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
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