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Adrenaline was running high for the first day of the opening 2018 season. After having a week of exceptionally strong and challenging wind for practicing, riders were glad to have calmer conditions for the start of the event. Early on, due to the forecast, race director Neal Foley made the call to run the event as one whole fleet as opposed to splitting the riders into two groups to ensure everyone got on the water. While the wind had still not made its way in toward the event site, we had a chance to talk with race organizer Nico Landauer about his involvement.

The first race of the event started shortly after 1pm with riders anxious to get the event going. Unusual NE winds ranging from the mid teens played mind games with 50+ racers frantically jockeying for position at the starting line as the gun went off and the pack bolted across the line. By the time riders got to the first buoy, the pack had stretched out, with many opting to take a different line due to the shifting conditions. By the time the pack of riders reached the third buoy, the leaders had shifted several times during the race. The Frenchman Axel Mazella edged out fellow competitor Olly Bridge to take the first win of the day. Following closely behind in third place was German kiter Florian Gruber and in forth was Olly’s younger brother Guy Bridge.

The second and final race of the day started with slightly funky winds that forced many riders to reassess their choice of kite they had used in the previous race. As the foil racers lined up for the horn to go off, a slight wind lull forced many of those stalling at the front of the pack to a slower than anticipated start. As the surging group of foilers crossed the starting line, quite a few instances of jostling and kite kisses could be seen by the spectators. As the pack rounded the second buoy, a clear pack breakaway was starting to form. At times it looked like a clear leader was emerging and those in the crowd on the beach could be heard cheering on their favorite athlete. Crossing the line first was Olly Bridge, followed by his younger brother Guy. Coming in a close third was American Riley Gibbs and rounding off forth was Nico Landauer.

By the end of the second race, the wind had feathered a few times which made it difficult for course officials to justify running any more races. It was early enough in the day that riders still held out hope that the winds would turn more favorable. As the windline shifted away from the shoreline, hope faded and participants soon realized that the day was done. The forecast for the next day looks promising and should provide better conditions for the event.

Men’s Final results for both races:

  1. Olly Bridge
  2. Guy Bridge
  3. Axel Mazella
  4. Theo de Ramecourt
  5. Maxime Nocher
  6. Riley Gibbs
  7. Theo Lhostis
  8. Connor Bainbridge
  9. Denis Taradin
  10. Joey Pasquali

Women’s Final results for both races:

  1. Daniela Moroz
  2. Kirstyn OBrien
  3. Evelyn Hull
  4. Raquel Arroyo
  5. Andrea Lanier