This was the Red Bull Ragnarok's eighth edition, and one of the toughest ones yet. With participants from 30 nations the stage was set for an amazing day on the frozen plains of Hardangervidda, Norway. Famous for being the World's toughest snowkite race, this year's race lived up to its reputation once again, with only three participants out of over 350 making it all the way to the finish line with their kites still in the air. The 105km long course was made even tougher with the unstable wind, which was constantly changing and eventually died down altogether.
No snowboarders made it across the finish line in time this year due to the practically non existant wind in the last hour of the race. Ozone's team ride Peter Martel came the closest and secured his second victory having won in 2016 as well. The Canadian was doing great and looked like he would make it in time, but unfortunately had to walk the last section across the finish line on foot to claim his title.
Here's what an exhausted but happy Peter had to say about the race:
"This year was hard as always, I'm dead exhausted and I'm sure everyone else is too! The conditions were challenging during the last lap, you just had to put your head down and power through it! It was not the finish I wanted, but I am so glad to be here. This is not like any other competition, you have to sprint for long distances at a time, and you have to give it a hundred percent the whole time."
The women snowboarders did a fantastic job too, with the second and third podium spots going to Ozone kite flyers Marie-Eve Mayrand (CAN) and Aija Ambrasa (LAT) respectively.
Here's how Aija saw her performance:
"Super happy with my 3rd place in RedBull Ragnarok 2018. This is also my 2nd podium in this event. I made 2 laps and 4 gates in 4h51min. I had a tangles, crashes, I also walked up the mountain and made mistakes but after all this was huuge fun that makes me come back here every year, improve and progress. We started race with stronger wind and finished with no wind. In first lap I was out on tube Ozone Edge 15, but for 2nd and 3rd lap I choosed Ozone Chrono 18 and was much faster."
Ozone’s team rider Jonas Lengwiler (SUI) clinched 3rd position on skis, it was an immense battle with only a few minutes separating Jonas from Felix Kersten (GER) in second place and Florian Gruber (GER) in first. Jonas was ahead in several parts but it all came down to being able to handle the light feathery winds and tough terrain.
Here's a quick summary from Jonas himself:
"Always a big experience for me to push my limit more and more. After some big crashes at the beginning i find a good way to go fast and was able to catch the 1st place in the lap. After 100km Florian Gruber and Felix Kersten catched me with an amazing performance in this race. Big congratulations to you, it was a crazy race and always a little bit about my limit. Big Thanks all the people who support me (and kicked me in the ass). Without the best equipment it wouldn't be possible too.... Now i can’t wait to go back to the Swiss Mountains and have some fun"
Other team riders fought hard with Ronny Bollhalder (SUI) coming in a respectable 5th and Didier Botta (FRA) not far behind in 7th position, having put in every ounce of energy into this exhausting race.
On the women's side of the skiing competition, British Ragnarok veteran Steph Bridge claimed her fourth title in front of the two Norwegians Frøydis Sjøvold and Camilla Ringvold.
Ozone’s very own General Manager Iain Hannay came an extremely admirable 44th position on skis, not bad for his first time and only 9 minutes behind the female winner, Steph Bridge! Stu Yarrow advanced his position on skis to 68th over his debut last year and fellow co-worker Hannes Burner finished awesomely on snowboard in 27th position - well done guys!
Fantastic results all round, hats off to all the riders!
If you're interested in learning how to snowkite, check out or latest turorial series: LEARN TO SNOWKITE
1. Florian Gruber (GER)
2. Felix Kersten (GER)
3. Jonas Lengwiler (SUI) - Ozone Team Rider
1. Peter Martel (CAN) - Ozone Team Rider
2. Ronny Bollhalder (SUI)
3. Nikita Solokov (AUT)
1. Steph Bridge (GBR)
2. Frøydis Sjøvold (NOR)
3. Camilla Ringvold (NOR)
1. Valeria Garaschenko (RUS)
2. Marie-Eve Mayrand (CAN) - Ozone Team Rider
3. Aija Ambrasa (LAT) - Ozone Rider
For full results: http://live.eqtiming.com/38830#result:136470-423182-992223-5-1-