British kitesurfers rule the waves
Exmouth kitesurfer, Tom Bridge (16) took the top spot at the British Kitesurfing Championships on Hayling Island last weekend, 10th and 11th June.
The event, which took place during the famous Virgin Kitesurfing Armada festival, saw some of the UK's top kitesurfers take to the water in the grueling two day long competition.
Perfect kitesurfing weather, the weekend's strong winds made for a highly competitive event. Tom Bridge – who is only 16, yet took on fully grown men in the competition - thought the conditions on the water were in his favour though, saying: "The conditions have been great this weekend. It's been such a good event for me, and I felt like I delivered a really solid final performance. To come away with a win was brilliant."
Also competing at the event was Exmouth based youth kitesurfer, Rachael Hopper (14). Trained by Tom Bridge's mother – Steph Bridge (five time World Kite Race Champion) just one year ago, Rachael won the Juniors event over the weekend.
Speaking after her victory, Rachael said: "I learnt to kitesurf down in Exmouth a year ago with Steph Bridge. She's an amazing world champion kitesurfer, but she also volunteers running the Team Bridge Youth Academy to teach new people her sport. I learnt at just 13 years old; now I'm here competing in my own event – which I won! It's amazing."
In total, the Team Bridge Youth Academy had six Exmouth based kitesurfers competing in the semi finals of the junior events.
The kitesurfing world has seen an increase in support from sponsors in recent months, with Tom Bridge signing to Red Bull and - most recently - gaining the support of international lifestyle retailer, FatFace.
"For Team Bridge it is great to be newly supported by FatFace," said Tom. "They've come onboard as a family sponsor, but also supporting the Youth Academy that we run."
Rachael agreed – "The support we now have from FatFace means that we can get out on the water more often to train and progress in our sport."
The FatFace Ambassador Programme – of which Team Bridge and their youth academy are a part – has been announced as part of the retailer's summer campaign to promote life outside the 9-5. The programme is complimented by the launch of this season's incredible competition to win everything you need to have an awesome summer – a prize package worth over £10,000. Visiti www.fatface.com/competition to enter.