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