"Raindrops keep fallin' on my head. But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red. Cryin's not for me. 'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'. Because I'm free. Nothin's worryin' me”. Sorry about the rain guys. Last two days of VAKE 2016 was not a walk in the park. Lots of cudos to all teams and your sportsmanship. 15 teams finished this year, 22 tried with all they had. Awesome.
Summary Day 4 and wrap-up with standings for all teams set from how far they got from last checkpoint.
Stjernevann was a wrap at this time. Crew and teams staying there helped to take down the camp and the VAKE-bus picked them up in the morning.
Equipo Experiencia International came skiing into the checkpoint just before 9:00. In time for transportation down to civilization. They walked half of the night to make it. Good job. Crew and teams kited and snowmobiled down from the checkpoint.
Sideshore and Sopihop came in to checkpoint Vadsø last night and went out to try for Vardø this morning. They said they would return if wind and visibility got bad. Deskjockeys came in to Vadsø around eight, fed up with the slow snow. Nevertheless, they continued towards Vardø after the two hour mandatory rest, but came back. Camp RipOff, Snowkite Angels, Powerkite, Team HQ Europe and Antiloop came in during the early morning, day and afternoon.
Among them, only Snowkite Angels and Antiloop decided to go out again. “We are sorry to miss the swimming pool in Vardø, but we are here to kite!” the Angels said. They didn’t go as far as Sideshore and Sopihop, but came back at approximately the same time. Antiloop was back in time for the VAKE-bus at 15:00 and we shipped the rest of the teams to Vardø in private cars for the dinner at Glasshuset in Vardø with after party at Nordpol Kro. Nice evening!
Closing in on Vardø, we had Snowkite Bastards, YeS, Sky Country, Kitesweden.se, Frøydis og Aleksander and Belka & Strelka. Crew measured average wind to 3,7 m/s at 8:30. Four teams made it: The one and only Sky Country, YeS – VAKE 2016 best mixed/female team, Snowkite Bastards – some mean fighters there and finally – Kitesweden.se, that reported their time to HQ as Race Master was rushing up to greet them.
As Alpboy Florian Gruber said at the Medal Ceremony: “We were just fast and finished the race in two days – you are the tough guys, fighting for it for four days!” We couldn’t agree more.
This year, VAKE really lived up to the expectations one should have for the worlds’ longest and toughest snow kite endurance race. You all fought hard this year, against the other teams, the weather and yourselves. Thank you for coming here and taking on the challenge, we hope you will fly with us again.
1. The Windyty Alpboys
2. Norwegian Express
3. Team Sweden
5. Kites on Fire
6. Tornado Lou
7. Navrhuju Sníst Psy
8. Czech Lions
9. Pushing the Limits
10. Tromsø Kiteklubb
12. Sky Country
13. YeS (Yellow Submarine) - best female/mixed team!
14. Snowkite Bastards
Did not finish, but battled hard
16. Team Nore – injury close to waypoint 205, close to finish
17. Whiteout – left the race at waypoint Komagvær
18. Belka & Strelka – picked up in Komagvær
19. Frøydis og Aleksander – picked up in Skallelv
20. Sideshore og Sopihop – left Vadsø Friday, turned back by Falkefjell
22. Snowkite Angels – left Vadsø, but turned back from Frøkendalen
23. Deskjockeys – left Vadsø, but turned back from close to Svanevannet
24. Antiloop – left Vadsø, but turned back from close to Byvannet
25. Camp RipOff – in to CP Vadsø 8/4 9:06
26. Powerkite – in to CP Vadsø 8/4 12:53
27. Team HQ Europe – in to CP Vadsø 8/4 15:37
28. French Kenels – left the race after waypoint Teodorvann – teammate with bronchitis
29. Team Popoloka – lost kite by Mattavarri, not retrieved, taken out of the race at CP Bergebyvann – position set to Mattavarri
30. Equipo Experiencia International – skipped waypoint Mattavarri
31. Team Alta – went out from Stjernevann Thursday, but came back
32. Team Hangtime – went out from Stjernevann Thursday, but came back
33. Team Tromsø Kiteklubb International – went out from Stjernevann Wednesday, but came back
34. Beckett Brothers – left the race at Stjernevann Thursday
35. Xkite Italia – gear failure – picked up by Gednje Thursday
36. Mad Siberian Horses – skipped all waypoints after Ragguvidda – came to Stjernevann Thursday
37. Team Youngsters – injury before CP Ragguvidda
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!
Photos: Ekaterina Golitsyna/VAKE and Torgrim Halvari/VAKE