Redcar Kiteival 2010: helmets are very fashionable

The BKSA kicked off the new season with a return to Redcar, Cleveland last weekend for round one of the British Kite Surfing Championships.

The forecast could not have looked any worse for a windsports event, however we were confident that due to the temperature difference between the land and the sea, that a sea breeze would come in and the event would go ahead.

And the riders that made the effort to compete were rewarded with decent conditions all weekend.

On Friday, May 21 the Pro–Ladies event took place, but the wind was too light to run the Pro–Men’s event by the time their turn came around.

It was fired-up Scot, Holly Kennedy, who took the honours in the Pro–Ladies against defending champion, Hannah Whiteley, and new pro Sukie Robertson.

The Red Bull BBQ started at 7pm with everyone coming in off the water to enjoy freshly cooked burgers under the setting sun.

On Saturday, all of the other fleets of kitesurfing and landkiting had arrived and registered and things were looking good weather-wise, as day began with completely different conditions with sea breeze.

The competitors took to the water and amazed the crowds of this relatively new discipline, completing four races on 14 and 16 metre kites.

Jason McCaffery won race one, while world champion Steph Bridge won race two, however it was Callum Edge who bagged the last two races to put him in the lead.

Back on the land, the Freestyle Kitelandboard and Buggies were making the best of the sea breezes and pulling out all the stops – at one stage a bank of 15 photographers were spotted clicking away.

The Landboarders showed their skills, with Greg Chilton winning the juniors ahead of kitesurfer Robbie Shire-Maidment. The Men’s contest saw Jack Elston score an impressive win ahead of Steve Smith and Ash Garwood.

Last year's winner of the buggies, Will McKean, was pushed into second place behind an in-form and fully recovered Craig Sparks and third place went to newcomer, Adam Toms, who also claimed the Best Big Trick accolade.

Sunday began with a northerly wind, however it was not long before conditions switched to a southerly and the sea breeze kicked in enough for the Open Course racers to compete. This led to Steph Bridge taking the win, with runners-up Jason McCaffery and Callum Edge having a near tangle at the start of the race.

Race director, Pete Shaw, had this to say about the competition: “It was the busiest event with the largest crowds and photographers we have ever seen – a fantastic show case for the sport”.

BKSA Championships - Round One results

Junior Kitelandboard
1) Greg Chilton
2) Robbie Shire-Maidment

Men’s KiteBuggy
1) Craig Sparks
2) Will McKean
3) Adam Toms

Men’s Kitelandboard
1) Jack Elston
2) Steve Smith
3) Ash Garwood

Open Course Racing
1) Steph Bridge
2) Callum Edge
3) Jason McCaffery

Pro–Ladies Freestyle
1) Holly Kennedy
2) Hannah Whiteley
3) Sukie Robertson