Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton: helicopters are always faster

Dale Stanton won the 2011 Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton, Australia’s longest kitesurfing race. More than 700 spectators saw the West Australian kitesurfers dominate the entire race.


Stanton finished the 19-kilometre odyssey in 28 minutes and 45 seconds. The 30-year-old rider from Palmyra said it was a tough race, made more interesting by the tricky light wind start and an ankle injury earlier in the year.

"A bunch of guys started when the yellow flag went down but they were supposed to start on the green," Stanton said. "Half way through I was exhausted and didn’t think I could hang in, I stacked it half way through but I bounced straight back up and went with the speed of the board."

The 16-knot and choppy seas were hard for the 100 competing kiteboarders. They took off from Rottnest Island, crossing Gage Roads to Leighton Beach Fremantle. In second place was Alex Genz, from Shenton Park, and in third was Duncraig’s Marty Farrow, who also placed third at last year’s race.

The fastest woman across the line was Keira Macfarlane, from Scarborough, with a time of 34 minutes and 12 seconds. "It felt slower than last year with less wind and sloppy conditions. I used a surfboard this year instead of a twintip, which made it harder than last years. I ran out of power a bit in the middle of the race but I new I just had to hold my ground," Macfarlane said.

"It was a fantastic day with solid 16kn the whole way. The race was made more interesting with the false starts and some competitors going up a minute early, but the rules are simple and we used world-standard rules", says Tim Turner, event director.

"100 competitors is the perfect number for the race and we’ll do the same next year and have the potential for national teams. Record holder and last year’s winner Alex Caizergues plans on coming back in 2012 to defend his title".