Excitement was high at the final skippers meeting for the first stop of the 2018 Hydrofoil Pro Tour as organizers told competitors that they were hoping to complete at least seven races by the end of the day. A very positive forecast was expected and looking out looking out towards the horizon, plenty of whitecaps were rolling in from the north northeast.
For the first race of the day, the pack stuck close together leading up to the starting line. Then in a burst of speed, a few riders bolted out front right as the horn went off with Olly Bridge leading the pack of riders followed by his younger brother Guy Bridge and Axel Mazella closing in fast. At the mid-point of the race, Olly still was leading with Guy, Maxime Nocher, Connor Bainbridge and Axel just at his heels. As the wind increased, Olly held on to his lead crossing the finish line first with Guy coming across about 10 yards back. Axel, Theo de Ramecourt and Maxime rounded off the top five racers.
Prior to the beginning of the second race, many riders came in to exchange for a smaller kite. The winds picked up and the whitecaps increased making conditions as near perfect as you can get. Going into the second race of the day, the usual group of suspects stuck to the front of the pack. Olly, having executed a masterful plan of racing in previous races, continued to extend his winning streak. Guy kept working hard to chip away from his brothers lead and came in second. Axel made some mistakes toward the end of the race and had to settle for third. Maxime Nocher and Theo de Ramecourt brought up the rear of the small group with fourth and fifth place.
As the third race began, tension built as riders strategized about hat would work in the remaining races left to give them any chance to climb up the leaderboard. “Time is running out for me!” yelled one racer to a friend helping him launch a new kite. “One minute!” yelled another rider, desperately trying to get out to the starting line. Guy, Olly and Nico Landauer followed by Axel all had a great clean start and soon Olly, Guy, Connor and Axel were leading by mid-point in the race. As they approached the last leg, the top six leaders closed the gap between them. Spectators on the beach cheered as the tight group neared the finish line for a spectacular finish. Olly crossed first with Guy once again on his shoulder followed by Axel, Theo and Maxime to round off the top five.
Going into the fourth and final race of the day and of the event, officials decided to change the course due to the strong northern wind direction. Small knee to waist high wind waves could be seen out on the water and racers, standing on the beach, contemplated amongst each other what gear they should go out on — in the end, many ended up rigging their smallest kite and using short lines. After setting in place the new course, riders got back on the water and waited for the starting horn to go off. Like a rocket, they exploded with speed as the horn sounded and a fast race ensued by all accounts with many riders holding on for their lives. Olly rounded the finish mark first with his final win of the day trailed by Axel, coming in a very close second. Guy ended up in third about 8 yards back from Axel and Theo de Ramecourt rounded out the top finishers by coming in fourth.
Overall Men’s Winners:
1) Olly Bridge
2) Axel Mazella
3) Guy Bridge
Overall Women’s Winners:
For the full list of results showing points and overall scoring of each race. click here