Competitor practises during the Red Bull Ragnarok at Hardangervidda in Haugastol, Norway on March 31st, 2016.
Editor’s note: Infrared photography.
The sixth edition of the snow kiteboarding event was held on the icy mountain plains of Hardangervidda, in Norway. The organizers underline it is the world’s biggest and toughest snow kite contest, but you can only confirm it when the race is over.
The 2016 Red Bull Ragnarok had a record-breaking number of 350 riders involved, who traveled from over 30 nations. The weather conditions were shifty, and kite sizes played a critical role.
The first snow kiteboarder to cross the finish line was Peter Martel. The Canadian won the snowboarding race after completing the 100-kilometer marathon in four hours and 49 minutes.
“My start was really rough, I had to run and walk in knee-deep snow, and was really sweating and struggling. I managed to take the lead, but then my steering line broke during my final lap, and I fell behind again and had to tie a knot and use my lines in the best way. It was the most challenging race I’ve ever been in,” expressed Peter Martel.
Bjørn Kaupang was playing on his home turf, but Florian Gruber managed to steal the victory in the skiing division. The experienced German rider finished first.
“What an amazing feeling to win the RedBull Ragnarok 2016. It was a hard race with challenging conditions. I’m super happy that I made it through the big wind holes. My kite fell down one time when there was no wind,” revealed Gruber.