Riders Battle It Out In The 10th EDGE Race Cup
The weekend of the 25th-26st of May saw the 10th annual Edge Race Cup, sponsored by Grenadier Estates take place in Exmouth, Devon. Over 30 riders registered for the event with one international riders arriving from USA. The striking fact is that the standard of riding on their hydrofoils has risen appreciably across the board in both fleets, both in terms of speeds achieved and success rate of tacks and gybes, notoriously hard manoeuvres to master. This year in the Gold fleet there were 5 women ‘Kite for Gold’ riders who hadn’t foiled at all last September and the top riders in that fleet weren’t lapping the slower ones as had been the case last year.
Whilst the racing took place some way off shore, the colourful flags and tents at the beach race site were situated where the new Watersports Centre will be constructed within the next 12 months. It is an enviable location, with both extensive sandy beach and waters upon which to kitesurf. Visiting competitors were very complimentary about Exmouth as a venue and the initiative to make it a Centre of Excellence is fully justified. Representatives from different Kite manufacturers attended with demonstrations of gear and coaching available. Many members of public enquired about the event and were keen to find out more about the sport. Competitors were very appreciative of the benefit of free parking generously provided by East Devon District Council who are in the midst of rerouting the road in preparation of full site development.
Saturday saw Champagne sailing conditions, sunny waters and winds of 8-12 knots, perfect for the hydrofoilers with 5 races for each fleet being successfully completed. These craft are so incredibly efficient, that the leading riders are able to sustain speeds in excess of 30 knots in such wind strength. The wind dropped on two occasions, necessitating some rescues by the attentive support boat crews. On Sunday, the forecast rain and drizzle held off, but so sadly did the stronger stable wind that was anticipated. The race team did well to set a course and worked hard to get the racing completed. Initially due to a drop in wind causing an abandoned start, the decision was made to initially race only with Gold Fleet because their ‘foil’ kites require less wind to be effective than the inflatable ‘tube’ kites being used by those in Silver fleet. This is the only distinction between the two fleets, although since the faster riders generally were in the Gold Fleet, they sailed an extra lap per race compared to their counterparts in Silver. After 2 Gold fleet Races, the Silver Fleet joined them to complete three races. With the wind finally stable and strong, the grins of racers were biggest when they returned from the final race.
Racing was tight in Gold fleet with Connor Bainbridge and Guy Bridge having a battle royal and trading first and second places. They consistently opened a substantial gap from the others lead by Ellie Aldridge, Josh Carey, Lance Olner, Jemima Crathorne and Maddy Anderson with close racing within the whole fleet. A notable mention goes to Dane Wilson who scored five 3rd places on Saturday before having to return to his 49er Olympic campaign for his native USA.
There were battles throughout Silver Fleet, notably for top spot with 15 year old Angus Fellows vying neck and neck with Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey a Master with a long heritage of Kite Racing. Fellow Junior Mattia Maini had a strong Sunday to finish Third, behind Angus in Second and Pasty winning the chocolates.
Chunk of Devon provided racers on both days with a choice of their delicious steak and vegetarian pasties between races.
Following the racing on Saturday, racers were able to enjoy free beer at the Exmouth Festival generously donated by Crossed Anchors Brewing and discounted food from The Little Tavern whilst seeing the live Music on stage.
Edge Water Sports would like to thank all their sponsors who contributed to this year’s Edge Race Cup Grenadier Estates Chunk of Devon Crossed Anchors Brewing Salcombe Gin F-One kiteboarding UK Olly bars British kitesports Duotone kiteboarding UK FATFACE The Beach House Flysurfer Ozone kites Mystic Red Bull ION Da Kine , Maxtrack and Levitaz
1st – Guy Bridge
2nd – Connor Bainbridge
3rd – Ellie Aldridge
1st – Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey
2nd – Angus Fellows
3rd – Mattia Maini
1st – Ellie Aldridge
2nd – Maddy Anderson
3rd – Jemima Crathorne
1st - Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey
2nd – Ian Savage
3rd – Nick Ajderian
1st - Angus Fellows
2nd -Mattia Maini
3rd – Francesca Maini
1st - Angus Fellows
2nd -Mattia Maini
3rd – Sandy Bailey
To find out more about EDGE Water Sports please visit:
Having picked up a rib injury this week, meaning I am now off the water for a bit, I can look back on the past couple of months which have been going off!After a windless summer, the wind and waves turned up in Cornwall just as the new DUOTONE kites and boards were launched. Boy the new kit is so good, perfect for all kitesurfing disciplines. Check out the full range in our shop http://www.pastyadventures.co.uk/duotone-kitesurfing-shop.html or at https://www.duotonesports.com/
The middle of September saw the British Kitesurfing Wave Championships held at Gwithian. With a great turn out and two days of wind and waves, I was super stoked to regain my title for the 6th year in a row, winning the Pro mens division riding the Duotone Neo 9m and Pro Wam 6’0. Read the full event report at https://www.britishkitesports.org/news/bksa-wavemasters-2018/
Next it was back on the Foil for the Edge Cup, British Kitefoiling Championships in Exmouth over the last weekend of September. The biggest turn out for the last few years had light wind on Saturday followed by 7 races run all on Sunday in tricky gusty nw wind. After limited time on the foil this year I was happy to take 2nd in the Masters, although my legs paid the price and I struggled to walk on the Tuesday after! Well done to Olly Bridge for making it 5 years in a row as British Champ.
Here come the storms-
October kicked in with storm after storm producing great Windsurfing and Kitesurfing all over the Country. With a crazy forecast we decided to head north for The Tiree Wave Classic windsurfing event. Big winds and waves challenged everyone over the week with a lot of cancelled ferries but in the end we managed a full day of competition at the Maze. In 40 mph cross on, logo high closeouts, i was super pleased to take 2nd place in the masters. See the event video here - https://windsurfing.tv/video/tiree-wave-classic-2018-full-story/
We then headed back home to great surf, before the 2nd event of the British Windsurfing Wave Tour at Gwithian over the last weekend in October. Northerly winds made it super cold but fun conditions, allowing a double elimination in all fleets. Sadly I missed out on the final as the wind died towards the end of the day but 6th place was enough to take 3rd Overall for the year. Well done to Mark Dowson winning the masters title, Adam Lewis the Pro mens and Sara Kellet the womens.
With the comps over for the year the storms kicked up a notch and from the first weekend in November it blew over 30mph with 10ft plus waves for 3 weeks.
The kitesurfing and Windsurfing was world class at Gwithian, with some of the biggest days for a few years. Amongst this we had some classic surf days and some super fun south coast conditions. At times it was a toss up wether to kitesurf or windsurf, so on the really good days I did both, switching to the kite as the wind dropped below 30 mph.
The last couple of weeks has seen the swell drop down a bit but the wind has still been blowing hard. On the lighter onshore days I have been loving the new Fanatic surf foil and sky surf board, getting to grips with super long rides at Marazion.
Unfortunately on Sunday I landed on the mast windsurfing in 40 mph at Maza and have picked up a rib injury. Fingers crossed it will heal soon as we have more big waves and wind on the way.
Thanks to Steve Clarke and John Carter for the pics and my sponsors for making the best gear out there- Duotone Kiteboarding, ION, Duotone Windsurfing, Fanatic.
Cheers and see you on the water soon
Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey