International Kiteboarders Steph, Olly and Guy Bridge have long been pioneering the foil racing movement, and more recently they’ve been setting records on the yachting mecca of the Isle Of Wight. Not only do the family members who hail from Exmouth make up Team Bridge, but the trio of extremely driven athletes are also part of Team Volvo.*

On Thursday 30th June, they set two World Records racing around the Isle of Wight on hydrofoil boards and foil kites. Crossing the finish line in Cowes in record-breaking times, they set new records for the fastest single handed sailor (male and female), a new kitesurfing record and the fastest female to navigate around the Island.

2015 Foil Champion Guy (16) was the first to finish with a time of 2 hours, 32 minutes and 25 seconds. Older brother Olly (18) – Vice World and European Race Champion – was hot on his heels finishing in 2 hours, 32 minutes and 27 seconds. Their mother Steph – five times World Kite Race Champion – crossed the finish line in 3 hours, 3 minutes and 24 seconds.

With the weather in their favour and eager to push the realms of what has previously been possible in Kiteboarding, the Bridges raced off the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes just after 11am. Flanked by two Mod 70’s – Concise and Phaedo3 – who would be chasing the Round The Island Race record two days later. With such an impressive sight of two sports meeting in the middle with ‘speed’ and ‘performance’ being the common denominator, it further highlighted the awesome potential of Kiteboarding and its possible influences in the world of Sailing.

As the family raced past iconic locations such as the Needles and St. Catherine’s point, a tough battle ensued on the water. Olly and Guy fought it out for the top spot in a nerve-wracking drag race at speeds of 25 knots on their foil boards, specifically designed to significantly increase sailing efficiency on almost every tack.

It was Guy who emerged victorious though, setting new records for the fastest single handed sailor and fastest kitesurfer around the Isle Of Wight. Speaking of his on-water triumph he said: “It feels amazing to have taken a new World Record today. My legs were burning! It was tough.”

Olly Bridge narrowly missed out on taking a World Record, finishing just 2 seconds behind his younger brother. Having led the whole way round the Island, Olly unfortunately hit a sand bank just off Ryde, holding him back by over ten minutes. “I’m gutted but I’ve proven I’m fast enough to beat the overall record. I’m hungry to come back next year – watch this space.”

Crossing the line just behind her sons, Steph Bridge took the record for the fastest female singlehander and kitesurfer round the Isle of Wight. “I’m actually just really glad to be back with the boys! When they overtook me on the first leg, it was a little bit of a negative feeling but fortunately I had Concise, the MOD 70 to keep me busy! I won’t say it was really fun at the time, but it always feels really fun when you finish.”

The Bridges’ Round the Island World Sailing Speed Record attempt was sponsored by Swedish car brand, Volvo Car UK. “At Volvo, everything we do starts with people and that is why we are incredibly proud to support Team Bridge. Their passion for life and overwhelming desire to succeed was very clearly what drove them to achieve such great results in their attempt to Kitesurf around the Isle of Wight.” – Nikki Rooke, Head of Corporate Communications, Events and Sponsorship at Volvo Car UK.

The Kitesurfing challenge preceded the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race – an iconic event in British sailing, of which Volvo Car UK is also a partner. Olly Bridge boarded Mod 70 Concise, where they hoped to break yet another World Record but were narrowly beaten by fellow Mod 70 Concise.

Team Volvo is the collective name given to the 34 professional athletes sponsored by Volvo Car UK. The team includes members of the British Sailing Team as well as a family of professional kitesurfers (Team Bridge) and Volvo Ocean Race sailors.

‘To follow the Bridges on their journeys

The WSSR Council announces the establishment of new World Records:

Record: Around Isle of Wight; Outright Women and Women Singlehanded
Vessel: Foil Kitesurf Board
Name: Steph Bridge
Dates:.30th June 2016
Start time: 10; 09; 46 UTC
Finish time: 13; 13;10 UTC
Elapsed time: 3 hours 3 minutes and 24 seconds
Distance: 50NM
Average Speed: 16.34 kts
Comments: Initial WSSR World Record.

Record: Around Isle of Wight; Kitesurfer and Singlehanded
Vessel: Foil Kitesurf Board
Name: Guy Bridge
Dates:.30th June 2016
Start time: 10; 10; 49 UTC
Finish time: 12; 43; 14 UTC
Elapsed time: 2 hours 32 minutes and 25 seconds
Distance: 50NM
Average Speed: 19.68 kts

Wed 13th Jul, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

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