West Aussie Jonathan Keys wins the 2012 edition of Australia’s longest kite surfing race.
Local knowledge proved the winner at this year’s 19km Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton, Australia’s longest kite surfing race, with semi-professional kiter Jonathan Keys claiming the $1500 first prize by just ten seconds in front of a 1000-strong crowd.
In perfect weather conditions with winds between 19 to 23kn, blue skies and 26-degree heat, 110 kitesurfers sped across the Indian Ocean from Rottnest Island, crossing the Gage Roads channel to Leighton Beach, North Fremantle.
Keys, from the Perth coastal suburb Mosman Park, finished in 25 minutes 20 seconds. The race record of 24 minutes 34 seconds continues to be held by Frenchman Alex Caizergues who set the record in the inaugural 2010 event.
Second fastest was last year’s winner Dale Stanton from Palmyra, finishing in 25 minutes and 30 seconds and third fastest was Philip Rowlands from Scarborough, finishing in 26 minutes and 27 seconds.
Jonathan, a real estate agent, designed his own race board specifically for the Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton and said it was the first time he had actually raced with it. “My goal was to get a decent clean start but I actually came out quite slow. My board came through though and I reckon it was one of the quickest, I work on my board each year just for this race.
“I knew Dale was going to be pretty quick and you don’t know how the international guys are going to go. It was such a cool day.”
Fastest female across the line, for the second consecutive year, was Keira Macfarlane from Scarborough, finishing in 30 minutes 21 seconds.
Event Director Tim Turner, who also competed in the race, said it was agreat day in typical windy summer conditions for Perth.