The first weekend in April there were held a one-of-kind event in Haugastol in Norway. The RedBull Ragnarok 2014. A snowkite race, 60-70 kilometers, across the snowy glacier Hardangervidda in Norway. Kitesurfersblog was there, participating and reporting! Read on for more!
Update! Now with video from the Snowkite event:
What is Redbull Ragnarok snowkite race?
In the Nordic mythology there were some kind of fight between the Gods. The fight lasted for years, and only one should survive. The fight took place on the high flat mountain plateaus on the Hardangervidda glacier, where the norwegian people thought that the God’s lived. Quite convinient to put the Gods and the fights on a high mountain. Then nobody dared or needed to go there to check out what really were to be found, and no lazy people needed to climb the mountain.
The weekend in April there were no lazy people in these mountains. There were no fake Gods fighting for their life either. Rather there were 200-300 completely dedicated kiteboarders that fought against each other for winning the real fight of the Hardangervidda mountains. The Red Bull Ragnarok.
The race is meant to be 6 years, with a pause the third year. The pause was 2013, so now we are on the fourth year. In 2014 there were 250 people enrolled in the two divisions, ski and snowboard. The event were 3 days, from thursday to sunday, with the race on Friday or Saturday. This year the race was on Friday.
The weather was amazing, sunny and warm. The only little problem was that there were not really any wind. Kind of an important thing in kiteboarding. The race were able to complete anyway, but with a big favour for the ones that had brought big kites and foil-kites.
The terrain was challenging with all checkpoints placed on top of mountains. Already at the first checkpoint the most of the kites dropped, and people started to walk up the mountain. An really interesting (read chaotic) first checkpoint can be seen in this video:
The winners of RedBull Ragnarok 2014
Snowkite ski fleet
The whole top 3 in ski division was German. And now with amazingly fast times:
- Dominik Zimmermann (2.11.39)
- Florian Gruben (2.20.57)
- Felix Kersten (2.29.34)
Snowkite snowboard fleet
The whole top 3 in Snowboarding was norwegian this year:
- Sigve Botnen (3.07.51)
- Remi Meum (3.21.22)
- Christian Juell (3.45.30)
Best girl in Snowboarding was Linn Jorstad and teh best girl in ski was Camilla Ringvold.
All kitebrands were represented as far as I saw. Most interesting this year was the new Ozone Chrono kites that dominated the race. Several people of top 3 used them. The Chronos are foil-kites, looking like thin airplane wings, with really high aspect ratio. Due to the light wind, a lot of Flysurfers were seen as well. But you weren’t totally out even if you had a inflateble kite either, for example Remi Meum grabbed the second spot in Snowboarding class with his Cabrinha tubekite. Though, you needed kites made for racing, and they needed to be big. Professional kiteboarders Kevin Langaree and Nick Jacobsen did not really have a chance to keep the same speed as the top field with their C-shaped kites in this race.
More about Red Bull Ragnarok 2014
Here is Red Bull photos from the event. Really nice ones! You should check them.
The Instagram pictures from the event, tagged with #RedbullRagnarok
Jonathan at Kitesurfersblog did not really have a chance in the race with his 13 m C-shaped Airush Razor freestyle kite, but enjoyed the event anyway, and will be back next year in better shape and with race-kites.