North American Championships - San Francisco
North dominates the first KTE Stop in Almanarre France
Almanarre, the neighborhood of St. Tropez was the perfect start into an exciting season for the NKB team! Let´s get it on! With the two first days of wind, sun, 95 riders from over 14 countries coming to the South of France – Almanarre Kitemasters finished with a full freestyle event and 8 counted course races. The tour started with 46 racers - 39 men and 7 women – as well as 49 freestylers - 37 men and 12 women. The first edition of the European tour stop on the Côte d’Azur was a great event with a parallel execution of the two disciplines. The first day brought strong 30-35 knots. The action was intense right from the beginning and it started early in the morning with both competitions. Freestylers were riding with 7 meters kites and after, to get used to the conditions, the spectators could seen some awesome tricks. North Kiteboarding rider Stefan Spiessberger (Austria), who was unfortunately kicked-off in round 4 in the single elimination, fought his way back straight through the doubles and won unstoppable six heats, until the quarter final, when he was beaten by Liam Whaley (Spain).
The final in the doubles featured Mario Rodwald, NKB (Germany) against Whaley. Both of these riders have had an amazing start and demonstrated great progression over the wintertime. That heat was full of power, variety and action for the beach crowd. With a great powerful double S-Bend Pass and a Low Mobe 5, Mario got it and won the first European tour stop. Congratulations!
The final women’s heat took place between Sabrina Lutz, NKB (Germany) and title-holder 2012 Annelous Lammerts (Netherlands), when Sabrina crashed her kite and Annelous advanced. A super women final was announced and finally the first women tour stop title goes to Germany and North Kiteboarding as well - Sabrina Lutz (NKB).
Focusing on course racing, the first two competition days were quite eventful. Racers entered the water early, hungry for days full of racing action. With regard to the rough sea, the course provided tactical challenges that made not only spectacular for racing, but excellent spectating as well.
On day one, French rider Maxime Nocher (NKB) won three of four races followed by Julien Kerneur, also from France. British race legend Steph Bridge, also NKB from UK, holds first place positioning, while Dutch rider Katja Roose followed her on second place. The riders were always quite close and handled out arresting battles. The second day was a smoother running. Some kites moved in perfect synchronization alongside one another. With the fleet on bigger kites, Maxime Nocher, Julien Kerneur, Blazej Ozog and Florian Gruber were riding close to each other in rotational positioning. Day three and four, brought a bout of very light, or better, no wind.
The course director adapted due to these light conditions. But unfortunately they realized their wishful thinking did not materialize. The wind didn’t pick up the last two last days. In a nutshell, ten races were sailed, with two discards in total. French rider Maxime Nocher (NKB) at first and Blazej Ozog, also NKB on third position. Congratulations!
The women´s fleet, was lead by Steph Bridge (UK). Steph crossed five times the finish line first and dominated the event. Like so many times before.
The end of the first MINI KTE event was marked with the closing ceremony and the distribution of the trophies and prize money. It could not have been a better way to start the season with a grateful event and tough conditions in the beginning.
The next stop of the season is on the German island Sylt. The rough Northern Sea and strong winds will be a perfect spot for the 2nd stop of the year, from 2nd July to 7th July.
Congratulations to all the participating North Kiteboarding riders!!
North Race Results are: North Freestyle Results are:
1st Steph Bridge 1st Sabrina Lutz
4th Arianne Imbert 3rd Nanette van der Snoek
1st Maxime Nocher 1st Mario Rodwald
3rd Blajez Ozog 3rd Stefan Spiessberger
4th Florian Gruber
5th Olly Bridge
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!
"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.