Tom has been getting out off Exmouth showing his Surf Foil skills, check this incredible sunset;
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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.
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The email came in around August to see if we, the full Team Bridge wanted to attend the best ever kite race in the southern Hemisphere: The RedBull Lighthouse to Leighton Race. August is always manic & never enough time to give the whole trip our total thought.However, saying YES is what we do & this time all 5 of us to travel & be together for the journey. With over 150kg’s of wave, freestyle, foil & Camping gear between us, travelling Light was NOT an option.We had 3 days to get familiar with the short sprint from Rotto to Leighton and remind ourselves of the incredible force of the daily ‘Doctor’ that delivers 20 – 30knots thermal S/SE winds everyday from around 11am. Attracting 160 kiters from around WA & other parts of the world the day begins at 7am at The ferry Terminal with the loading of gear onto the ferry, registration & huge banter amongst the athletes all setting off to cross the stretch of water together. My 4th time back, we enjoy catching up with old Perth friends who welcome us like we are residents. For Eric, the very relaxed approach & enjoyed the vibe, not dis-similar to other red bull distance races he had been part of.Unlike most other days, this day was hotter -up to 40degrees and this meant that the reliable ‘Doctor’ was late & not scheduled to be as strong. A start time scheduled for 1530hrs and we all set off eager to be the first across the line. Twenty minutes later Olly arrived at Leighton Beach to a huge crowd and being the only person to have won this crossing twice and just 20 seconds off the record. Missing out on a podium position, Guy took 4th and I came in 11th overall & 1st woman. Eric could have used some more power but finished the challenge around mid fleet while Tom had his own problems back at Rottnest Island. While we were all busy celebrating, Tom was stuck on the beach at Rotto with a broken bridle & waiting for his return ferry back to mainland!It wasn’t long before the jet lag eased & we soon settled into the Australian life of Kite- Eat- Sleep – Repeat! Missing out on everything christmas we soon swop the flat water of Woodmans point (‘Woodies) for the small Neo’s & wave boards.Pitching the tents at ‘Margies’ we were now officially on holiday. Wifi, mobile reception non existent and mornings surfing & swimming were soon followed by our first dosing of ‘eric’s kitchen’. Back of the truck Omlette’s & coffee were cooked while the team discussed how the rest of the day would pan out. The arrival of some female company: Daniela from San Franciso who traded her foil for wave gear & braved staying with the Bridge family in a tent!! Blessed with long hot windy days, cool nights and an abundance of wild life, kangaroo’s & bronzed well toned ‘Blow Inn’s. Cooking for 6 people meant we got through some calories! A rather unique shopping experience to re-stock at the local town- Margret River: home to the best wineries & coffee shops, the small town boosts raw living & a hippie culture to the max.On the bigger days we kited at ‘Boaties’: The break closer to the boat ramp while the smaller days were spent dodging and trying to not make any enemies at ‘MainBreak’. There is not a watersports enthusiast out there that would not froth on the set up in Margret River. The area truly is world class with reliable winds, swells & incredible surf early mornings when the wind is off-shore. By 5pm when we had all spent hours focussing the mind, body & soul on the swells of the session, the wind would get lighter & start the evening swing back to cross off. (often not quite enough to ride)Evening sun set was spent cooking overlooking ‘main break’ & being part of the evening sundance of shooting stars. Christmas came & went with sessions moulding into each other until another bigger swell arrived to help us celebrate New Year in style. Time to get back to work, school, planning, organising, emailing, decision making and all stuff which surely could wait till next week! Yes, maybe there is time for 1 more wave & another session???