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The first of our ExPix Team Riders, Hannah Whiteley and Ali Barrett were competing in the British Kitesurf Championships, Kiteival event last weekend at Redcar. ExPix went along to show some support, grab some images and get the low down on what's going on on the British scene.

Things have certainly changed over the years with the focus seeming to be more on the racing format, possibly to coincide with the buzz around having kitesurfing included in the Olympics. On the freestyle front there's a lot of new faces and a very young scene, but for us it was all Ali Barrett tests the wind at the British Kitesurf Championship Redcarabout our riders. We've got high expectations for Ali and Hannah this year as we know that both are capable of achieving the very best results.
Hannah Whiteley, who holds the record for being the youngest person to win the Ladies Ams and Pro Ladies British Championships, is defending her 2 x British Championship title and is looking to secure another record as the only women ever to have won the British Championships in 3 consecutive years.
Ali Barrett, who is arguably one of the UK's finest freestyle riders is looking to improve his position this year with a very fitting first place in the British Championship. Ending in third place in the 2010 championships, Ali's skill on the water far out ways his achievements and he's determined to prove this in the 2011 British Championships by clinching the title.
A win for both riders would greatly improve their sponsorship potential, particularly important in these harsh times, yet both riders are only too aware that to achieve their dreams, they face some stiff competition.
Back to the event and the forecast had only ever been marginal proving frustrating for the riders who spent a lot of time hanging around, getting bored whilst they waited for the wind to kick in.
ExPix took the opportunity to get some lifestyle shots of Ali and Hannah, do some video interviews and talk through plans for a few more projects for later in the year which we can't talk about just yet!
Alibarretthannah_whiteleyThe images from Friday turned out really well with the industrial landscapes proving to be perfect for these 'Northern' riders who have had to play down the image of 'it's grime up north' for far too long! Let's just say we're all happy with the results!
Other than that there wasn't  a lot  for our riders to do except pump up kites, pack them down again, catch up with friends etc.
ExPix team rider Ali Barrett judgingExPix team rider Hannah Whiteley packs up at the British Kitesurf Championship RedcarThe highlight, action wise, for ExPix was the improvisation of some of the younger riders who used a plank of wood in a large puddle and a length of rope - oh and not forgetting the soap to Jack Daykin wakeboarding Will Makinson on the makeshift slidergo wakeboarding DIY style! Check out the pics while we edit the video.
We also managed to get one or two images of the land boarders and the youths category in the Junior rider, british Kitesurfing Championship RedcarRobbie Shire Maidment struggling in the light conditionsJack Daykin current British Youth Junior Kitesurf ChampionLandboarder at the Kiteival Event in RedcarLandboarder invert at Kiteival RedcarLandboarder in Redcar for the British Championshipsfreestyle kite surf comp, we'll add more in the gallery later today.
So with not much wind and no results for the Pro's we made a quick getaway so as not to get caught up in the traffic, we'll be back at some of the other events to support Hannah and Ali so here's hoping for a bit of wind!
For more information about Hannah & Ali, check out their websites:

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