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
The three Bridge brothers, UK all make the podium at the European Freestyle Championships!
St. Pierre la Mer, France played host to the 10th Junior European Freestyle Championships, from the 18th-21st April. Young kitesurfers from all over Europe gathered for this annual freestyle showdown where every year, the level of riding gets higher. Day one kicked off at 8am for Team Bridge, who were here to compete for their age category ; Tom age 9-13yrs, Guy 14-15yrs and Olly 16-19yrs. The event started with the youngest age category in the form of a Dingle elimination. Conditions were variable and challenging. Huge gusts wiped riders off the water and lulls barely provided enough to stay upwind, so choosing the right kite size was tough. Tom stepped up his game during his heat to put some great scoring tricks together for the Judges. After four heats using the Vegas 5 or 7m, Tom made it to the Final against his old Team Mate from Spain, Javier Jimenez. For the 3rd year running, Tom won the Title and was ecstatic by his performance in the challenging conditions.
Next up was Olly in the first heat of the 16-19's Single Elimination. Throwing down some big powered moves he was off to a great start, but this was not enough to beat his first opponent from Holland. Olly’s freestyle day was over and all he had to think about was the big come back in the Doubles the following day.
Guy put in a performance that was the biggest surprise of the whole day! Staying on the ladder all the way through to the Final of the 14-15 yr category, his riding in the shocking conditions improved as he went through the heats. Guy came off the water grinning, stoked as he made the best heat of his life. Having made the Final, against Spanish Youth Champion, Noe Font and Zurick, Guy was amped on the outcome of a 3rd place in this division.
Day 2 was greeted with another early start and first up was Olly, who was on a mission to make it back in the Double Eliminations. A sunny start combined with a cold Tramontana, gave the same unpredictable conditions and gusts as the previous day. Olly had a couple of blinding heats to put him back in the game but then the going got really tough. Cycling through the rounds of the Doubles, he was only back on the beach for a couple of minutes rest before his next heat. It was certainly good physical training and although he was not riding to the level he does when he Freerides, his competition strategy and experience showed. After 4 hours of straight competition, Olly made it to the mens Final with Dutch rival, Van Der Meis and french opponent Guillerbert. A poor choice of kite and exhaustion meant it wasn’t his best performance of the day, putting him in 3rd place overall. A result and come back like this however, is highly motivating for Olly who is current mens European Race Champion and did this discipline 'just for fun' on a borrowed board.
While the Freestyle antics was going on, young Tom had been practicing his race skills around the Boarder Cross course. This involves jumping over long inflatable objects in the water and round buoys in a race knockout with 4 other opponents. Fast, fun and exciting, with lots of crashes, Tom managed to win his category in this discipline.
Back in the Uk Team Bridge are practicing for the next stop on the tour - the Youth PKRA World Championships in June.
Bridge boys having some fun in Australia
Bridges dominate Freestyle Jam competition
Not satisfied just with his second place in last week’s Kiteracing Oceanics Championships course racing, 16-year-old Olly Bridge from Devon in the UK has also taken out the Men’s Open Freestyle Jam competition, ahead of Simon Wichterman in second and Luca De Prato in third.
Held on Sunday (22 December) in winds of between 15 and 20kn at Leighton Beach Fremantle, the competition included ten categories and a prize pool of $5000. The results were dominated by the talented Bridge family.
Olly’s youngest brother Tom Bridge, at 12 years already a PKRA and European Freestyle Youth Champion, took out the Junior Mens Freestyle comp over his older brother Guy Bridge and Billy Hampton in third. But 14-year-old Guy Bridge was the strongest in the Junior Mens Big Air, winning the category.
The Women’s competition was taken out by local kiter Christine Gaudieri, a past Australian Freestyle Championships winner. In second place was local freestyler-racer kiter Fabienne Bosinger and in third Shannon Ducker.
Fremantle local Simon Wichterman took out the Mens Big Air and Carola Poblete won the Womens Big Air.
Full results are listed below.
The Freestyle Jam competition was run by WAKSA – Western Australian Kite Surfing Association Inc – and was run as part of the new Kiteracing Oceanic Championships event. Groups of kiters competed in revolving 10-minute heats and scores came from their top 10 tricks.
The Championships, including the Freestyle Jam, will return to Fremantle in early December 2014 and is officially sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
The State Government through Tourism Western Australia is a proud supporter of the Championships.
For more nformation visit http://kiteoceanics.com or the event Facebook and Twitter pages.
Mens Open Freestyle
1st Olly Bridge
2nd Simon Wichterman
3rd Luca De Prato
Womens Open Freestyle
1st Christine Gaudieri
2nd Fabienne Bosiger
3rd Shannon Ducker
Junior Mens Freestyle
1st Tom Bridge
2nd Guy Bridge
3rd Billy Hampton
Mens Big Air
Womens Big Air
Junior Mens Big Air
Best Old School Trick Mens
Best Old School Trick Womens
Best Old School Trick Junior Mens