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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.
Guys Words:So the first 3 days were all qualifying days on these days we had a full mix of conditions.The first day was crazy around 25 knots, straight onshore with a big swell and lots and lots of seaweed!! We only managed one race which I did ok finishing second behind Nico. That was it for the first day due to the amount of swell they couldn’t set the anchors.The second day was good and probably my best day in a fleet with world champion Nico Parlier and former world champion Maxime Nocher, as I scored 6 bullets out of 7 races, the wind was about 12 knots in the morning where I was riding my 15m sonic race it picked up to about 20 knots and we were all on 11s, this was a great day for me and gave me lots of confidence going into the rest of the event.The third day was pretty much a right off with full on rain throughout the whole day, races were tried but a full round was not completed so there was no outcome from the day.The fourth day we were split into groups of 4, with the top 10 altogether at this stage, the day was incredibly tough with wind dropping very quickly, we managed to do one gold race which was incredibly challenging with very light changeable conditions around the course i managed to get up to second place after a poor opening lap with Olly, winning this one both riding the 21m Sonic race.The final day was a big challenge with nice 12-15 knots of breeze all the fleets completed 7 races, the whole day was incredibly challenging with the whole fleet incredibly close together and everyone battling to get the top, I managed to get a few good finishes and then tried to be as consistent as possible and somehow managed to get the upper hand over Olly finishing 1 point ahead. Overall I was really happy with my performance and the way I rode throughout the event and was very happy to know that all my gear is at a very high level going into the world championships the main event of the year.
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