The 2015 British Kitesurfing Racing Championships took place at the Edge Cup on 6th and 7th June in Exmouth hosted by Edge Watersports.
Split into three classes of Formula race board, Foil board and Open fleet there was a great turn out of over 50 riders from 8 countries including the Top 10 in the World for the Formula class.
On Saturday the wind was blowing Westerly 15-20 mph which meant for some great action packed racing with the Formula and Foil classes completing 8 races each and the Open class 4 races.
This year I competed in the Foil for the first time after working with Fastafoil over the last year, I was super keen to see how fast I was going and line up against 2014 British Champ Guy Bridge along with 4 visiting French guys. For the first race I used the 10m North Dyno and was super happy to take 3rd place with half the fleet using faster Foil kites. As I wanted more power I quickly headed in to change up to the 13m Dyno and took 2nd place in Race 2 behind Guy Bridge riding on a Spotz 2 hydrofoil and Ozone Chrono 9m Foil kite who was blisteringly fast and overtaking all of the Formula guys after 2 laps despite them starting 1 minute ahead.
For the remainder of the races I placed 3rd behind both Guy and Theo de Ramecourt (France) which I was super pleased with after having some great battles with Mateo from France in 4th who overtook me on most of the upwind legs with his ultra fast Elf kite but I managed to overtake him again on all the downwinds with good speed and fast foiling gybes which made the difference.
In the Formula class 2013 World Champion Florian Grubber from Germany held a narrow lead from Florian Trittel (Spain) and Olly Bridge (Exmouth).
While we took a break for lunch the Open fleet hit the water for 4 races. With a mix of riders using different boards it was Matt Taylor from Praa Sands that was leading the fleet riding a Sector board and North Dyno 13m. A great result from Matt after lots of hard work and awesome to see my coaching paying off with a win in his first event.
After a great days racing it was off to Pebblebed vineyard for some top nosh and fine wine, courtesy of Jeff. Thanks again for the amazing food.
Sunday dawned and as the forecast predicted it was light although at 9am there was just about enough wind blowing down the estuary at about 6 knts. The course was set and we headed out with me as the only tube kite able to get off the beach on my 18m Dyno. As quite often happens in Exmouth as the sun came up the sea breeze started to work and cancelled out the Northerly wind meaning everyone got rescued before we could start. We then waited to see if the sea breeze would fill in enough and around 12pm the course was reset in 6knts of southerly wind.
Yet again I was the only inflatable able to make it to the start line but felt powered and was making my tacks and gybes. At the start I was bang on the money, but was simply blown away by the speed and pointing ability of these big foil kites in such light wind. Half way up the beat the wind dropped a bit and my kite simply fell backwards into the water after a tack. I was then sat there watching all the formula guys get slower and slower as the made there way to the windward mark and by the time they started coming downwind, the wind had dropped so that even the foil kites would not stay in the air and everyone was rescued again.
That marked the end of racing apart from a paddleboard race which is always a good workout against the 8knts of tide in the channel.
Thanks to Steph and all the Edge Watersports team for another great event, the rescue cover and beach marshalls were the best I've ever seen! Big thanks to all the sponsors for making it happen and everyone for turning up. It was great to see so many foils and have such a buzz around this new discipline. I can't wait for next year, lets make it over 30 Foil boards!
Thanks to my sponsors-
North Kiteboarding, FastaFoil, O'Neill, Ketos, Supersaturated
Lee 'Pasty' Harvey
Formula- 1st Florian Grubber (Germany), 2nd Florian Trittel (Spain), 3rd Olly Bridge (Exmouth)
Foil- 1st Guy Bridge (Exmouth), 2nd Theo de Ramecourt (France), 3rd Lee Harvey (Hayle)
Open- 1st Directional Matt Taylor (Praa Sands), 1st Twin Tip Lance Oliver, 1st Women Bel Stanley
Rou Chater - Iksurfmag
To learn to Kitefoil or for kitesurf foil coaching click here