The race is on! 10:00 April 4th, 70 kiters, 34 teams, set out from Berlevåg. Mission: Be the fastest team across the Varanger Peninsula. Destination: Vardø. Wind average: 12 m/s. Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells.
Photos: Samuel Bay / VAKE
April 4th 10:00 in Berlevåg: All teams ready to take on the Varanger Arctic Kite Enduro 2017, Wissa Long Distance Kiting World Championship, by the Community Center downtown Berlevåg. Expedition style walking start to launching area. Glass like snow – fast surface. Kites rigged and the first team with kites in the air at 10:48, making their way towards first checkpoint – Ragguvidda. First teams to CP Ragguvidda: Team Sideshore and Windytv Alpboys.
Some teams being optimistic, rigging too big kites, some kitemares observed (ref. Kinetic Warriors and Stema Byggebistand). Popoloka with delayed start – had to catch their breath. Last team to reach CP Ragguvidda this evening. Sadly, Team Poland broke a binding right after start. It could not be fixed and they had to leave the race.
At Langdalen, the teams had a 5 kilometer detour due to avalanche danger. All teams (except Popoloka that is still at Raggu) passed Langdalen without any major difficulties (but some minor). Sideshore and Windytv Alpboys switched places after Langdalen crossing and when Sideshore got pulk trouble, Navrhuju sníst psy snuck in before them. Touchdown at Stjernevann for the first three teams was 13:38 for Windytv Alpboys, 13:58 for Navrhuju sníst psy and 14:17 for Team Sideshore - which is the fastest Stjernevann arrival ever (even with the detour at Langdalen).
Unstable wind at CP Stjernevann when the first teams headed out from the CP after their mandatory rest of two hours. Team Windytv Alpboys lost their head start when the wind picked up for Navrjuhu Snist Psy and they took over the lead.
Then the wind died and it all slowed down…
Status by night rest at 22:00 April 4th
Two teams out of the race. Team Poland broke a binding right after start. Are sad and heading home. Will take a road trip instead. Team Stema Byggebistand left the race at CP Ragguvidda. One of the team members was feeling unwell. Heading home to their mums..! We're happy that this is all the drama we got today!
Eleven teams camping between CP Ragguvidda and Storkløftfjellet. Five teams camping between Storkløftfjellet and Stjernevann. Two teams camping at Stjernevann. Fourteen teams camping between CP Stjernevann and CP Mattavarri. In the lead with about two kilometers: Windytv Alpboys. We suspect that Navrjuhu Snist Psy had to rest at some point. Touring with pulks and backpacks is hard work!
Weather forecast for tomorrow could be anything from 0-7 m/s. Could be heavy snowfall and low wind in some areas. The teams might expect another energy-intensive day on the Varanger Peninsula. Stay tuned!