A family affair for Perth-bound Kiteracing champions
by Janine Pittaway on 17 Oct 2013
Spending time at the beach is a normal family activity for most, but the Bridge family from East Devon in England take it to a completely new level with a combination of six world championships for Kiteracing and numerous other awards and a world record to their name.
Bridge family in action © Toby Bromwich / PKRA http://prokitetour.com/
The Bridges will show local kiteracing enthusiasts how it’s done when they come to Perth in November to run the Kiteracing Junior Training Camp presented by the Warren Jones Foundation and to compete in December’s Kiteracing Oceanic Championships.
The Bridge family comprises:
Mum Steph Bridge - a four-time World Kite Race Champion and current European Champion, who set a world record for an English Channel crossing with Richard Branson in 2012
Dad Eric Bridge – a big wind wave kiter and IKO and BKSA instructor
Eldest son Olly Bridge (age 16) – Race World Champion (2012), European Mens Kite Race Champion (2013) and European Junior Freestyle Champion (2010) and Youth Kite Race World Champion (2012)
Middle son Guy Bridge (age 14) – PKRA World Freestyle Youth Vice Champion
Youngest son Tom Bridge (age 12) –PKRA and European Freestyle Youth Champion
Steph and Olly will run a one-off training camp from 27 November to 1 December at Leighton Beach, designed to provide WA’s junior kiters with a leading edge and additional skills focusing on stance, turning, stopping and parking, race rules, start line strategy, downwind angles, upwind tactics, buoy rounding and mental and physical preparation.
Steph said this would be the family’s second trip to Western Australia.
'We travelled to WA as a family back in 2001/2002 when we first started kiting and took all three boys who were under four!
'We’re looking forward to coming back with them now older and being able to really enjoy and remember the experience - and of course the Fremantle Doctor and the strong winds that WA is blessed with!'
The Bridge family can be seen in action during the Freestyle competition on 14 and 15 December at Leighton Beach, Fremantle as part of the week-long inaugural Kiteracing Oceanic Championships (10 to 15 December).
A strong field of international and local competitors is anticipated.
There’ll be plenty of action on the water with course racing and big air jumps to wow the crowds. On Saturday (14 December) catch Australia’s longest kiteboarding race, the Lighthouse to Leighton, with the competitors tackling 19km of Indian Ocean from Rottnest Island to Leighton Beach, in its fourth year.
Back on land there will be a whirlwind of extra curricular activities including twilight movies in the sand, free family entertainment and live music, street performers, kiting clinics, beach sports, tasty pop-up food outlets and more
The Kiteracing Oceanic Championships will consist of a series of qualifying races around a marked course.
Results from this event will go towards a 12-month rolling world ranking calendar in the IKA World Course Racing Championship.
The event is run under the auspices of both the IKA and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The State Government through Tourism WA is a proud supporter of the Championships.