Race Report by INTERNATIONAL KITESURF MAGAZINE
Olly Bridge has taken out his third Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton title, crossing the Indian Ocean from Rottnest Island to Leighton Beach in Fremantle in 21 minutes and 8 seconds in the race’s 10th year.
The three-time Men’s European Champion and seven-time Under 21 World Champion won the race in 2014 and 2017 and has won the title back from his brother Guy Bridge who continues to hold the race record of 18 minutes, 49 seconds for the 19km crossing.
The slower speed of the crossing in today’s race was reflected in the high winds of over 20 knots, making the ocean notably choppy for the 138 starters.
Olly, aged 22, said it was one of the toughest Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton races he’s competed in.
“It was the most amount of seaweed I’ve ever seen in the channel, so it was about jumping, getting seaweed off, but trying to go fast at the same time and not crash and it was nice and windy at least. Yeah, a good race,” – Olly Bridge
21-year-old Jean de Falbaire from Mauritius came in 2nd fastest at 23:11, and the fastest West Australian competitor was Lincoln Sullivan in a time of 23:22.
For Lincoln, it was his sixth and most successful attempt.
“It was a beautiful day! The conditions were right for the equipment I was using and, yeah, no complaints.vI had a custom-made slalom board and an inflatable kite. So, yeah, it was a bit different to the guys on the foils, today it was the right gear for the job. I knew that one day it was going to work out, and it turns out today’s the day,” Lincoln said.
Race start at Rottnest
Queensland’s Breiana Whitehead, a regular placegetter in World Championship kiting events, took the trophy for the fastest woman, crossing the line at Leighton Beach in North Fremantle at 28 minutes 7 seconds. It was the 19-year-old’s first attempt at the Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton race, and she did it with a sore ankle.
“I hurt my ankle about a week ago, so it’s a bit unstable, but luckily I still managed to do the race. I’m pretty happy that I was out there, it was heaps of fun. It’s just completely different. Just doing one straight reach, I’ve never done that before as a race, and it’s cool to try something new.” – Breiana Whitehead
Current GKA Kitesurf World Tour World Champion Airton Cozzolino-Lopes, 25, from the northern African island of Cape Verde raced his first Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton today.
“The race was pretty fun! It was my first time doing it. It was a bit of a mission, was a bit tricky, but it was fun. It was a lot of people and my first race like it.” – Airton Cozzolino
First, second and third placegetters in each category shared a total A$7000 in prize money, plus a GoPro Hero7 Black for the winners.
The race was initially scheduled for Saturday, but organisers moved it to Sunday for improved weather conditions.
Olly Bridge with MC Rob Goyen
The Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton is made possible thanks to Red Bull, Mrs Macs Pies, GoPro and Action Sports WA. Generous community support is provided from Rottnest Island Authority, Fremantle Sailing Club, Kiteboarding Western Australia, Rottnest Express, Fremantle Ports and Royal Life Saving Society.
Check out the full results right here.
Men’s Overall and Men’s Foil
1st Olly Bridge 2nd Jean De Falbaire 3rd Lincoln Sullivan
1st Olly Bridge (Devon, UK) 21:08
2nd Jean De Falbaire (Mauritius) 23:11
3rd Lincoln Sullivan (Bicton, WA) 23:22
Men’s Twin tip
1st Daniel Anderson 2nd Charlie Wise 3rd Jason Lewis
1st Daniel Anderson (Coolbellup, WA) 25:33
2nd Charlie Wise (Cottesloe, WA) 26:43
3rd Jason Lewis (Safety Bay) 27:25
1st Breiana Whitehead 2nd Natalie Broughton 3rd Claire May
1st Breiana Whitehead (Townsville Qld) 28:07
2nd Natalie Broughton (Palmyra, WA) 40:25
3rd Claire May (Trigg, WA) 40:28
Womens Twin tip
1st Rachael Hughes 2nd Rebecca Bury 3rd Megan Barnett
1st Rachael Hughes (Shoalwater, WA) 32:09
2nd Rebecca Bury (North Fremantle WA) 35:04
3rd Megan Barnett (Devon, UK) 35:22
For more information on the Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton race, please click here.
Sun 8th Dec, 2019 @ 11:45 am