A 12 hour drive from Roscoff to the south France for the European Freestyle Championships was followed by a 12hour day on the beach in the ‘Tram’. (thermic offshore Tramontana wind)
Day 1 kicked off at 8am for all the team Bridge who were here to compete for their age category – Tom age 9-13 / Guy – 14-15’s and Olly 16-19years. They started with the 9-13years and this took the form of a Dingle elimination for Tom who stepped up his heat game and put some great scoring tricks together for the judges. Conditions were challenging with huge gusts wiping them off the water and making it tricky to do anything to lulls which which there was not enough wind to even stay upwind. Kite size was a challenge and experience to stay in the box and know what tricks, style, height & execution the judges were looking for. After 4 heats, Tom made it to the final with his old team mate from Spain- Javier Jimenez. For the 3rd year running, Tom won his tittle back and is megga happy with his performance in the challenging conditions.
Next up was Olly who was the 1st heat of the single elimination and looking like he was throwing some big powered moves but this was not enough to beat his first opponent from Holland. Olly’s freestyle day was over and all he had to think about was the big come back in the doubles the following day.
Guy was the biggest surprise of the whole day staying in the ladder all the way till the final of the 14-15 year category. His riding in these terrible conditions improved as he went through the heats and by the end Guy was coming off the water just grinning that it did not matter what the result was, he was stoked because he made the best ever heat of his life. Guy did have a devastating semi final which put him straight to the final with Font and Zurick. This was the best Guy could have expected and was stoked to come 3rd in this division.
Day 2 kicked off with another early start and 1st up was Olly who wanted to make it back with a chance in the double elimination. Was wind Tram but more sunny, however the same differences of gusts as previous day. Olly had a couple of blinding heats to put him back in the game but then the going got really tough for him since he was only just landing back on the beach and he had a couple of minutes rest before his next heat. Certainly good physical training and although he was not riding to the level he does when he free-rides, Olly has a decent competition strategy and his experience showed. After 4 hours of competition Olly made it to the mens final with dutch rival Van Der Meis and french opponent Guillerbert. A poor kite choice on this last heat and also exhaustion meant it wasn’t Olly’s best heat of the day and ended in 3rd place overall. However, to make a good come back like this in a discipline that Olly just does for fun and on a borrowed board is super motivating for Olly.
While the freestyle antics was going on, young Tom had been practicing his race skills on the Boarder Cross course. This involves jumping over long inflatable objects in the water and round buoys in a race knockout with 4 other opponents. Fast, fun and exciting with lots of crashes and Tom also managed to win his category in this discipline.
More boarder cross and bike airbag freestyle to come in the next couple of days before the drive back to the Uk in time to start school again. Its great we have the volvo for comfort, capacity and reliability.