Czech duo wins 2019 VAKE snowkiting marathon

April 4, 2019 | Kiteboarding
2019 VAKE: the Long Distance Kiting WISSA World Championship featured 32 teams | Photo: Jordal/VAKE

Honza Simek and Miroslav Schutz claimed the 2019 Long Distance Kiting WISSA World Championship, Finnmark, Norway.

This year's Varanger Arctic Kite Enduro (VAKE) featured 32 teams from 11 countries, including three all-female teams, five mixed teams, and four family teams.

The Czech duo named Navrhuju Sníst Psy was the only team to complete the challenge before 10 o'clock in the morning of April 4.

Simek and Schutz crossed the finish line in Vardø after a grueling expedition race that includes night rest and additional mandatory rest at some checkpoints.

The Windy Alpboys - comprised of Jonas Lengwiler and Florian Gruber - completed the long distance snow kiteboarding marathon eight minutes after the grand winners.

The event kicked off in Berlevåg with 25-knot southeast winds, snowdrift, and good visibility. The newly-crowned world champions' total riding time was of about 20 hours.

Officially, the competition is of around 125 miles (200 kilometers), but the actual kite sailing distance can be twice as long due to terrain conditions and abrupt changes in wind speed and direction.

All teams ride freely between mandatory checkpoints, must be self-sufficient, and carry all equipment needed to survive in the wild for at least five days.

The Varanger Peninsula is often considered the "Hawaii of Snowkiting" and is home to a fragile and rare population of polar foxes.

2019 VAKE | Top 5

1. Navrhuju Sníst Psy (Honza Simek and Miroslav Schutz ), 9:56 am
2. The Windy Alpboys (Jonas Lengwiler and Florian Gruber), 10:04 am
3. Beckett Brothers (Thomas Francis Beckett and Anders Francis Beckett), 11:16 am
4. Tornado Lou (Petr Petráš and Josef Nežerka), 13:15 am
5. Team Sideshore (Lars L'Abee-Lund and Hans Rognerud), 13:21 am