Olly Bridge wins the 2017 Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton
- 11 December 2017 | Kiteboarding
Olly and Steph Bridge have taken out the 2017 Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton, in Fremantle, Western Australia.
The event attracted a record-breaking number of 140 kiteboarders from all corners of the globe and got underway with clear blue skies and 17 knots of wind.
The British duo claimed the men's and women's titles and repeated the feat of 2014, but it was Olly who crossed the finish line first with a total time of 19 minutes, 34 seconds, and 42 seconds.
"I am super happy, especially after the incidents I had the last two years. I didn't have any crashes this year. I was in front from the start line and managed to get away from the other guys early," explained Olly Bridge.
The 20-year-old rider competed in the Lighthouse to Leighton for the fifth time. The first win took place in 2014.
"At the start, there wasn't enough wind. Only the guys with the hydrofoils could have raced. But thanks to the [one hour] delay, there was enough wind for everybody to ride. It was a good decision."
Olly sailed fast, but he couldn't beat the record set by Nicolas Parlier in 2016. Last year, the French kiteboarder concluded the 19-kilometer open ocean race in 19 minutes and three seconds.
On the women's side, Steph Bridge secured her fourth consecutive title. The veteran kiteboarder concluded the race in 25 minutes and 12 seconds.
"Guy or Olly could have won. Tom had a kite tangle at the start, so he was out for the race. Eric just wanted to get from A to B and, myself, I was borrowing a foil and a board," added Steph Bridge.
"We're sharing kites, and I got left the little kite! I wanted to make sure everyone had left the beach before I took off. It's a race which is about taking part. I'll be back next year to get a better time again," she said.
Jordan Girdis and Colleen Carroll won the twin tip divisions, and the Marc Sprod Memorial Trophy was awarded to the fastest West Australian, 17-year-old kiteboarder Mani Bisschops.
2017 Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton | Top 5
1. Olly Bridge, 19:34
2. Theo De Ramecourt, 20:16
3. Jean De Falbaire, 20:45
4. Guy Bridge, 21:18
5. Mani Bisschops, 21:40
1. Steph Bridge, 25:12
2. Natalie Flintrop-Clarke, 28:26
3. Colleen Carroll, 33:07
4. Rachael Hughes, 35:51
5. Kathryn Davies, 36:05