Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Red Bull Ragnarok returns to Norway’s stunning Hardangervidda for a 10th time.
The skies above the
starkly beautiful wilderness of Hardangervidda were once again filled
with hundreds of kites as 250 participants from 30 different nations
tackled the gruelling five-lap course. Competitors took on the challenge
on either skis or snowboards, with only the very hardiest managing to
overcome the changeable wind conditions to go the full distance. Here is all you need to know:
– The world’s biggest snowkite race, Red Bull Ragnarok is held in Hardangervidda, the largest mainland national park in Scandinavia.
– Participants attempt to use kite power alone to complete five laps of the course in the shortest possible time.
– The race format is a mass start and the kiters then have a five-hour time limit to finish the course.
– Winner of the men’s ski category was Felix Kersten of Germany, who crossed the line in 3h 10m to claim his third title and his first since 2017.
Speaking after the race, Kersten said: “This year’s race was quite
tough, because after the first round the wind died completely and we had
to walk a little bit. I was in front, but I saw everyone was catching
up to me and I lost a little bit. In the second lap I overtook them
again, and from this point I was in the lead and I took it o the end!”
There was a familiar face at the top of the women’s ski podium: Steph
Bridge of the UK won her fifth consecutive title and crossed the finish
line for the very first time. She completed the course in 4h 45m.
Bruce Kessler took the men’s snowboard win with a time of 3h 23m. The
19-year-old from Switzerland had previously won silver here on skis, but
this was his first title.
– The women’s snowboard was won by
Aija Ambrasa from Latvia. She came close to finishing four laps and
claimed the gold ahead of Norwegians Kirsti Henriksen and Sigrid K. Gaup
– The event name is inspired by Norse mythology, where Ragnarök is the final battle between good and evil.
In 2016 only 25 out of 350 kiters completed all five laps (100 km). In
2017 only eight out of 350 kiters completed all five laps (130 km). In
2018 only three out of 350 completed all five laps (105 km). This year
saw 13 of out of 250 complete all five laps (105km).
Red Bull Ragnarok 2019 results:
Felix Kersten (GER), Dmytro Yasnolobov (UKR), Daniel Riegler (AUT)
Bruce Kessler (SUI), Peter Martel (CAN), Christian Labbe (CAN)
Steph Bridge (GBR), Jennie Milton (AUS), Lorenza Malaguti (CAN)
Ajja Ambrasa (LAT), Kirsti Henriksen (NOR), Sigrid K. Gaup Aamot (NOR)