Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton 2017

 In Kitesurfing

Better late than never, this footage for the video has sat on my hard drive since last year, I half finished an edit, and then well life took over! As I have a bit more time on my hands I figured I would finish it off and let it see the light of day!

Each December I am lucky enough to be invited to the Lighthouse to Leighton kite race in Perth, Western Australia. Tim Turner organises what is arguably the greatest race in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s an incredible event with over 130 racers making the crossing from Rottnest Island to Leighton Beach. The water is loaded with sharks, there are huge tankers in the shipping lane and the water can be incredibly rough.

I’ve raced it once before, usually I am on photo and journalism duty, the one time I raced it I took it very seriously took proper race gear to Aus and ended up getting caught with all the fast riders in a huge wind hole off the coast. I swam for twenty minutes and ended up in a rescue boat along with most of the fleet. This year I took it very unseriously indeed, rocking up with no gear and trying to blag a big kite a few days before the event from Drew at WA Surf. I ended up with a 12m kite, everyone was on 18’s and 15’s who was taking it seriously, and I had a small twin tip. Hardly competitive!

I missed filming the start of the race as there was NO wind and the start kept getting postponed. I ended up walking out to the start line at the bottom end along a reef, seemed like the best way to get there in about 10knots! As we set off I really doubted I would have enough power to make it. I got hung up on a catamaran that sailed right through the course and didn’t change their track and luffed me into oblivion. In the incredibly light winds, I didn’t want to go behind the boat as it would have caused the kite to fall out of the sky, as it was, that is what happened anyway, but I managed to keep the kite in the sky.

I also got hung up in the middle, where there was barely any wind, at one point I was just floating trying to keep the kite in the sky and not making any forward ground. Luckily the wind picked up and I made it to the finish, I ended up coming in 9th in the Twin Tip class and 35th overall, not bad with totally the wrong gear! It was another great event and I love coming over here to catch up with friends old and new!

For more details on the event check them out HERE. If you ever get a chance, be sure to enter this incredible race!

Check out the full article I wrote for the magazine HERE!

A huge thanks to Tim Turner for having me back each year, let’s hope the leg is well enough for me to fly over again and take pictures, maybe, if I’m invited 😉

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