Olly Takes Silver, Steph Bronze & Guy 2nd Under 18′s in China
The 2016 Formula Kite Hydrofoil World Championships held in Weifang, China bought a mix of especially light winds and a 1 day storm that bought big seas & extra challenges unexpected for this area. For Guy, this was his first World Championships and entering the Qualifying series on day 1 was confident in his speed & preparation. Fresh from the Mauritius stop, Olly also had now come up against all the riders and knew where he was placed in this field. For Steph, knowing that her overall role was as mum/ coach/ mentor to the 2 boys but yet also to ensure a good stab at the young fleet of female competitors. The days training up to the event had been very fickle with just 30minutes of wind as the sun was setting. So, when the arrival of a strong onshore storm wind arrived on day 2, we were all relieved but also not entirely prepared for this unexpected sea & wind state. Following 4 twin tip races & 4 foil races, the day came with many up’s & down’s. A disappointed Guy who broke a footstrap & missed 1 of the races while Olly took some heavy crashes downwind in the rolling sea & strengthening gusty winds. Steph also found the conditions a challenge but revelled in the glory on the 1st overall twin tip riding the North Spike Textreme.
The next couple of days that followed bought measurement,kite tunning, sanding of foils, Olympic Discussions and many hours waiting for any hope to ensure more racing.
Day 5 & 6 bought the 6knots that would allow us all to get racing underway & draw the event to a close. Olly raced fast but took 1 mistake that would subsequently cost him his world Tittle, racing for the finish when he still had a final round to go, this cost Olly 8 places. A hard lesson in such a competitive fleet, there is no hiding.
Guy also had more bad luck, breaking his hydrofoil in the morning meant that this pushed Guy down to 15th place so there would be no medal Races for the 17year Old that was all he wished for.
For steph it was a hard fight to stay close to the young Russian – Eleanor Kalinina and American Daniel Moroz. Despite some great starts, steph seems to be making 3rd place finishes all too often.
Medal race Day brings all the pressure to the athletes with so much weight on all the races. The format is short races – men – woman – men etc and all of the races are countable. Judging is on the water & just 10 riders from each fleet. A very fortunate experience for Steph who gets to witness Olly’s every move and have a brief chat in between. For Olly he had all to gain but also all to loose in the challenging waters. Where luck counted for alot with so much debris & bamboo floating there were times when this just knocked you for the foil and others when you had to sail with the bamboo straggling underneath like an anchor!!
Olly demonstrated that under pressure his performance was outstanding, making great starts & Laylines around the course. As the breeze became 8knots steph gained more speed on her Rivals, showing she is a force to be reckoned with for future events. Steph takes the bronze position in the womans Fleet.
As the points were added up back on the beach there was celebration as Maxime Nocher from Monaco & Daniella Morez from USA became the new 2016 KiteFormula World Champions. Olly took vice Champion for the second year running while Guy took 2nd in the under 18’s division and 14th Overall in the mens ranking.
Team Bridge thank the support of Volvo, Levitaz Foils, NorthKiteboarding, ION wetsuits, Cat Rugged Phones, The BeachHouse Exmouth and Edgewatersports.
The Team prepare for the challenges down under in December where the final pro tour stop takes place & the ISAF World sailing Cup Final in Melborne.