This weekend, Regina welcomed some of the top snow kite riders as they faced off at Red Bull Kite Farm, an endurance snow kite race and the first of its kind in North America. Severe whiteout conditions (less than 30 meters/100 feet), cold temperatures (-22 C/-7F) and rowdy wind conditions (55 to 70+ kph/34 to 44+ mph) that swept across the city on Saturday forced the event to be postponed and earn the nickname “Gnar Farm” from some participants who braved the extreme conditions.
Sunday, February 15 set the stage for near perfect conditions as Saskatchewan proved to be the mecca for world-class kiteboarding. Over 100 Canadian and American athletes from coast to coast gathered to take on the grueling 30 km endurance race. Nature’s elements were in perfect harmony bringing the necessary strong winds and snow conditions to the open prairie fields that gave flight to competitors.
Riders tested their skills and pushed endurance levels to the limit all weekend while up against extreme cold temperatures, unpredictable winds and heavy snowfall. The race saw some fierce competition with prizes awarded to the winners in both ski and snowboard division; an all-expense paid trip to Norway to represent North America at Red Bull Ragnarok in April 2015.
After a tight race it was Simon Gill of Montreal, Quebec and Peter Martel from Red Deer, Alberta who walked away with the bragging rights in the ski and snowboard division, respectively. Both will now get the chance to represent Canada in an international competition.
“It was a really challenging competition with the winds constantly changing and battling some really talented competitors.” said Gill. “The weather yesterday was impossible to race in but today was perfect. This is what the sport is all about, facing these tough conditions and fighting the unknown. This course was very well set-up, but I can’t wait to have the opportunity to represent Canada at Red Bull Ragnarok in April!”
1st: Simon Gill – Valleyfield, QC – Red Bull Ragnarok competitor
2nd: Didier Godbout – Valleyfield, QC
3rd: Gilles Boudreou – Canmore, AB
1st: Peter Martel – Red Deer, AB – Red Bull Ragnarok competitor
2nd: Ashton Igini – Saskatoon, SK
3rd: Josh Barker – Sherwood Park, AB
1st: Melissa Cronin – Bozeman, MT
2nd: Catherine Dufour – Isle-Aux-Colindres, QC
3rd: Corrie Coons – Silton, SK
1st: Martin Roy – Winnipeg, MB
2nd: Dale Pointer – Buena Vista, SK
3rd: Chris Mason – Winnipeg, MB
1st: Cody Fletcher, Gilles Boudreau, Jay Kilganar
2nd: George Boutsikakis, Peter Martel, Josh Baker
3rd: Curtis Dorosch, Jonny Storey, Ryan Lett
Twitter: @RedBullCanada #KiteFarm