Exmouth’s Guy Bridge wins the 2018 Formula Kite European title
PUBLISHED: 12:36 24 July 2018
Exmouth kiteboarding ace Guy Bridge was crowned the 2018 Formula Kite European champion after a week of racing in the seas off the coast of northern Germany.
What’s more, it was a case of a ‘Bridge one-two’ for Guy’s brother Oliver took second place, losing out to his sibling by a single point in the final reckoning.
Completing an excellent week’s work for the Bridge family, mum Steph finished fourth in the women’s championship.
Warnemuende, a well-known seaside resort close to Rostock, is well known for its fine-sandy beaches and reliable winds.
However, once the competition started, the race committee was challenged with either no wind or too much – but in the end eight races in the qualifying series and eight races in the final series were held for the 45 men and 14 women from 18 countries and four continents.
The event started off with strong north-westerly winds of well over 20 knots and some massive, steep swell which caused some headache not only for the race committee but also parts of the competitors.
While racing was put on hold for all other sailing classes, at least one round of four short, sharp races in the Formula Kite typical Short Track format was finished before the conditions became unmanageable.
For the final series, the men’s fleet was split into small groups of 10 each for the gold, silver and bronze fleet to take full advantage of the close racing on the six-minute track, with competitors finishing just separated by less than a board length.
The wind conditions for the final series again were very varying – from six to 18 knots – causing the most complete athlete to come out on top.
The final scores were: Men – 1, Guy Bridge (GB) 28 points; 2, Oliver Bridge (GB) 29; 3, Axel Mazelle (France) 40.3. Women – 1, Daniela Moroz (USA) 12 points; 2, Elena Kalinina (RUS) 28; 3, Alexia Fancelli (FRA) 35 and 4, Steph Bridge (GB) 41.
The fleet is now heading to Aarhus in Denmark for the long-awaited 2018 World Championships being held from August 5 to 11.