The name “Ragnarok” stems from an incident in Norse mythology, describing the last battle between the good and evil Gods, where only the heroes of the battlefield survive. Red Bull Ragnarok imitates this myth in the respect that only a mere few snow-kite heroes will succeed. Endurance is paramount, and only the toughest riders will successfully complete the course.
For the 2nd year Running, North Riders Tom Bridge, Mum – Steph and the rest of the family exchanged the ocean for snow to join the Red Bull Ragnarok. The race format is a mass start, where each participant must complete five full rounds of longest course ever set- over 40km /lap using only their kite, and either skis or snowboard.
On Friday 10th April 300 kiters from 28 countries were gathered on the icy mountain plains of Hardangervidda in Norway, to compete in the world´s biggest and toughest snowkite competition. Lining up on the start with so many kites, nations and atmosphere we all anticipated the long unknown journey ahead. Current Youth World Freestyle champion, Tom finds the whole thing a freestyle heaven: seen jumping off mountains, over huts & looping his kite like the best of them. When the green flag went up we were off- a sky of colour faster than anything that went before. The 2nd gate was the most fun with a sheer 30ft cliff face to jump off followed by a megga speed crossing over a lake to get to gate 3. The last 2 upwind legs saw the biggest gains & loss’s with tube kites struggling to keep up with the more aerodynamic foil kites that spread across the sky. Tactics, reading the mountain terrain & the snow state was key to making gains.
After a couple of hard laps many of the riders were on their biggest kites (18mtr) while others just worked, looped, walked in the constantly diminishing wind. It was the fittest of survival in gruelling conditions and only a handful finished the mammoth challenge. Even riders like Ruben Lenten & Christophe Tack said Red Bull Ragnarok became one of the toughest kite races they ever participated inn.
After 4 hours the organisers shorten the course taking the position of the final gate at 1800 as the result. For steph, she felt that although the first 75% of the race had been strong, the last leg walking with kite & skis to find wind would have cost her the 1st place. It was with a massive surprise to finally finish & take the 1st Place womans in the ski class at such sought after event.
Steph, Tom, Guy & Eric Bridge would like to thanks NorthKiteboarding, ION, Volvo & Edgewatersports for the support.
Men ski: 1. Felix Kersten (GER), 2. Klemet Store (NOR), 3. Michael Kaspar (SUI)
Men snowboard: 1. Sigve Botnen (NOR) 2. Reinhold Gehrer (AUT) 3. Peter Martel (CAN)
Women ski: 1. Steph Bridge (GBR), 2. Camilla Ringvold (NOR), 3. Eugenia Gueorguieva (USA)
Women snowboard: 1. Linda Viktoria Olofsson (NOR), 2. Ingrid Danielsson (SWE), 3. Marit Nore (NOR)