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Edge Race Cup & British Nationals 2014

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The Edge Race Cup, sponsored by Atass brought the British National Kitesurf Race Championships to Exmouth, Devon, throughout the weekend of the 13 – 15th June. The competition in its 5th year, one of the largest kitesurf event held in the UK and is fast building an international reputation, with this year seeing competitors arriving from across the UK as well as Europe. 

The event got off to a slow start on Friday with Bright sunshine and light winds forecast throughout the day. Despite this there was no shortage of action on the beach as the competitors took advantage of the downtime with paddle board races and conducted multiple media interviews, including a live BBC south west sport broadcast direct from Exmouth Beach for the lunchtime, 6.30 & 10.30 sportsnews bulletins.

The racers were divided into two categories. Those riding international standard race boards, consisting of a large volume board with deep fins and those racing foil boards – a relatively new technological development where riders plane upon hydrofoils allowing the board to float well above the waterline reducing drag and increasing speed.
As afternoon began to turn to evening a strong North westerly thermic wind finally made its way down the river and provided incredible evening racing. Race Officer, ‘Spud’ Rowsell (steph’s Dad) set an upwind/downwind course off Exmouth Beach.The sun continued to shine whilst the top of the spring tide provided flat water allowing the riders to achieve maximum speed, wowing the spectators gathered along the beach front and esplanade. The race board fleet was dominated by local Youth World Champion Olly Bridge, with the foil category dominated by younger brother Guy Bridge, both were unbeaten after 5 races. Further back racing was tight in the Race board category as British Wave champion, Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey, Connor Bainbridge, Jack Galloway and Irish Professional Kitesurfer Jade O’Connor battled hard for the remaining podium places. With a retirement in the first race due to selecting a kite too large for the conditions Lee ‘ Pasty’ Harvey was instantly on the back foot and despite a solid 3rd place in race 2 he could not overturn the deficit and completed the evening in 4th place 2 points behind 3rd place rider Jack Galloway and a further 2 away from 2nd place Connor Bainbridge.
Saturday was dominated by further sunshine and light winds, meaning racing took a back seat to the evening race cup party attended by all competitors and sponsors. Hosted by Pebblebed Vineyard 100 guests were treated to an evening of great food and wine in an amazing location. Sunday saw light easterlies and the final race of the event before midday. Jade O connor, posted her best result of the event. Second behind Olly Bridge round the windward mark, she was eventually hauled in by 4 x World Champion Steph Bridge on the finish line and was pushed into 3rd place in the race and 5th overall 1 point behind Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey. However her impressive performances across the weekend were enough to see her crowned British Ladies Champion.
The final standings of the mens event saw Olly Bridge retain his British Title in the race board category for a 3rd year in a row and Guy Bridge win the inaugural foil category. Connor Bainbridge and James Longmuir finished runners up in their respective categories with Jack Galloway and Orwin Murray in 3rd place.
Huge thanks have been extended to the events main sponsors Atass, without whom the event would not be possible. Further thanks were also extended to the supporting sponsors, North Kiteboarding, Pebblebed Vineyard Exmouth Town Council and Hanlons Brewery along with prizes donated by Ozone, New Devon Army, ION and the Exe Kiteboarders.
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