Steph and Olly Bridge bring home wins from the Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton race
Steph and Olly Bridge headed to western Australia for the Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton Race. Starting at Phillip Point Rottnest Island, off the coast of Perth, the inaugural Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton was presented by the WA Kitesurfing Association (WAKSA.)
Competitors set sail last Saturday, speeding across the Indian Ocean on the Gage Roads channel, crossing the finish line at Leighton Beach, North Fremantle. One of the biggest open ocean crossing events in the Kitesurf calendar, 130 riders took part in the long distance endurance race.
Conditions were ideal for the North Team and their North Race 69 boards, slalom fins and Dyno 10m 2015 Kites. The course format was a Beam, and saw competitors heading off on a broad reach across the shipping channel. Enduring ships, flying fish, seaweed and chop meant that riders had their work cut out for them.
Olly had last years winner, Marvin Baumeister hot on his heel the whole way across, however the master who has dominated Formula Racing all season showed why he's the guy to beat. Averaging speeds of 60km/hr, Olly completed the crossing in 22 mins 7 secs. Meanwhile Mum, Steph Bridge was not far behind taking the win in the Women's division, breaking the current record and achieving 13th overall in the Open division.
Both riders now hold the Red Bull L2L record for both divisions! Congratulations!
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.
North Kiteboarding wins men and womans kite race world championship!
The Formula Kite Race World Championships took place on the Black Sea in Istanbul. Attracting the fastest men and women riders on the planet from over 20 countries, it was an impressive 5 day show of outstanding performance. Amongst our riders the new 2015 North Race Ltd 69 was the optimum weapon of choice, proving itself through its results, finishing consistently within the top 3 ranking.
The first two days of qualifiers saw the arrival of stronger winds, and riders rigging 11 – 15m Kites for a series of races which determined a Gold and Silver Fleet split for the days to follow. The Men's Race discipline was dominated by NKB Team Riders Olly Bridge and Maxim Moocher, with Blasco Ozog showing great form following Appendix surgery a few weeks prior to the event. In the Women’s discipline, Steph Bridge showed a return to full power and performance, demonstrating from the get go that she was in it to win it!
As Racing got underway there were signs of history in the making, with a double victory for both mother (Steph) and son (Olly) looking promising. However, a bad decision on Kite choice cost Olly his World Title on Day 4. The Regatta was now in the hands of Maxime Nocher who progressed into Medal Race day with 14 points, a clear lead ahead of the other top three riders. All of the four Medal Races were won by Olly Bridge bringing him closer to the top three, but it wasn't enough to make up for the damage done the previous day.
It's clear to see that the fastest Team in the world right now is North Kiteboarding and they're unstoppable. Be sure to follow them next week when they head to the Kite Race European Championships in Poland.
Maxime Nocher 1st
Olly Bridge 3rd
Blasco Ozog 4th
Steph Bridge 1st
Theo 9th silver fleet
Axel 6th silver fleet
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.