Newcomers Jo Borchsenius (1982) from Norway and Rob Hart (1981) from the Netherlands - JOmaican ROBsleigh Team - have both wanted to compete in VAKE for the past few years. Now they feel ready. Reading their applicaton for VAKE 2017, we agree. Jo and Robs goal is to complete the race safely and as top 30 (hoping for a top 10).
Jo started kitesurfing in january 2005 in Tarifa and have been active since then both on water and snow. He's worked as a certified IKO instructor in South East Asia and have been on all continents except Antarctica pursuing the joys of kiting. For Jo, the 2016 season included: 1st Place Haugastøl Speed Challenge in Mens Skis, 26th place Red Bull Ragnarok Mens Skis, 3rd place Red Bull Battle of the Sund in Mens Twin Tip.
During the winter, Jo spends most weekends in the mountains kiting and ski touring. He's been out in all kinds of weather and has done multi day trips to prepare for VAKE. Jo have been sailing since childhood, has always done well in orienteering, has done ski-mountaineering in Lofoten, has climbed mountains up to 5950m in Bolivia and done whitewater kayaking in remote parts of New Zealand. He also has knowledge and recent training in avalanche awareness and rescue, as well as first aid training.
Rob loved to kite with "power kites" from a young age. When kitesurfing became a little more popular, around 2000, he was immediately sold and bought his own equipment. In 2010 he learned the art of kiteboarding properly and since then he's been kiting actively and as much as possible. When he moved to Norway three years ago, he also started snowkiting. He's been on several kite trips, experiencing different weather conditions. In 2016, he got his IKO instructors certificate as well as certificate for First Aid. His personal WOO record is 9.8m.
Competition experience: 2015 Red Bull Coast2Coast, 3rd place 2016 Haugastøl Speed Challenge Men's snowboard, 10th place 2016 Red Bull Battle of the Sund Mens Twintip.
Rob has always been enthusiastic about outdoor activities, especially when wind is involved. He's also done windsurfing and sailing. "Experiencing the elements of nature is something I love to do, that's where I feel most alive", he says.
"We believe we will make a good team since we both keep calm in stressed situations, we are skilled at thinking in a structured way and we are planning well ahead. In saying that, we also possess the ability to be flexible and creative when things inevitably does not go exactly to plan. We work well together as a team, we have the same ambitions for the competition and between the two of us we have lots of experience in planning, completing, and enjoying various kinds of outdoors projects".
"We have both wanted to compete in VAKE for the past few years and have now reached a point where we are confident that we can be both competitive and safe at the same time. Our goal this year as first timers, is to complete the race safely and as top 30, although we hope to place in the top 10 by keeping up the work ethics regardless of conditions and continually pushing forward working as a team. We really look forward to the magnificent nature experience of the Varanger Peninsula, and can think of no better way to do so than through VAKE".