanced his performance!!
Day 3 & 4 of gold fleet racing was a mix of stronger & lighter winds which saw some upsets up and down the rankings. A close battle between Johnny Heineken and Florian Gruber (GER) saw Johnny defeated when the wind dropped giving Florian a lead going into the medal races. The biggest stir was from 16 year old Olly Bridge (GBR) who came into the gold fleet racing in 11th position but scored some top 5 results on day 3 & 4 to climb up to 3rd going into the medal race day. Also stepping up his game, Maxime scored bullets in the final 2 gold fleet races, taking his ranking up to 4th. Olly, Maxime & Blazej were just a couple of points behind the Reigning World Champion, Johnny Heineken and although would take a miracle to get to 1st, all knew that with the lighter winds predicted for the medal races, they would have a good advantage over Johnny.
A great spirit amongst the team with 3 out of the top 5 riders all competing for North Kiteboarding and riding the NKB 69 Race Ltd and the North Dyno 2013 kites. Riding for Denmark, James Johnson showed some real moments of glory having qualified for Gold fleet and ended 30th overall.
The womans fleet saw tighter racing with many switched positions between the young Russian- Eleanor Kalinina, Steph Bridge (GBR) and Erika Heineken (USA). The lighter winds suiting Steph & Eleanor, however this was not enough to defeat the lead that Erika had built over the first 2 days of the championship. North Kiteboarding womans rider from France, Ariane Imbert took a big step up in performance scoring all top 10 results and placing her in 9th position going into the final day.
The final day of the event in Boao, Hainan being organised and locally managed by Kite tour Asia (KTA) and the resort development of King Bay, saw winds up to 8 knots and many switches in direction. This proved difficult to set a course and allow fair racing to take place for the final medal race series. With a cut off time of 4pm, many riders thought the chance to go on the water was very slim, however by 2.30pm enough wind had filled in to start the 1st Mens Medal Race. Taking their 17mtr North Kiteboarding Dyno kites, long lines, biggest fins it was a battle to keep the kites in the air, however it was Maxime Nocher (FRA) who showed the field that this was his day & won the only medal race this day. This was enough to secure his lead over Olly Bridge (GBR) who got knocked down to 4th place in the overall rankings. The medal race for the womans fleet went into sequence however soon got abandoned when the wind dropped below 5 knots.
The closing ceremony was held in King Bay with fireworks, live music and in true chinease fashion, the ceremony was top quality with every detail impeccable. A superb week for North Kiteboarding with such a strong positive presence in the top 5 and all 3 of the mens top 5 team under 21years old.
Many of the NKB riders now travel to Sail Melbourne followed by the Oceanics in Perth. Both are big events with great organisation, prize money and points for the isaf world ranking. Well done and good luck to all the North Kiteboarding team members!!
Mens OPEN Results:
1st Florian Gruber (GER)
2nd Johnny Heineken (USA)
3rd Maxime Nocher (FRA)
4th Olly Bridge (GBR)
5th Blazej Ozog (POL)
Womans OPEN Results:
1st Erika Heineken (USA)
2nd Steph Bridge (GBR)
3rd Eleanor Kalinina (RUS)
4th Katja Roose (NETH)
9th Ariane Imbert (FRA)
Under 18 world Champion: 1st Olly Bridge (GBR) 2nd Mario Calbucci (ITA) 3rd Martin Dolenc (CRO)
Under 21's World Champion: 1st Florian Grubber(GER), 2nd Maxime Nocher(FRA) , 3rd Olly Bridge (GBR)