RACING / INSIGHTS


FORCES

RACING / INSIGHTS


FORCES

Brandishing awesome straight-line speed is just one element of holding your own against the best kite racers in the world. In the Winter Issue's gallery we look at some of the other key moments that can make or break your chances of victory. Here we feature Guy Bridge's in-battle judgements as well as the video stream of that final race

ALL PHOTOS: ALEX SCHWARZ 2020 IKA Formula Kite Mixed Team Relay European Championships Traunsee, Austria

POSITIONING:

GUY BRIDGE: (Rider closest to camera)

This is the last day of the event and the wind was probably the strongest it had been. It was also the most consistent and steady breeze we had ridden over the week, so there wasn’t any area of the course that was particularly paying off in terms of wind shift. I probably start around 80% of races mid to pin end of the line, aiming for max VMG, which can be a risky tactic, especially on a course as short as this one in Austria as you don’t spend much time riding up the beat before you have to tack. If I’m not able to tack on the layline and cross the other riders before they reach me I would be dictated to by them as they would have all the rights on starboard.

I didn’t know exactly where Connor and Florian were at this time, but I knew where they’d started. My kite lines are only 12 metres, so I’d say we were within 20 metres of each other, but as it’s so early in the race I would really only be concentrating on my own riding and finding the best angle and speed which, being the lowest (windward) rider, I could dictate.

I really love this lower position, not having to worry about other kites and just focusing on pace and then using my speed to pinch as much upwind angle as possible. I won’t look for the other kites until around 10-15 seconds before the moment I plan to tack, making the decision to either tack early to duck the fleet and hold out into the final corner, or keep going as aggressively as I can in order to hit the layline far enough ahead to be able to cross the fleet without giving way on port. This is the best thing you can do on the upwind beat after starting as the lowest kite and 95% of the time you will go round the windward mark clear ahead.

POSITIONING:

Forces IKA Olympic Mixed Relay Racing

GUY BRIDGE: (Rider closest to camera)

This is the last day of the event and the wind was probably the strongest it had been. It was also the most consistent and steady breeze we had ridden over the week, so there wasn’t any area of the course that was particularly paying off in terms of wind shift. I probably start around 80% of races mid to pin end of the line, aiming for max VMG, which can be a risky tactic, especially on a course as short as this one in Austria as you don’t spend much time riding up the beat before you have to tack. If I’m not able to tack on the layline and cross the other riders before they reach me I would be dictated to by them as they would have all the rights on starboard.

I didn’t know exactly where Connor and Florian were at this time, but I knew where they’d started. My kite lines are only 12 metres, so I’d say we were within 20 metres of each other, but as it’s so early in the race I would really only be concentrating on my own riding and finding the best angle and speed which, being the lowest (windward) rider, I could dictate.

I really love this lower position, not having to worry about other kites and just focusing on pace and then using my speed to pinch as much upwind angle as possible. I won’t look for the other kites until around 10-15 seconds before the moment I plan to tack, making the decision to either tack early to duck the fleet and hold out into the final corner, or keep going as aggressively as I can in order to hit the layline far enough ahead to be able to cross the fleet without giving way on port. This is the best thing you can do on the upwind beat after starting as the lowest kite and 95% of the time you will go round the windward mark clear ahead.

Re-Live: 2020 Formula Kite Mixed Team Relay European Championships Medal Race 1

The short track team relay race format now in place for the Olympics is a thrill to watch. The resulting dash to the line along with critical pressure on each tack, gybe or choice of windward position all combine for an exciting mix of tactical and technical prowess with very obvious visual advantages.

Guy's words above describe the start line hustle as it played out on the final day. Watch this video to see it in action!

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Re-Live: 2020 Formula Kite Mixed Team Relay European Championships Medal Race 1

This video has been disabled until you accept marketing cookies.Manage your preferences here or directly accept targeting cookies

The short track team relay race format now in place for the Olympics is a thrill to watch. The resulting dash to the line along with critical pressure on each tack, gybe or choice of windward position all combine for an exciting mix of tactical and technical prowess with very obvious visual advantages. Guy's words above describe the start line hustle as it played out on the final day. Watch the video above to see the action!

FULL feature IN THE WINTER ISSUE

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR TWO SPECIAL BI-ANNUAL PRINT EDITIONS

DIGITAL (ON ZINIO): £5 PRINT: £12 PRINT & DIGITAL: £15

Winter Issue - Out Now Summer Issue - Released early May '21

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FULL gallery feature IN THE WINTER ISSUE

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR TWO SPECIAL BI-ANNUAL PRINT EDITIONS

DIGITAL (ON ZINIO): £5 PRINT: £12 PRINT & DIGITAL: £15

Winter Issue - Out Now Summer Issue - Released early May '21

Shop.kiteworldmag.com

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