Until your legs scream – My battle of the sund!
Kitesurfing from Sweden to Denmark and back again
The ”Battle of the Sund” in Sweden Malmö august 2016 was very fun and well organized by the Red Bull team. There were a high uncertainty if the race was going to take place because of the low wind and wrong wind direction. But finally we went off, 300 kitesurfers at the same time taking off from the beach Ribersborg close to the Turning Torso in Malmö. The start was a little bit complicated and many kites (the sail) fell into the ocean and had to be relaunched. The start was exciting trying to take a pole position without starting to early. Off we went towards Denmark searching for a small island outside Copenhagen to go around. I was looking for that island and followed the others in a long tail. After a while I finally saw it and could go around it after one hour on the water. Behind the island, named ”Flakfortet” that is a small and old military navy fortification, was a wind shadow creating turbulent wind. Many kitesurfers dropped their kite and the 17 rescue boats were working effectively saving them. I was happy to see some former participants from my kitesurfing school Kitelife fighting the lactic acid in their legs. My legs were in pain standing in the same position on choppy water for a long time. Changing direction and leg position to Sweden was a great relief, for a a little while at least. The wind dropped slightly and it was hard to keep the direction back to Sweden and the finishing line. I came off my course, steering towards Sweden reaching land was the new objective. After around three hours on the board I came to Bjärred and landed my kite on the beach, around 20 km north from the finishing line. I companioned together with some other kitesurfers that ended up on the same beach. I was well prepared that this could happen and had my bus card and money with me. I bought bus tickets for the kitesurfers that were not as well prepared that I was and we headed back to Malmö again with the local bus. We got a lot of attention entering the bus with wetsuits and the board in our hands and changing bus in Malmö was even more fun with people smiling at us while waiting for the bus. Finally we happily reached the finishing line on our bare feet. Out of all kitesurfers on the race very few came back over the finishing line and many kitesurfers were rescued, very organized and not dramatically, on the water. It was great fun and I would very much like to do it again.