RedBull Coast 2 Coast 2015
Words by: Philipp Veit
Red Bull Coast to Coast is a kiteboarding marathon from Niobe on Fehmarn (Germany) to Rødbyhavn (Denmark) and back again, in total around 40 km with hundreds of competitors. After I missed the first part of Red Bull Coast to Coast in 2013 because of my kiteboarding instructor training course in Egypt and the Red Bull Battle of the Sund last year due to my shoulder surgery I was super excited about the announcement of another Red Bull Coast to Coast this year. The registration started in May with over 1000 applications. Out of this, 600 competitors were drawn so it was also a matter of luck if you are allowed to take park in this massive event. From our team we had three lucky ones. Ida Bang Strand all the way from Norway and Lucca Rüter and myself from Germany.
After the Worldcup in St. Peter Ording the clock was ticking and everybody was counting the days till Red Bull Coast to Coast. Unfortunately when the 19th of September came closer the forecast for the race day was looking horrible with almost no wind and the one for Sunday the 20th of September was going up and down from day to day. For most of the participants it was a long journey to get to Fehmarn so the decision whether to take an 8 h or more drive with such a bad forecast was hard to make and sure some of the 600 registered riders unfortunately stayed at home after getting one of the much sought-after tickets for the race. Everybody had to be in Fehmarn Friday the 18th of September between 12:00 and 17:00 for the registration and for the skippers meeting afterwards. Due to the bad forecast the race was scheduled for Sunday and we decided to have a nice session at Fehmarn Gold after the registration. The wind was perfect for 12m² TS and 11m² GP and we started shooting some tricks in the flat water.
Unfortunately Lucca had a big crash and ended up in the hospital with a distal radius fracture and had to bury his dream of kiting from Germany to Denmark. He was brought back home on the next day to get surgery as soon as possible and only two team riders were left for the race on Sunday.
Poor Lucca in the hospital on Fehmarn and the X-ray after his surgery…heavy metal dude. After a nice rest day on Saturday it was time for the big event. Over 500 kiters pumping there kites and getting into the water. Choosing the right kite size for such conditions is rather tricky because you don´t know the wind strength on the open sea between Germany and Denmark. Starting a bit overpowered at the shore is a good option because going upwind with a too small kite is pretty exhausting. Ida and I both choose the 12m² TS and a twintip board with boots. Kiting for such a long distance with straps can be tiring and the Humanoid Howl boots are comfortable for many hours of riding. Ida´s weapon of choice was the Admiral Board with is perfect for a race due to its light weight and ability to cut water like butter. Another skippers meeting right before the start prepared everybody for the track. The first destination was the upwind buoy followed by a straight track to Denmark. After circling another buoy and a sailing ship the journey back to Fehmarn could start.
Waiting for the beginning of the race in the water was an amazing experience as 500 kiters crowded the area between the beach and the starting line. After the start of the race the field was splitting really fast. All the raceboard riders where never seen again and the big search for the first upwind buoy was on. In the middle of the sea the waves were pretty big and you were kiting up and downhill but finally Denmark was visible. After several hours everybody was save back in Fehmarn and a great event came to its end. Big thanks to Red Bull for organization and to Best for the support. We are all hoping for a similar event next year and already looking forward to the 100 km snowkite race Red Bull Ragnarok in Haugastøl, (Norway) in the end of March 2016.
Team Best ready for the race.
How many kites can you count?
You´d better watch out for big tankers.