The BKSA race team made the long drive north on the Thursday to what would be a sunny and hot Redcar in the Tees Valley.
The forecast could not look any worse for a windsports event – however we were confident that due to the temperature difference between land and sea that a sea breeze would come in and the event would go ahead.
The riders that made the effort to come were indeed rewarded with wind on every day!
Friday it was the turn of the Pro Ladies who managed to get a heat run – however it was too light to run the Pro Men’s.
It was a fired up Scot, Holly Kennedy, who took the win against last year’s winner Hannah Whiteley and new Pro Lady Sukie Robinson.
The Red Bull BBQ started at 7pm with everyone coming off the water to freshly cooked burgers, a setting sun and sounds ringing out of the Red Bull DJ Truck.
Saturday, all the other fleets of Kitesurfing and Landkiting arrived and registered.
The day kicked off with the wind doing a complete 180 shift and sea breezing.
The Racers took to the water and awed the crowds with this relatively new discipline, completing 4 races on 14 and 16m kites – Jason McCaffery won race 1, World Champion Steph Bridge won race 2 however it was North / Ion Rep Callum Edge who bagged the last two races to put him in the lead at the end of the first day of racing.
On the land side the Freestyle Kitelandboard and Buggies were making the best of the sea breezes and pulling out all the stops – at one time a bank of 15 photographers were clicking away. Race Director Pete Shaw had this to say – “It was the busiest event with the largest crowds and photographers we have ever seen – a fantastic showcase for the sport”.
The Landboarders showed their skills to the max. Greg Chilton won the juniors ahead of kitesurfer Robbie Shire Maidment. The Mens saw 6ft tall Jack Elston kite his way to an impressive win ahead of Steve Smith and Ash Garwood.
The Buggiers saw last years winner Will McKean pushed into 2nd behind an on form and fully recovered Craig Sparks. In 3rd place and also winning the best Big Trick “King of Watersports” was newcomer Adam Toms.
The Sea breeze slowly dropped off and everyone went over to O’Gradys Irish bar for a buffet meal and a fun evening of entertainment.
Sunday dawned hot with a Northerly wind however it was not long before the wind did a complete 180 degree shift to the South and the sea breeze kicked in enough for the course racers to do another race. This lead to Steph Bridge taking the win with Jason McCaffery and Callum Edge having a near tangle at the start of the race. The World Champ could not be caught!
The Freestyle Kitesurfing event almost got underway with the Juniors taking to the water. However, as soon as the first heat started the wind backed down and died away.
Prizegiving was at 3.30pm with Prizes being handed out by Lynne from EDF.
Thanks to our sponsors: EDF, One North East, Visit Tees Valley and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council for supporting the event.
Tour Sponsors: Ion, King of Watersports, Deadman, Flexifoil, Red Bull.
1- Greg Chilton
2- Robbie Shire-Maidment
1- Craig Sparkes
2- Will McKean
3- Adam Toms
1- Jack Elston
2- Steve Smith
3- Ash Garwood
Open Course Racing
1- Steph Bridge
2- Callum Edge
3- Jason McCaffery
Pro Ladies Freestyle
1- Holly Kennedy
2- Hannah Whiteley
3- Sukie Robertson