KITE RACE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013 - CHINA
NORTH KITEBOARDING TAKE 3RD, 4TH, 5TH MENS KITERACE WORLDS AND 2ND IN WOMANS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Over 160 riders from more than 40 countries gathered to battle for the men’s and women’s titles in five days of competition at the International Kiteboard Association course racing world championships being staged in China for the first time. The North International Team travelled from all parts of the world for this, the final showdown of the year & battle for the title, joined also by team manager - Dirk Hanel.
From day 1 the conditions were perfect as winds of more than 20 knots blew steadily over Boao's King Bay, Hainan. The fleets were split and a total of 4 races per day were sailed in each fleet. This qualifying series took 2 days and determines a Gold/Silver/bronze fleet. The womans fleet was one opening series until the final day when they also have the medal race format. Consistency and keeping out of trouble was the key to success with only 1 discard in the whole regatta. Conditions were similar for these 2 days with all North Kiteboarding riders choosing their 9mtr or 11mtr 2013 Dyno kites and a rolling swell at the windward mark which was placed on the reef to liven things up a bit! These 2 days was about keeping things clean and for young Olly Bridge - mens European Champion at age 16, this allowed many older riders to have their say in the protest room. Maxime Nocher (FRA) took a big fin cut on his heel which meant a trip to hospital for stitches, however this only later enhanced his performance!!
Day 3 & 4 of gold fleet racing was a mix of stronger & lighter winds which saw some upsets up and down the rankings. A close battle between Johnny Heineken and Florian Gruber (GER) saw Johnny defeated when the wind dropped giving Florian a lead going into the medal races. The biggest stir was from 16 year old Olly Bridge (GBR) who came into the gold fleet racing in 11th position but scored some top 5 results on day 3 & 4 to climb up to 3rd going into the medal race day. Also stepping up his game, Maxime scored bullets in the final 2 gold fleet races, taking his ranking up to 4th. Olly, Maxime & Blazej were just a couple of points behind the Reigning World Champion, Johnny Heineken and although would take a miracle to get to 1st, all knew that with the lighter winds predicted for the medal races, they would have a good advantage over Johnny.
A great spirit amongst the team with 3 out of the top 5 riders all competing for North Kiteboarding and riding the NKB 69 Race Ltd and the North Dyno 2013 kites. Riding for Denmark, James Johnson showed some real moments of glory having qualified for Gold fleet and ended 30th overall.
The womans fleet saw tighter racing with many switched positions between the young Russian- Eleanor Kalinina, Steph Bridge (GBR) and Erika Heineken (USA). The lighter winds suiting Steph & Eleanor, however this was not enough to defeat the lead that Erika had built over the first 2 days of the championship. North Kiteboarding womans rider from France, Ariane Imbert took a big step up in performance scoring all top 10 results and placing her in 9th position going into the final day.
The final day of the event in Boao, Hainan being organised and locally managed by Kite tour Asia (KTA) and the resort development of King Bay, saw winds up to 8 knots and many switches in direction. This proved difficult to set a course and allow fair racing to take place for the final medal race series. With a cut off time of 4pm, many riders thought the chance to go on the water was very slim, however by 2.30pm enough wind had filled in to start the 1st Mens Medal Race. Taking their 17mtr North Kiteboarding Dyno kites, long lines, biggest fins it was a battle to keep the kites in the air, however it was Maxime Nocher (FRA) who showed the field that this was his day & won the only medal race this day. This was enough to secure his lead over Olly Bridge (GBR) who got knocked down to 4th place in the overall rankings. The medal race for the womans fleet went into sequence however soon got abandoned when the wind dropped below 5 knots.
The closing ceremony was held in King Bay with fireworks, live music and in true chinease fashion, the ceremony was top quality with every detail impeccable. A superb week for North Kiteboarding with such a strong positive presence in the top 5 and all 3 of the mens top 5 team under 21years old.
Many of the NKB riders now travel to Sail Melbourne followed by the Oceanics in Perth. Both are big events with great organisation, prize money and points for the isaf world ranking. Well done and good luck to all the North Kiteboarding team members!!
Mens OPEN Results:
1st Florian Gruber (GER)
2nd Johnny Heineken (USA)
3rd Maxime Nocher (FRA)
4th Olly Bridge (GBR)
5th Blazej Ozog (POL)
Womans OPEN Results:
1st Erika Heineken (USA)
2nd Steph Bridge (GBR)
3rd Eleanor Kalinina (RUS)
4th Katja Roose (NETH)
9th Ariane Imbert (FRA)
Under 18 world Champion: 1st Olly Bridge (GBR) 2nd Mario Calbucci (ITA) 3rd Martin Dolenc (CRO)
Under 21's World Champion: 1st Florian Grubber(GER), 2nd Maxime Nocher(FRA) , 3rd Olly Bridge (GBR)
Blazej Ozog wins the 2nd stop of the polish cup in Chalupy!
The 2nd stop of the polish cup took place in Chalupy on Hel Peninsula. It´s an amazing place for racing with flat and sweet warm water. During the competition we had light and a bit gusty wind for our bigger kites. We did 14 races what is a fair number for just two days of competition. After the first day I was on 2nd place with loss of just 1 point, after a good start in the second day I managed to win 4 out of 6 races. The result was the first place! Right now I'm getting ready for KTE in France, stay tuned for more!
North dominates the French Race Championships!
Congratulations to the whole Race Team - well done!!
"The Need for Speed", African Course Racing Championships!
Racing is more than just the moment when you cross the line – it´s all about training, technique and in the end - the competition. Physical and mental strength is the key to success, but perfect gear helps a lot. 2011 the production class was introduced and has made racing much more accessible to everyone all over the world and has made the sport a lot more professional too. Check out the new race video "The Need For Speed", shot in Egypt at the African Course Racing Championships and inhale the racing atmosphere!
North Race Team scores in Egypt!
The African Continental Championships in Egypt was the perfect way for the North kite Race Team to start the season. Most riders registered sizes 9, 11, 13, 17 mtr Dyno 2013ltd kites and all were riding the new race ltd 69.
Following the 1st 2 days of qualifiers, mens gold fleet racing was an intense battle amongst the top 30 qualified Kiters. The North Race team were consistent & managed to get 3 team members earning their place in the final days medal Race. These included: Maxime Nocher (FRA) , Florian Gruber (GER) and Blazeg Ozog (POL)
Meanwhile a heated competition was going on in the womans division with UK rider- Steph Bridge consistent & showing experience counts for a lot in the varying wind conditions. North race team manager - Dirk Hanel took some bad luck in the protest room , narrowly missed gold fleet but dominated silver fleet with a string of bullets.
Other North race riders included 2008 Race World Champion , Charles Deleau (FRA) who was stoked to make a come back into Gold fleet along with Danish rider James Johnson. Youth World race Champion, Oliver Bridge (GB) is learning the hard way, mixing some confident starts and gaining vital bigger fleet expereince with some top 10 results. Olly is age 15 and took 2nd Youth & overall 20th in the mens Gold fleet racing.
The final medal Race day was a huge one for the North Race Team and the pre- track training, tactics, strategy & shared knowledge really paid off. It was Maxime who cranked up the big gears, moving from 8th place to a podium 3rd final position in a series of 5 minute short track races. Team mate-Blazeg was black flagged on race 1 ending his medal day glory while the German, Florian took a penalty in the race 2 ending his overall ranking in 2nd.
The womans finals also left spectators on an edge , however with good power on all points of sail, Steph did what she set out to do – win the 1st medal race which would Secure her the tittle. French rider – Ariane Imbert proved that time on the water really counts & now, after only starting racing last year is top 10 in the womans fleet.
Podium places for 3 of the North race Team riders , followed by a big party & a huge energy amongst the team to be riding the best boards & kites for the 2013 race season.