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  • Foiling Into The Future





    Foiling Into The Future

    The gray overcast gave way to brilliant sunshine , which shone brightly on San Francisco Bay and the 74 competitors sailing in the 3rd stop of the Kite Foil GoldCup. In it's 2nd season, the progression of not only the tour itself, but the equipment and riders who took to the water in winds reaching 30 knots at it's peak combined with a 2.5 knot ebb tide made for a challenging conditions all around.





    The race committee had split the foilers into 2 groups and ran back to back to back heats. 3 legs, Windward , leeward and an uphill finish near the Golden Gate. The goal to get off 5-6 races for each group. Utilizing a time limit formula, the bang-bang methodology provided a smooth and rapid progression throughout the day, and only due to a late afternoon wind die off did they not get off the 6th heat.
    Organizers provided excellent boat and shore support and all contestants were required to check in and check out after each heat at a kiosk which would scan the provided RFID wirstband to assure their whereabouts on and off the water. A fleet of RIB's and whalers providing a security net as it were and the radio communication when a rider would inevitably go down and struggle, the eyes on the shore and on the water would respond in rapid fashion.








    The class itself, continues to evolve and grow. The kites now primarily the high aspect RAM foil type added yet another twist recently, with F-One kites introducing a 3rd bridal, which allows the riders in induce camber into the kite on downwind legs, effectively creating a more spinnaker like configuration. It did not take other riders on other kites long to quickly improvise a 3rd bridal on their own rigs and stay in the ever changing game. The push towards smaller and smaller boards continues and many of the riders boards present an acute chine on the bottom 2/3rds of the board. Its purpose, to reduce the rail drag when going to weather, the board biting harder and harder as the high aspect kites allow the foilers better and better VMG on the course.






    This reduced wetted is not for all. As 2 time 505 World Champion Mike Martin, and new player in the foiling game explained: " That's great if you are foiling completely around the course, but if you spend time just planning on the board through turns, the more traditional surfboard design is actually more effective" . And many of the rider are in fact foiling completely around the course, their coordination, balance and muscle memory have improved so much across the board, pardon the pun, that that particular skill set is becoming more and more de rigueur.

    The talent pool runs deep in this edition, Not only with the household names of Johnny and Erika Heineken, Joey Pasquali and Bryon Lake representing the SF Bay Area, but a new legion of Juniors has emerged, with the likes of Nicolai and Sebastian Sponholtz, Hayden Fisher and Daniela Moroz engaging and beating their much older peers with youthful enthusiasm and wreck less abandon. " It's really cool to watch these kids excel" Mike explained "The bounce back so fast from on the water explosions ( crashes) , get their rig resorted and then take off like rockets. Us older guys are a little more sensitive to the pain associated, and take longer to get back on the horse once we get bucked off"






    Another rising star, 21 year old Maxime Nocher from France and 20 year old country mate Nico Parlier
    ( Son of Yves Parlier) are presenting great challenges for the locale heros, each rolling off 5 aces respectively in their divisions for 4 points apiece, not bad for their 1st races on San Francisco Bay! Continuing in the youth movement, 19 year old Axel Mazella was tied with Johnny Heineken with 8 points after day 1, and Joey Pasquali posting 3's and 2s after a disappointing 1st race, is still very much in the thick of things with 11 points!
    The racing continues through Sunday with the top 37 contestants moving into the Gold division, and bottom 1/2 into the Bronze division for the weekend conclusion!

    https://www.stfyc.com/2015goldcup

    Galleria Day 1
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