Welcome to our BKC Round One: Westward Ho event report with images and video! Round two is coming up at the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada this weekend. Hopefully see you there!
Catch up on the video action!
BKC 2017 ROUND ONE: WESTWARD HO!
The first round of the 2017 BKC tour took place at the vast beach of Westward Ho! on the beautiful north Devon coast.
A classic UK kitesurfing venue, over 40 competitors signed up to compete across a wide range of categories, relating to age or ability, including:
Pro Men / Pro Women / Masters / Juniors / Junior Pro / Amateur Men / Amateur Women
Early arrivers on Friday got a sweet afternoon session to warm up in the estuary with 25mph winds and hot sunshine. Unfortunately the sun didn’t continue into Saturday as the main event got underway, but the strong winds did, providing challenging conditions for everyone.
The competition got underway with the juniors mid-morning, before the amateurs hit the water, followed by the junior pros, the masters and then as we hit the afternoon the men and women pros provided a fitting climax as the BKSA race director Craig Smith, his team and judges worked hard to hustle every heat through to make the most of the wind in a single action-packed day.
Notable highlights from the first round were the sheer number of junior participants, which was great to see, and many parents also getting involved themselves in the amateur competition, making for a fun but competitive atmosphere. The amateur women’s contest was particularly tight this year, and looks set to be well contested all season.
Although it’s a small category, Max Bartholomew and Jakob Stak-Kral have shown that the Junior Pro category carries an incredible level, and if they continue to improve at this rate – landing air passes as comfortably as they are – the international stage surely beckons in years to come. Lots of credit to Jo Wilsonwho was due to make her own comeback to competition at this event, but gave up her place to continue coaching her junior students throughout their day’s experiences. The increase in these riders’ competition ability and cool headed approach is clearly thanks to hercoaching.
The Masters will again be a tightly fought battle with Pete Jones claiming first blood at this round. Anything goes in this category, from kite loops, to handle-passes to double front rolls! If you’re a keen, experienced non-pro kitesurfer, we’d love to see you come throw down in future events!
And it’s wouldn’t be the pros without a little controversy with some discrepancy at the end with George Dufty tricking outside the box, leaving an impossibly tight call for the judges between Sean Murphy and George being closely picked apart by one point for second and third place.
International junior star, Tom Bridge from Exmouth was back in the pro men’s UK fray, and demonstrated an incredible level of comfort to stomp top level technical handle-passes in the up and down conditions. As a world junior champion, he’ll be tough to crack in the pros this season. Also credit to Cameron Auld making his pro men’s debut this season, making the big step up after winning the Juniors in 2016.
In the women’s it was great to see a very assured performance from newcomer Jess Tucker from Southampton who managed to split Sukie Robertson (who showed great local knowledge of the conditions to finish first), and Holly Keenan in third.
BKC Round two takes place at the Kitesurfing Armada from the 9th – 11th June. We’re sure you’re all going – so we’ll see you there! Don’t forget to REGISTER HERE!
Check out the image gallery from Westward Ho on the BKC Facebook page here.
1 Tom Bridge
2 Sean Murphy
3 George Dufty
1 Sukie Robertson
2 Jess Tucker
3 Holly Keenan
1 Pete Jones
2 Matt Bunn
3 Kevin Matthey
1 Max Bartholomew
2 Jakob Stak-Kral
1 Russell Farrington
2 Harry Way
3 Harry Calvert
1 Emma Wolstenholme
2 Sarah Barkway
3 Lizzie Byrnes
1 Stan Hart
2 Ben Mellor
3 Ben Daffin
1 Rachel Hooper
2 Jasmine Wallis
3 Maddie Evans
THANKS TO BKC SPONSORS:
Custom BKC Stryder Kiteboard won by Pete Jones in the Masters!
Thanks to BKC event sponsors:
British Kitesports Association
Virgin Kitesurfing Armada
Kiteworld Magazine and The Kite Show
Westward Ho! Beach Bar and Diner
Jo Wilson Coaching