Perhaps the biggest event in the race Calandar , the formula Hydrofoil Race World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. The first time that Kiteboarding takes place in the World sailing finals – now as an olympic Sport.
3 days of qualifying followed by 2 days final series and medal races. A Mixed bag of wind and weather did not phase Olly and Guy who were 1st and 2nd going into Gold fleet following 3 days of qualifying.
Gold Medal Races took a toll on both of the boys with both having gear failure – Broken lines in 2 different races which cost them valuable time & races on a day when it all mattered. Guy managed to make it back into 2nd Place while Olly got to 7th Overall. There was still all to play for, with medal race day and 3 non – discardable races on the stadium course.
Amped & ready for action, the medal racing got postponed due to thunder & lightening which meant that Guy would finish with a Silver Medal in this- the first major event as an Olympic Sport.
Disappointed, Olly took 7th & in the womans – Steph in 4th Place. Another incredible performance for all the team who -travel back to the UK for preparations for the next big event in China. All the team thank the British Sailing Team for their support and a special thank you to 2 x Olympic Medal & 3 x Volvo World Sailor’ Ian Walker’. Ian took the role of Coach for this event & we were really fortunate to share time & his expertise for this event.
A show down of high octane drama amongst the worlds leading Hydrofoil racers took place in Warnemunde, Germany for the European Championships. Just 2 weeks before the world championships, this was an important event to get on top of the game. Leading from the start, Guy age 18 showed skill in all wind conditions against the huge French team and other European athletes. Not easy being the younger brother and fighting for the 1st position against his brother, Olly. A close 1 point separating the 2 Bridge Brothers by the final day following 7 medal races.
Olly in silver position and Axel Mazilla Bronze, the excitement as this sport takes to the Olympic stage in 2024 now can be seen all over the world. More athletes getting support from their country and an opportunity for riders to become part of a team will be witness in August when world sailing will host the world championships in Denmark.
Tom was invited to kite alongside Ross Edgley as he swam around lands end on his mission to swim around GB. Tom Foiled alongside with Andrew Cotton, also a RedBull athlete. Check The full episode here
My first time to San Fransisco was certainly an experience. The big city environment too the strong winds on the water with the wind blowing 25 knots plus every day. The biggest kite I used all week was my 11 and that was always fully
The competition was incredibly tight over the whole event with Johnny Heineken, Nico Parlier and myself battling throughout the whole event. exchanging top 3 positions making it really exciting.local legend Johnny Heineken was very strong on home waters and also had the top speed recorded during the event of 48mph!! A couple of big vessels passed through making it very interesting!!Had a great event ended up finishing in 3rd place was really happy with my consistency during the event and was just 6 points of the top and 2 of second so overall, I felt it was a good event. Big thanks to Flysurfer kiteboarding for the continued support and Benni Boelli for the help during the event!!
The 4 day Hydrofoil Pro Tour stop kicked off with a 45 minute distance race around the bay of Montpellier. It was a British fight between Olly, Guy & Connor and the final leg Guy took an inside line near the shore to get the wind bend which enabled him to steal the lead & take the win. The next days were a series of 10 minute races in 5- 12 knots and superb close racing all across the fleet. A few mistakes on day 2, Guy sailed really consistently on day 3 putting hm a 10 point lead going into day 4. Meanwhile Olly took a different starting strategy on day 3 which put an end to his
We were super pleased to see the recent announcement of Kitesurfing in the Olympics 2024, and now Olly, Guy and Tom will likely be competing against each other to gain the honour of representing Team GB at the Olympics, so there will be some interesting times to come
Olly says – ‘I love the sport and it has always been my ambition to get to the Olympic games. Now this dream is closer and it’s going to be an exciting journey against my brothers to see who can qualify to represent Team GB. We train off Exmouth and are really lucky to have such a wide range of conditions to practice on.’
We already invest a huge amount of our personal time in training the next generation of British athletes to a world class level, all from our home in Exmouth, through Edge Watersports. Edge Youth Training scheme is already actively training and providing a pathway for up and coming youngsters, with support of FatFace.
But for us this decision is not only amazing for the sport, but has upped the pressure to try to secure funding. To keep Britain at the pinnacle of the sport, we need support from business. We won’t be able to train and have the right equipment without this funding. The sport offers many returns to sponsors, and we enjoy working with brands that have an emphasis on commitment to the environment, or to supporting youth. We are really keen to talk to any brands that would be interested in supporting our aims to bring gold home for Britain.
We really believe that Exmouth will become the Olympic training venue, complimented by the Grenadier planned new watersports centre, on the seafront. This isn’t just a proud moment for us as athletes, but it also is a great moment for Exmouth, and the South West. Exmouth provides a world class training location, and in turn this provide a positive boost for the economy in the region. It will firmly put Exmouth on the map as a watersports destination and also improve our tourism offering.
We hope to also be central to the expected 2020 Olympic kitesurfing demonstration event in Tokyo.
This decision followed lengthy discussions at a mid-year meeting of World Sailing at Stamford Bridge football stadium in London. The exact equipment and format will not be confirmed until later this year. The equipment and format will be officially confirmed in November at the World Sailing Annual General Meeting.
As many of you know, kitesurfing was at one stage due to replace windsurfing on the Rio 2016 Olympic programme before this decision was overturned. Kitesurfing is already due to feature at October’s Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. So we are super excited for our sport to finally be recognised. It has been a long time coming.
It is likely, but not yet confirmed, that the Formula Kite production model will be adopted in Marseille, with four foil kites and one hydrofoil used.
Watch this space.
In it’s 9th year of running, the RedBull Ragnarok is a 150km showkite race in Norway. The race takes place on the Hardangervidda plateu with 350 skiers and snow boarder’s which travel from over 30 countries to line up in this, the most challenging showkite race in the world. The route can be in any of the 6 spots on the plateu depending on wind direction and strength. Incredibly well organized, RedBull Norway and the Haugastol ensure the huge challenge to reach the 5 gates which constitutes a lap.
The opportunity and experience to take part in the RedBull Raganarok is phenomenal. The pain and challenge that the event brings along with the bunch of mistakes made never fades.We missed Tom to share the pain with us but at least he has learnt a new sport #snowshoeing .
Over the course there is a massive range of wind strength and direction. The kite size that you need at gate 3 can be size 20mtr where as gate 1 often a 9mt kite. Often the wind can drop to nothing and then you need to pack your kite and walk or skate to a small hill to get it up. The person that can hold the biggest kite does the Best. Along with the knowledge needed to read the terrain. Experience counts for Alot as does the ability to ride fast for 5 hours and Maintain the speed and concentration. Then,in addition there are 350 other kites that you have to avoid on the startline and at the gates.
Our 4th time representing GB in Norway for the biggest snowkite race in the world, the RedBull Ragnarok Race on the Hardanvenegga Plataue took place in blazing sunshine with over 350 entries.
With a new ACL just 2 weeks previous, Tom was not able to compete but came as caddy and team spirit as a UK RedBull athlete.
Olly said: “this is a the toughest race I ever did. I will be better prepared next year
“, saying how he can improve on his 10th position.
For Guy, his strategy to start on a small kite then move to the bigger one was the same error as Steph and Eric, based on previous races the wind up at gate 1 was stronger than over the rest of the course, however what we didn’t know was how light the wind was also at gate 3.
This error meant we both struggled for the first lap changing the kites for 15mtr on the second lap meant we both had alot of catching up to do. Unfortunately by the 3rd lap, the wind dropped away to nothing and the 5 hour limit was up! It was time to walk or get a ride on the skido home exhausted, elated, relieved, in pain, dehydrated and just disappointed to not have got further.
Defending her previous 2 wins, Steph came in winning Gold again for the 3rd time and says ” how the race plays with your.mind! Fast decsion making, good endurance, strategy and knowledge is not enough to do well. Need hours hooking up proper power and sustaining the fast speeds for 5 hours. This is the biggest challenge but nothing that can not be achieved for 2019!
A massive thank you to RedBull UK, RedBull Norway, Haugastol and for the fast lites: Northkiteboarding, Flysurfer. Clothing to keep us warm and dry , Fat face plus the only phone on the market that designed for real athletes, the Cat Rugged Phone.
The biggest deal to work as athletes with the Cat phone is The massive long lasting battery life, how well the phones work in the Sub zero temperatures with snow and freezing cold fingers. All in 1 device, the phone enables us to capture all the action and connects to wifi easily.
Snowkitingng as a sport is next level everything from hamgtime, drifting, incredible speeds, tactical terrain knowledge, adventure, powder skiing and this inanae feeling of being in the middle of nowhere with such beauty. There is so many areas to the sport, it is great to kite up high, pack the kite then ski down. There is a good competition scene which is growing. If you like kitesurfing and snow sports then hook yourself a trip to Norway to get the grips of snowkiting. You will then realise why we come back each year
Tom turned 17 and this is How it was for Tom at age 16-check this incredible edit here
Olly and I arrived in Mexico on the 5th march in time to prepare for the first event of the year the Hydrofoil Pro Tour in La Ventana, Mexico. Arriving a week or so before the event gave us good time to prepare and get used to the new Flysurfer prototype race kites which we were both going to be riding for the event. This time gave Olly and I more time to get used to the foils which we were going to be riding during the event. Olly had a new Mikes lab which he had tested the week before in San Fransisco and for myself was the serial Mikes Lab Bullet 3, which i had only used a handful of times before going to Mexico.
During this time I was also able to get used to the wind and the incredible thermal effect in the area. The wind funnels through a gap between an offshore island and the main land, which when the sun was out tended to pick up throughout the day and then slowly dropped off after 3 o’clock. This breeze tended to pick up to around 20 to 25 knots on a pretty standard day so we quickly got used to these strong conditions during this time.
14th march, first day of the event
Going into the event the wind forecast was not good, with a few cloudy days and a strange onshore breeze forecasted for a few of the days during the event these kind of conditions gave the chance of the thermal wind coming in very low so for the first three days we had a very gentle onshore breeze. The first day was incredibly challenging with the easterly onshore breeze coming in quite strong to begin with then as the day went on this breeze died away slowly, so for the the first race we were went out on 18m kites and were powered up nicely, the first race was a bit of a challenge for both of us with us getting to the racing scene wants again but were able to in the end fight back Olly finished the race in 2nd and I in 4th in this race Axel Mazella, winning this first race of the day. the second race went better for us with a Bridge first and second with Olly sailing a strong race to finish in 1st. This was the last race of the day with the wind dropping to nothing after these races were completed and no more races were completed.
The second day was incredibly frustrating for all involved with a good north wind forecasted it was set to be a good day but with clouds in the sky from early on it became apparent it wasn’t going to be a standard day. The breeze filled in from the east but was lighter so this time we started out on 20.5m kites, things didn’t go to plan for anyone with a general recall as too many people were over the line. The next race was even lighter and there wasn’t enough wind to finish bringing an end to a frustrating day.
The third day was again light but a little bit more consistent with Olly leading the 55 riders for the first three races and myself behind him in second for all of them. The fourth race was another sketchy affair with incredibly light holey winds made for incredibly challenging conditions with myself going of the start line on port tack and the rest of the field on starboard I found a bit more pressure and clean air and was able to get round the windward mark in first with Olly in second. The bottom and downwind gate then became a real issue for myself messing the layline up so i was not able to go round the favoured side of the gate so then had to round the other side and flew into a no wind zone this left me swimming in the end and only earning me a DNF where Olly went on to win the race. This was incredibly difficult to take for me with having such a good lead then to fail to finish was very frustrating.
The fourth and final day was as usual a tightly contested one with Olly coming into the day in first with a good clear lead and myself coming in 3 points behind second placed Axel Mazella. With a second discard going to be earned on this day it was all to play for and with a solid north thermal wind forecasted it was set to be an incredibly competitive contest. 6 races were planned for this day but obviously it was all wind reliant, we started off on 15m kites and quickly became overpowered. We started well though with a solid one for both of us with a one, two finish with Olly just crossing the line before me. We then both down sized to 13m kites for the next 2 races which felt good and was much easier to handle around the course and gave us good performance with two more, one, two finishes with Olly just squeezing in front of me on both of them. The wind picked up another 10 knots going into the afternoon where it was time to take our 9m kites, the wind was around 25 knots now and there was no sign of any decrease in strength. So by the start of the race there was a lot on! Olly was again able to take another bullet in this race with myself coming in 3rd and Axel in second. The race committee then deemed the conditions as too dangerous and so called the competition off for the day and that finished the event with Olly winning the event comfortably, I was then tied with Axel on the same points but he had more first place finishes than me so was second and I was 3rd.
So the event was over and we were both satisfied with how we had done and are now looking forward to the race season ahead, the performance of our equipment was, something we were also very happy about and especially our new Flysurfer kites which are incredibly exciting for the future.Lets just say my trip home was not the easiest, stuck in Mexico city Airport for 24 hours after missing my first flight due to immigration issues, but got home eventually. Mexico was a great start to the year thanks to Flysurfer Kiteboarding, Fatface, Cat Rugged Phones, Volvo cars and Lip sunglasses for the your support!!