The event attracted the most participants in the history of Spanish kiting, with more than 100 kites flying at the Cape of Trafalgar
At 4pm the first event of the Red Bull ‘Batalla de Trafalgar’ started with winds of up to 20 knots and more than 100 riders in the bay. The event was in race format, in which the kiters had to sail as fast as possible between a two-point fixed course, set beside ‘Cape Trafalgar’. Britain’s Steph Bridge, a member of the English fleet and four times world champion in the Race format, won today’s event. “It was spectacular. I had never seen so many kites competing at the same time. This place is great for sailing. It was an incredible experience,” said Steph, who completed the course in around 10 minutes.
Second overall was Spain’s Alberto Prieto from Seville, a regular kiter of the spot. “It was a beautiful race with a mind-blowing start of over a 100 kiters. The wind was great for sailing and in the last section technique wasn’t necessary, it was only a question of speed. I’ve been to 5 race events this year and this one was the best by far. I have never seen so many participants.”
The massive amount of kiters and the chance to compete against some of the best specialists in the world were the key factors to the success of the event. “Being able to compete alongside the pros and be a part of the show was great for us,” said Thomas Ligonnet, the first Frenchman across the finish line. “I live here and sail a lot. Knowing the wind and the area was paramount, today,” he added.
The Spanish team, with 43 participants, won the event after being the first fleet to gather 10 kiters at their tower, of which all six pro riders were a part. Liam Whaley and Álvaro Onieva were the first to arrive. A few moments later Silvester Ruckdaeschel and Gisela Pulido were there too! Patrick Blanc and Álex Pastor took the total to the all-important ten. The French army, with 33 participants, came second and the English, with 34, came third.
With today’s victory, Spain leads the battle with one point. Tomorrow, it will be the pros’ turn in the Freestyle competition. The strategy of the three Captains, Gisela Pulido (SPA), Aaron Hadlow (UK) and Mallory de la Villemarque (FRA) will be vital for victory. The event will also be held at Cape Trafalgar, and even though the starting time will be dictated by the wind, the first call will be at noon.
1st Alberto Prieto
2nd Patrick Blanc
3rd Álvaro Onievo
1st Thomas Ligonnet
2nd Mallory de la Villemarque
3rd Marie Switala
1st Steph Bridge
2nd Tom Court
3rd Sam Light