Jonas and Flo win Vake

The hardest snowkite race in the world

Photos + Video

Here is a report just in from Jonas Lengwiler, our Swiss Ozone rider who not only won Ragnarok but Vake too, the longest and toughest snow kite race.

The winter season ends now and I had the last competition for this winter. After a succesfull Ragnarok on the first place,  I travelled further up north in Norway to the toughest snowkite race on the world: the Varanger Arctic Kite Enduro (VAKE) with a total length of 300 kilometers. I started again with Florian Gruber like last year, when we won it in record time.

This year, the condition was a bit more different, with more snow and more parts where we had to walk. We were motivated to give our best again, but in this race you never know, because you can make a lot of mistakes. At the start were 40 team from 15 different countries. We know that when we have wind, we can be the fastest. But we are not the fastest walker, the scandinavian teams are the fastest with walking. The race started and after a 3km walk we took our kites to move on. I took my 11qm and Florian his 15qm. We had on the top a lot of wind with around 20knots and sometimes we had so much overpowedered, but it was still fast. We finished the day with a 4 hours walk before we were going to our tents.

The next morning started with no wind and  after a 4hours morningwalk, the wind came very light and we took again our kites. We made no big mistakes and were one hour in front of the next team. In the evening, the wind came stronger and we kited by zero visibility on the highest point from the race, only with the gps you known where the right way was. After one night more in the tent, we started the day with light wind and good visibility, so we can made some kilometres in the next 2.5 hours. Twenty kilometres before the finish line the wind wasn`t blowing anymore and we walked the last part. It was for sure the hardest part, because the very fast Sweden team was only 4 kilometres behind us and we had to go so fast how it was possible without a break. At the end we were two hours before the Sweden team at the finish. Completely exhausted we couldn’t walk anymore but we were so happy that we won the long-distance World-Championship. For me it is every year one of the biggest highlight to starting there with so many nice people, with the best organization which you can ever have!