James Johnsen beats the gusty winds to conquer the Battle of the Sund 2016

August 22, 2016 | Kiteboarding
Red Bull Battle of the Sund: windy and gusty | Photo: Daniel Rönnback/Red Bull

The airspace outside Malmö was filled with hundreds of kites as the start signal of Red Bull Battle of the Sund ripped through the air on Saturday.

The fastest man across the Öresund - back and forth - was James Johnsen from Denmark. Johnsen, racing in the faster Open class, managed to complete the 40-kilometer straight line course in one hour, five minutes and ten seconds.

"It was a good day. I wasn't the quickest off the start grid but I could leverage the downwind up to Flakfortet island and could catch the leader who got into trouble at the turning point. After that, I could keep the others behind me," said James Johnsen.

In the end, Denmark claimed not only the top spot but all three podium positions. Fifteen-year-old talent Oliver Hansen from Holbæk was part of the top three from start to finish and finished second. Jan Blaesild, also from Denmark, was third.

The fastest woman on the Öresund waters was Katja Roose from Holland, finishing the distance in one hour, 46 minutes, and 20 seconds.

In the Twintip class, where the majority of the sailors participated, a Swede managed to clinch the victory. Atte Kappel repeated his win from 2014 and claimed his second Red Bull Battle of the Sund title. Kappel made the sailing to Flakfortet island and back in one hour, 58 minutes, and 39 seconds.

But it was not an easy ride for everyone. Some participants decided to withdraw early in moderate winds mixed with sudden, strong gusts. One of them was Madeleine Viking, a 37-year old kitesurfer from Malmö.

"It wasn't windy enough for my kite. I fought hard to get it up. When I finally managed to get it up, I was grabbed by sketchy gusts and nearly hit the public bathing docks. I realized early that I wouldn't handle the conditions and decided to withdraw. Better luck next time," said Madeleine Viking smiling.

Red Bull Battle of the Sund | Top 5

1. James Johnsen
2. Oliver Hansen
3. Jan Blaesild
4. Darius Karnauskas
5. Stefan Schaller

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