Like the last 6 years I came to Norway a week before Ragnarok to have some fun on the Hardangervidda. This year we were lucky with the wind as we had all days good wind, just the sun was quite rare. In total I kited more than 500km the week without Ragnarok. (So + 110km) and did some speedruns with a topspeed of 125km/h.
So, lets talk about the Ragnarok: It started on Friday morning really early and they explained us the course and gave us the coordinates. Everyone was excited as the forecast was around 12kn and weather looked quite good. After the busride to the plateau we walked to the starting aera by maybe 5kn, but after some time the wind picked up to 20kn. So I took my Peterlynn Aero 15m and went to the starting line where the waiting began. 1h later, still everybody was waiting for starting signal the race was cancelled due to fog on the hills. I couldnt believe it and was kind of upset and sad and went to gate 1. Ok, there I understood their decision. You saw maybe 10m ahead without any contrasts. So packing everything and going back to hotel.
Saturday same like Friday with same course just wind from opposite direction. When we arrived at 9.15 no wind at all. Forecast said wind would be coming at h11.00. So waiting again and some guys got already nervous if there is coming any wind at all, but at h11.15 finally at least some wind came (10kn). So let’s get ready. I took my white Peter lynn Aero v2.218m and my new 2m Kesslerskis (for next season you can buy this weapon also). Still some time until start so I thought, why not doing a little bit of flying/soaring. The aero is almost like a paraglidingwing. Wind direction was perfect to the hill next to the gate, so with the last flight I flew 50m in front of the starting line 10min before the start.
Finally the race was started at h12.15 and I had a pretty good one as I started beside the crowd. Up to gate 1 I was on third position. Everyone was giving full speed. My plan was to relax in the beginning a bit as the race is quite long and stay out of all trouble and better avoid one more time a close overtake than taking any risk. This year I already had enough accidents during races. Okay, my first plan was not working and I noticed directly that my legs didn't feel good today or maybe the reason was that they were not warmed up as it got better later. This is always a big problem I think as you are waiting in the cold and then suddenly you have to give 100% . Also I noticed 2 of my skiboots straps on both sites I forget to close before starting. Okay but no time to fix that. From Gate 2 I took the lead and kept it until Gate 4 to 5. There the wind died️. So now everyone started to walk but Dmytro Yasnolobov was a little bit faster there than me. I saw that in the west there were still kites in the air, so I walked more this way than directly to Gate 5. After a while I got the kite up again and kited closer to Gate 5. There again the wind and my kite dropped. Titouan Galea and Olly Bridge saw that and did a different course and came by kite almost to the Gate 5 with kite. I decided for the last 100m to walk without kite and ski back as it was slightly upwind. I think I still was first there with this tactic. But on the way back to my kite Titouan overtook me. So to Gate 1 I now chased him in the lead. From Gate 1 to 2 I could overtake him finally and from this point I kept the lead to the finish. The next 3.5 laps were without big problems. The wind almost died 3 more times and I got very nervous and was hoping the wind will stay until the finish line. I think in total we had between 0 and 15kn on the course.
THE OVERALL PERFORMANCE
Overall I needed 3h 10minutes for 5 laps by 110km. The course in total was kind of „easy“ this year as you never had a 100% downwind or upwind course between the 5 gates except in the last round from gate 4 to finish as the winddirection changed.
So it was really hard to gain some time compared to the opponents and if you did a mistake you lost directly much time as the speed was high.
My new Kessler ski and new kite from Peterlynn worked all time pretty good and I never felt uncomfortable. Ok the legs got quite burned as there was so much halfwind course. Good that we had 3 degrees + so it felt a little bit easier even if the skis began to stick after the second round. I waxed 4 skis 3 times before but the Kessler felt so good, that I didnt want to changed and I saw that after lap 3 nobody got closer to me!
6TH RAGNAROK PODIUM
It is my sixth podium in a row with 3 wins by Redbull Ragnarok by 6 entrees. So now I need some rest and have to plan what I do in summer and how to prepare next season. For summer I already have too many options, but one mission there is for sure: continue practicing hydrofoiling. So far just 50h🙄 Don't want to be the slowest one of the top riders in this point next season again. Congratulatioons to my double teammate Bruce Kessler in Snb for the win and Dmytro and Daniel Riegler for second and third by ski.
It was again a nice experience with a lot of new and old friends. I hope to see you there again next year. I have to thanks the best parents I could imagine. Without their support this all wouldnt be possible.