Red Bull Ragnarok 2019

Felix Kersten Red Bull Ragnarok 2019

Ragnarok returns to the Hardangervidda Plateau 

Here’s how the ninth edition of kiting’s toughest event went down


Red Bull Ragnarok 2019 finisher


Words: Kiteworld

Photos: Ydwer van der Heide and Mats Grimseth / Red Bull Content Pool

Kiters from more than 30 countries converged on the Hardangervidda Plateau in Norway again over the weekend for the ninth edition of this legendary event in which competitors aim to cover a distance of 150 kilometres across unyielding mountainous terrain. Hopes of an early start on Friday were dashed by the ever-shifting mountain weather systems which saw thick cloud obscuring the course but, on Sunday, it was on!


Red Bull Ragnarok 2019

Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Competitors had five hours in which to complete five 30 kilometre laps of the course and they’d have to average 30 kilometres per hour to get round within the time cap. Sounds pretty manageable right? Not exactly. The Hardangervidda Plateau is known for its turbulent wind conditions and competitors often find themselves battling through major lulls and gusts as they traverse the valleys and peaks of the plateau.


Felix Kersten Red Bull Ragnarok 2019

Photo: Mats Grimseth

It’s a popular event that fills up in seconds when the tickets go on sale, and many of the riders who take part actually have quite minimal snowkiting experience, but it takes a seasoned snowkite racer to make the Ragnarok podium. 2017 champion and multi-time competitor Felix Kersten is exactly that though and this year he crossed the line in a rapid three hours and ten minutes to claim his third Ragnarok victory, winning the ski division and the event outright! He finished second last year behind Florian Gruber, so he’ll no doubt be stoked to claim the top spot once again.


Steph Bridge Red Bull Ragnarok 2019

Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

In the women’s ski category, Steph Bridge not only took her fifth Ragnarok title but she also completed the full course for the first time ever! It was a battle though, and Steph had to use her vast tactical knowledge to give herself the edge choosing a longer line than most of her competitors and traversing three extra peaks way out on the edge of the course boundary to stay in the wind. She finished her fifth lap skating over the line with just 15 minutes left on the clock! Heroic!

Special mention should also go to Jen Milton from Australia who took second ahead of Lorenza Malaguti from Canada. Jen’s a multi-faceted rider, and this is her second high profile finish in recent months having taken fourth at the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup in Australia last December.


Bruce Kessler

Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

In the snowboard division, it was a hard fought battle between 19 year-old Bruce Kessler and previous Ragnarok snowboard champion Peter Martel. Peter took the title in both 2016 and 2018, but Bruce also has form at Ragnarok, having taken second on skis in 2017. Early in the race it had looked like Peter might be on course for his third win, but Bruce pulled ahead as the laps rolled on to charge over the finish line in three hours and 23 minutes. A well deserved first victory for the young Swiss rider!


Bruce Kessler Red Bull Ragnarok 2019

Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

The women’s snowboard category saw Latvian rider Aija Ambrasa beat two Norweigan riders – Kirsti Henriksen and Sigrid Kaup – on their home turf and she came close to finishing four laps. That’s no mean feat on a snowboard, which is a far harder weapon to wield if you find yourself having to hike out of powder bowls or resorting to walking or skating along in light wind patches.

See the full results from another epic battle on the mountain plateaus of Southern Norway below.




Red Bull Ragnarok mens ski podium 2019


Men’s Ski

Felix Kersten (GER)

Dmytro Yasnolobov (UKR)

Daniel Riegler (AUT)


Red Bull Ragnarok 2019 women's ski podium


Women’s Ski

Steph Bridge (GBR)

Jennie Milton (AUS)

Lorenza Malaguti (CAN)


Red Bull Ragnarok mens snowboard podium 2019


Men’s Snowboard

Bruce Kessler (SUI)

Peter Martel (CAN)

Christian Labbe (CAN)


Red Bull Ragnarok women's snowboard podium 2019


Women’s Snowboard

Aija Ambrasa (LAT)

Kirsti Henriksen (NOR)

Sigrid K. Gaup Aamot (NOR)


Find more info on Ragnarok and other Red Bull events at

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