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BRIT WINS SNOW KITING RACE
Thursday April 6, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Stephanie Bridge wins the skiing category in the 130km Ragnarok Snowkiting race in difficult windy, wintry conditions on the Hardangervidda plateau in Norway.

The Red Bull Ragnarok Snowkiting event is one of the toughest snowkiting events in the calendar, and it took place at the weekend.

Now in its seventh year the competition takes place at Haugastøl on the bleak Hardangervidda plateau in Norway.

It requires advanced kiting skills, nerves of steel and acute determination to finish the arduous 130km race, that can take up to 5 hours to complete.

At the weekend 350 kiters on skis and snowboards gathered from 29 nations at the start in Hardangervidda.

The athletes are expected to complete 5 laps that make up the 130km.

This year the race was 30km longer than the previous six competitions, and only 8 out of the 350 kiters managed to complete all five laps.

Britain’s Stephanie Bridge held off two Norwegians to claim victory in the women’s ski category with Latvian Aija Ambrasa taking the honours in the women’s snowboard category.

Stephanie Bridge commented on the race in her Blog, she said, "The course was ridiculous – long leg burning legs around gates that were on the ridge of steep mountain sides where winds were either blowing over 44knots with a snow storm or down in the valley dropping to 5knots & soft very sticky snow."

Stephanie is part of Team Bridge, a unique family of kite surfers that compete internationally in freestyle & racing with many World & European titles between them. 

The team includes 3 brothers, Olly, Guy and Tom, and parents Eric and Stephanie.

GB's Stephanie Bridge wins ski category (Camilla Ringvold, Camilla Nore)GB's Stephanie Bridge wins ski category (2nd Camilla Ringvold, 3rd Camilla Nore)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conditions on Saturday were windy, up to 23m/s at times which is the equivalent of a small storm.

Some kiters reached speeds of 100km/h (62mph).

There are 4 categories, men's ski and snowboard, and women's ski and snowboard, the youngest kiter was 16 years old and eldest was aged 59.

Red Bull Ragnarok, Haugastol - April 2017Red Bull Ragnarok, Haugastol - April 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we watched the videos below we wondered how the 350 competitors manage not to get their lines in a tangle!

 

The Hardangervidda plateau is a national park in the centre of Norway.

In the winter the plateau is a bleak expanse where historically explorers would train before departing to the Poles, in the summer it is a destination for hiking and exploration.

The German kiter on skis, Felix Kersten was the 2017 winner finishing the 5 laps in 3 hours 40 minutes, some 27 minutes faster than second place.

This is Kersten's second gold medal.

He said, “This was far harder than previous Ragnaroks. I'm totally done and totally happy. This was a really tough and crazy race."

“On the top we had 40 knots and sometimes in the valley we had almost zero. The best experience is that I'm still the fastest.”

Felix Kersten - skier winnerFelix Kersten - Men's ski winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felix Kersten - skier completes 5 laps in 3hrs 40 minsFelix Kersten - Men's ski winner completes 5 laps in 3hrs 40 mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonas Lengwiler Snowboard winnerJonas Lengwiler Snowboard winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results:
Women Ski
1. Stephanie Bridge (Great Britain)

2. Camilla Ringvold (Norway)
3. Camilla Nore (Norway)

Women Snowboard

1. Aija Ambrasa (Latvia)
2. Iris Straume (Norway)
3. Marie-Eve Mayrand (Canada)

Men Ski
1. Felix Kersten (Germany)
2. Bruce Kessler (Switzerland)
3. Dominik Zimmermann (Germany)

Men Snowboard

1. Jonas Lengwiler (Switzerland)
2. Sigve Botnen (Norway)
3. Miroslav Schutz (Czech Republic)

 

Red Bull Ragnarok Haugastol April 2017Red Bull Ragnarok - Haugastol April 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camilla Ringvold - battling with the windCamilla Ringvold - battling with the wind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Photos:  Daniel Tengs/Red Bull Content Pool

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