Redcar Kiteival 2011

Redcar blows for kitesports festival

BKSA Redcar 2011 – Images by Craig Sawyer.
Additional images courtesy of Jordan Crosby.

Hundreds of spectators packed the sand of Redcar beach last weekend to witness some of the UK’s best kite sports athletes take part in a three day festival.

The Redcar Kiteival showcased a wide range of powerkite sports, attracting top kitesurfers and freestyle kite buggy and kite landboard specialists from all over the country.

Local communities also got involved in the event, with children from local schools taking part in free powerkite taster lessons on Friday 6th May, and spectators turning out in their hundreds to watch kitepowered competitions on both land and sea.

Event organiser Richard Gowers from the British Kite Surfing Association said: “We always get a really warm welcome whenever we come to Redcar and it was great to see so many people on the beach over the weekend, it was buzzing.

“We had some extremely challenging wind conditions which made it difficult for the competitors to show the crowds their full repertoire of tricks and moves, but they all worked really hard to put on a great demonstration.”

Starting on Friday 6th May, the three day kite festival was organised by the British Kite Surfing Association (BKSA) with the support of EDF Energy Renewables and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.

After two days of relatively light winds, gusts of up to 40 knots were recorded on the final day of the festival, forcing organisers into running a reduced programme of competition.

Six rounds of the kitesurf course racing event ran over Saturday and Sunday, with Cornishman Denzil Williams snatching a win in the event by the narrowest of margins over 2010 British champion Callum Edge from Weymouth.

On Saturday four races were held in a light, but strengthening south-easterly wind, with Edge and Williams placing either first or second in all rounds. By Sunday conditions were unpredictable, alternating between strong gusts and lulls, making the correct equipment choice crucial.

While many of the racers opted for larger kites to capitalise on the lulls, the strong gusts actually favoured those set up using smaller kit. Many new riders sneaked into the top three – Jim Gaunt getting a third and Rou Chater a first – but it was in Sunday’s final two races that Denzil Williams outperformed his rivals to clinch the overall win.

Denzil Williams said: “It was extremely close in the end between me and Callum (Edge). The wind was really hard to read and the skill level in the competition is so high this year that just one mistake can cost you the race. Everyone is improving every year and its getting harder and harder to come out at the front of the pack.”

On the beach, competition in the kite landboard and kite buggy arena ran throughout the weekend, with the freestylers making the most of the difficult conditions busting out some great moves. All have been practicing hard over the winter and some great unhooked riding was seen.

Jack Elston from Southend, Essex, continued the form which saw him crowned 2010 champion, winning the freestyle kite landboard competition.

He said: “The wind was really gusty which made it really challenging to compete in. We had it a bit easier than the kitesurfers who had the risk of being blown out to sea, and there was a really good turnout from spectators watching the competition on the beach.

“ It definitely gives you an extra buzz to be riding in front of a big crowd and the beach at Redcar is massive, it’s a really good venue.”

In the freestyle kitesurfing competition only the junior division was completed due to the gusty conditions.

Robbie Shire-Maidment showed his skills to good effect winning both the kitesurf freestyle and the juniorkite landboard competitions.

Prize giving was done at 3.30pm with prizes being handed out by Debbie Allinson from Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, with the event also supported by sponsors EDF Energy Renewables, TFM Radio, KA Kitesurfing, and tour sponsors Ion, King of Watersports and Palmera Local.

Final Standings

Open Course Racing

1- Denzil Williams
2-Callum Edge
3-Ben Todd

Junior Kite Landboard

1-Robbie Shire-Maidment
2- Jordan Hurst
3- Ellys Bloor

Men’s Kite Buggy

1- Daniel Kinsman
2- Phil Revill

Men’s Kite Landboard

1-Jack Elston
2-Greg Chilton
3-Steve Smith

Am Kite Landboard

1-Carl Kirton
2-George Dufty
3-Sukie Robertson

King of Waterports winner

Greg Chilton

PDF Full Race Results