Competitors from all over the UK, from Thurso in the north, to Worthing in the south, descended upon Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness for three days of kitesurfing competition. The Sun came out and the wind got up every day allowing a great spectacle to unfold. The competition was fierce in all categories.
In the Men's Pro division Lewis Crathern ( UK number one) had a difficult run losing early on, however, with composure he battled on to regain his place at the top of the podium. Also battling it out in the three-man final were Sam Light from Hayling Island, who took second and northwest local, Luke Whiteside. In the Pro Ladies, last year's runner up, Helen Thompson, from the Island of Tiree took top honours to secure her lead, closely followed by last year's Amateur Ladies winner, Hannah Whitley. Competition started at 11 am each day and finished on the Saturday at 7pm.
There were a total of 52 competitors with the largest of the fleets being that of the juniors (15), indicating without a doubt that the imagination of youth is hitting this sport big time, with some of them pushing the boundaries with tricks that the pros just a few years ago were just getting to grips with. The standard in the amateurs was an indicator of who is going to be pushing the pros of today, and the pros of today demonstrated in many cases how they have upped their game since being involved on the world circuit. At the same time a freestyle competition for buggies and landboards was also taking place and an array of static kites decorated the sky, creating a colourful addition to the beautiful surrounding fells of the Lake District. What a fantastic competition. Heats were run in all divisions on the first two days leaving the last day for the opportunity to show case the sport by having grouped freestyle sessions that were judged by the pros en mass.
Sam Light powering his way to second. PHOTO - www.kiteboarder.co.uk
1 Lewis Crathern ( Slingshot / Jimmy Lewis)
2 Sam Light ( Naish)
3 Luke Whiteside (North / Lost Cause)
1 Helen Thompson ( North)
2 Hannah Whitley ( Hangtime )
3 Jemma Grobelaar
1 Jack Shoulder
2 Sam Moore
3 Jack Daykin
1 Layne Dickenson
2 Kevin O'Brien
3 Gary Powell
1 Rebecca Morrice
2 Josie Robinson
3 Sheryl Confue
1 James Boulding
2 Tom Butler
3 Tom Ralston
On the last day it was decided to run a set of 20 minute heats in each amateur class with the pro riders judging. This provided an excellent exhibition that was enjoyed by everyone watching and those participating. The winner was chosen as the one who pulled the best trick during the entire session. Without the pressure of full competition it was great to see everyone going for it knowing they had plenty of time
BEST TRICK RESULTS:
Sam Moore with a very powered railey-to-blind
Layne Dickenson with a very big dangle!
Cheryl Confue with a well-executed F16
James Baulding with a slim chance
Robin Snuggs PHOTO - www.kiteboarder.co.uk
Prize giving was presented by the Mayor Dave Roberts in front of a large crowd.
Gary Powell Regional event organiser said, ' It was great to have the BKSA back for a second year with the support of Vestas and West Lakes Renaissance and all the other local sponsors on board making the event bigger and better for everyone in the region ? what an event!'
WORDS FROM RIDERS AND SPONSORS ON THE BEACH:
'A great all round event with perfect conditions for three days. Excellent quality of competition at all levels. Well organised and a great craic!'
HELEN THOMPSON, PRO WOMEN'S WINNER
'Walney Island/Barrow proved again they can easily handle a big UK event. Well organised and deservedly blessed with three days of wind and sun.'
LEWIS CRATHERN, PRO MEN'S WINNER, CURRENT AND TWO TIMES BKSA CHAMPION
'Brilliant competition, all the girls were great. Conditions were excellent. Really enjoyed watching the pros and looking forward to the next event.'
REBECCA MORRICE - AMATEUR LADIES WINNER
'Sunny and windy ? very good! Was my first comp, didn't know what to expect but there was a great vibe!'
JAMES BOULDING, AMATEUR MEN'S WINNER
'Good conditions, great people and great commentary!'
JACK SHOULDER, JUNIOR'S WINNER
'Excellent and good experience. Really enjoyed it and family had a good time.'
LANEY DICKINSON, SENIOR'S WINNER
"Fantastic location and great organisation from both the BKSA and North West Kitesurfing. The level of riding was exceptional, with some standout riding in particular from the juniors. These guys are going to cause some serious trouble over the next few years and with the BKSA' youth training in full swing, I think we can expect to see the standard and numbers grow"
TONY SHEPP, KITEBOARDER.CO.UK, SPONSOR
'Having been to many events you learn to enjoy them all whether the weather plays ball or not. When there is no wind you socialise, and when there is wind you enjoy the competition on the water... and socialise! It's rare that you come to such an incredible location and get three days of glorious sunshine, great water conditions and wind that anyone can get going in! The people of Walney Island welcomed us wherever we went so we look forward to coming back'
MARK WARD, RACE DIRECTOR
EVENT SPONSOR: Vestas
REGIONAL SPONSOR: West Lakes Renaissance
EVENT CO-SPONSORS: North West Kitesurfing, North West Thundercats, Rage Watersports, Thomas's Bakery, Thomas Hird Butchers and The Pied Piper Pest Control
TOUR SPONSORS: ? Red Bull, Deadman Kitesurfing, Buff
Also thanks to www.kiteboarder.co.uk for these pics
Regional Organiser and Media contact at event
Gary Powell: email@example.com
Richard Gowers: firstname.lastname@example.org
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