Monthly Archives: July 2015

America’s Cup: Sir Keith Mills interview

by BBC South Today:
We’re just 24-hours away from the start of the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth. The man behind Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing British bid is businessman Sir Keith Mills. He’s been speaking to our business correspondent Alastair Fee

World on Water July 05 15 Global Sailing News. Transat Start 2 Foiling Week, M24, J Class ..more

By Geoff Waller

In this week’s WoW to US shooter Onne Van der Wal of Newport R.I. captures the second start of the Trans Atlantic Race and some of the contenders, Day 2 of this year’s The Foiling Week and the competition is hot, Melges 24 Day 2, Our “Classic” is the 2013 J Class St Barths Regatta and the UK Moths Championships concludes.
These are just some of the best videos this week on www.boatson.tv the home of the WoW and Live Sailing

NC Sports 16 July|#1 News Source for Sail, Surf & more! ENG

By Nautical Channel

16/7/2015] Nautical Channel’s weekly news cast covering the wide world of water sports.
Now, on this Weekly News edition:

Sailing
The future is now at ‘The Foiling Week’ on Italy’s lake Garda. Vendée Globe hero François Gàbart and America’s Cup defender Shannon Falcone explain.

The Diam 24s of the new Tour De France Voile hit Roscoff, and it’s a great day for Engie and Sebastien Rogues. Senior Correspondent Sebastien Destremau captures the moment.

On the road to Rio 2016. Burling-Tuke and Conti-Clapcich take the 49er and 49erFX European titles in Porto, for New Zealand and Italy .

Windsurfing
Ripping conditions sweep Pozo, as Philip Kostner and Daida Moreno conquer the PWA world cup in Gran Canaria for ‘Wave’ riders.

Solar Powerboating
More flash-futures in Monte Carlo for the Solar 1 Cup. Royalty takes notice as Dutch teams dominate a new ‘clean’ era now in the making.

Surfing
Surf’s up as the WSL Men’s Championship Tour is back for the J-Bay Open. Special highlight preview of the massive swells and the high ‘nines’ in South Africa .
Plunge into the action ! ….With NC Sports
The full NC Sports experience is on Tv, tablet and mobile. Go to nauticalchannel.com for availabilty in your country, or email your local provider: “I want Nautical Channel!”

Andrew McDougall talks about the WASZP

By yachtsandyachting.com

Jonny Fullerton interviewed Andrew ‘A-Mac’ McDougall on behalf of YachtsandYachting.com at Lake Garda during The Foiling Week where the WASZP foiling dinghy was launched.

Jonny Fullerton: Give me a bit of background on how you came up with the idea for the WASZP.

Andrew McDougall: I’ve been sailing a Moth for a very long time and foiling Moths for 10 years now. There’s always so much interest on the beach; you get people coming up asking what it is and how does it work. Particularly you get kids coming up and they just want one and there’s always a reason why they can’t have it, why dad or mum won’t buy it for them, and that’s really what prompted the idea. Trying to get rid of all the arguments that people use not to get a Moth. It’s been ticking away in my brain since 2007. It wasn’t about making the Moth one-design, it was about getting rid of all the problems, and that’s what I’ve attempted to do.

JF: What type of sailor is the WASZP aimed at and who are you expecting to be buying and sailing the boat?

A-Mac: It’s aimed at a much broader range of sailor than the Moth. The Moth is always going to have the very high-end technical guys who want to play with things or have the latest cutting-edge design. The Moth is just a beautiful boat, it’s so efficient and lovely to sail, but not everyone, in fact very few people, are prepared to put that level of effort and amount of money into staying at the top. The WASZP is aimed at those who like the idea of having a foiling single-hander but don’t want to deal with all the other stuff that’s involved with a Moth – people who want to go down on a Wednesday night and just go racing. It’s trying to be the Laser or the one-design windsurfer of the foiling world.

JF: The boat you have at The Foiling Week is only in prototype form, but what are the key aspects and features of the WASZP?

photo © Foiling Week™

photo © Foiling Week™

A-Mac: The bow is finer than a Moth at the centre vertically, but slightly fuller at the bottom and a lot fuller at the deck. This came about from the experience of trying to make it low-ride well, with a big range of sailor weights, and it had to be efficient through the breeze as it lifts out. The whole bow design is about having a heavy sailor burying the bow and keeping the transom out, without having huge bow drag, and when a light person gets on it, still having the full waterline length and having a good low-riding shape. It’s very full in the stern as one of the issues with the Moth is that you tend to fall over backwards when learning and you get into irons. The Waszp also has a rudder which you can push down, so you need to be able to lean over the back and do that, so a lot of things have influenced the design of the hull.

JF: The boat has no stays (shrouds) so you’ve got an unsupported rig. Is that an improvement for safety, launching and recovery?

A-Mac: There are so many reasons not to have stays – on my wrists you can probably see about 20 of them. There have been some pretty bad injuries from stays and I personally hate having that stay in front of me while I’m doing a manoeuvre and thinking if something goes wrong I’m going into it… But that’s not the only thing, it makes rigging simpler, you just pop the mast in and it’s done, with just the cunningham, mainsheet and outhaul keeping the mast in, it’s all very simple. There are two more reasons for not having stays; getting into the boat after a capsize or getting into the boat in very light winds is much, much easier over the front of the wing bars. Lastly, in very light winds, you can let the sail out and head downwind efficiently.

JF: And the wishbone boom?

The WASZP in the boat park at Black Rock - photo © McDougall Creations

The WASZP in the boat park at Black Rock – photo © McDougall Creations

A-Mac: This really comes from having the main foil retractable; with the main foil sticking up in the boat, a boom would be very difficult to deal with. With the wishbone you’ve got a soft bottom to the sail and you can just let the outhaul off to allow the sail to flop over to the other side when the main foil is up. That was the major part of it, but having sailed with it now, not having the boom is a massive advantage and you can close the gap more (sail closer to the hull) as you’re not worried about hitting your head on the soft sail. The final reason is that you don’t have a vang, which takes the load off everything.

JF: On sails there is a choice of three – presumably this gives you a wider range of sailor and ability?

A-Mac: Yes, but it also means we can make a fairly full-on, high-performance rig for the biggest one without getting too caught up with how easy it is to put up. With the smaller one we’re definitely going to have it so that you can put it up and down from the deck. I’m thinking there will be two versions of the middle sail; one with the bolt-rope for the bigger kids and another for the smaller high-performance people who want to go fast.

JF: You’ve gone for aluminium foils rather than carbon, mainly for cost I believe?

A-Mac: No, there was a bigger reason than cost. Cost is a massive reason but the biggest reason is that if the boat is going to be one-design, carbon is very difficult to deal with. You can never make a carbon foil where you say ‘You can never do anything with this foil’. There will be blemishes from the factory so people will sand them, will finish them and will paint them. The aluminium foil is hard anodised so you can’t do anything with it, so everybody’s got the same thing. Also if you do damage it then it won’t be that expensive to replace it. So from the one-design aspect and cost it was massively different.

JF: Weight-wise how does it compare with the Moth?

A-Mac: The hull is 16kg, which is slightly better than I’d hoped. It’s about 5.5kg heavier than a Mach2, which is not too bad for a hull which is probably around five times more durable.

JF: You have this folding wing concept for transportation. Could you tell us a little about that?

WASZP wing modes - photo © McDougall Creations

WASZP wing modes – photo © McDougall Creations

A-Mac: It’s more for storage in yacht clubs. At my club we have nowhere to put a Moth as slots are designed around boats that aren’t as wide as a Moth, so being able to fold the wings up means you can top-to-tail several of them in quite a small space.

JF: I know you’re only at the prototype stage, but everyone’s asking what the cost will be.

A-Mac: Half the cost of the current base-model Mach2 is 100% our aim and I have no reason to doubt that we’ll make that. It’ll probably come out at around 12,000 Euros.

JF: A lot of people will look at this and wonder whether it’ll be a competitor or a feeder class to the Moth. What’s your view on that?

A-Mac: It almost has nothing to do with the Moth. The fact that they’re the same length as the Moth is for the reason that the Moth happens to be the exact length at which air freight is still reasonably cheap. It’s not going to be anywhere near competitive with the Moth – it’ll go pretty well against a Moth upwind but it’ll get caned downwind. In the end it’ll probably enhance the Moth as there will simply be more people who catch the bug of this type of sailing.

JF: And in the long-term do you think there’s a possibility of the WASZP becoming an Olympic class?

A-Mac: My focus is to get this boat right. We’ve done the website and we think we’ve done a good job of that. We’re not thinking about the Olympics at this point but I am thinking about how we run the class, I’m thinking about what type of rules we’d like within the class and what type of restrictions, but I really don’t want to make any decisions that are driven by the thought that we want to be an Olympic class. If that happens then we’ll talk about it nearer the time.

JF: A-Mac, thank you very much for your time and we wish you all the best with the WASZP.

A-Mac: Thank you very much.

www.waszp.com

A five day festival of foiling

By Jonny Fullerton on behalf of Foiling Week 2015 

Foiling Week 2015 at Lake Garda

Foiling Week 2015 came to a close last weekend after a five day festival of foiling in superb conditions at Lake Garda. The weather really turned it on for three days of fast and furious foiling with Lake Garda an eclectic mix of foiling craft.

The sun came out every day and the pristine clear waters off Malcesine proved a big hit for the visiting sailors. The early morning Peler from the North switches off around lunchtime to make way for the afternoon Ora from the South which blew in 12 – 18 knots almost every day. Add the occasional summer thunderstorm in the mix and you have some awesome foiling conditions.

The Kitefoil Invitational proved such a hit amongst the visitors that international kite rider Marvin Baumeister is keen to organize a major kite event in Lake Garda as early as next year.

“The circuit is growing in strength and if we come here in Summer it doesn’t get much better, its not only a place that has really good conditions for some very fast racing, its also the panorama and the scene here just adds that extra element.”

Winner of the Long Distance Race, kiteboarder Torvar Mirsky from Western Australia agrees: “I have had a lot of fun here, this Foiling Week concept is great, the venue is great, the organization is spot on so we have had such a pleasant time.”

The Moths and Flying Phantoms enjoyed a series of 10 fast and furious windward/leeward style races over the first three days followed by a Long Distance Race at the weekend to test their speed against all the other craft.

Gurvan Bontemps (FRA) Flying Phantom Series
It is very good conditions here for the Flying Phantom foiling boats. Full foiling on the start, upwind and downwind. The lake is very flat and with a breeze of 17 – 18 knots its really good. This is the first time I sail here on Lake Garda and I love this lake! fantastic.

The prototypes on offer ranged from foiling windsurfers, to the S9 cat, Mirabaud, The Vampire Project (White Bear) and everything in between. Sailors were able to test sail the foiling craft with many experiencing the thrill of foiling for the first time: “It has been amazing how simple and smooth is to start foiling on the “Vampire” and also how much fast it is! Foiling is now my new fever!”

Designers, builders and suppliers roamed the boat park to analyse the craft on display and sample foiling products on offer.

The Foiling Week forums offered the unique opportunity for delegates to hear from highly experienced individuals from a mixture of backgrounds including naval architects, designers, engineers, builders, circuit organizers and sailors and exchange ideas and views at the ‘Round Table’ sessions.

Andrew ‘Amac’ McDougall
“Foiling week just rocks, because it brings sailors and designers together to exchange ideas and of course race at a beautiful spot.”

Marc Menec (Innovative Solutions & 3D Engineering)
“The forum, the organisation, the team, everything was great. I really enjoy meeting all those foiling people and it was also very constructive.”

Presenters came from a range of foiling backgrounds be it in Kite boarding, the launch of a foiling dinghy (the Waszp), Multihulls (The Flying Phantom Series), C Class (Little Cup) Offshore projects (IMOCA 60, ORMA 60) larger Multhihulls (MOD 70) the Americas Cup (AC34/AC35) and a whole host of prototype projects. Designers discussed their projects exchanged views on foils, hydrodynamics, fluid dynamics, foils and the future of development.

Friso Bergsma (Hydrodynamicist/CFD specialist)
“Thank you very much for the Foiling Week. I’ve enjoyed the event a lot. I hope to see you in one of the next editions.”

Presentations will be available on the foiling week website for download in the coming weeks.
See www.foilingweek.com

Foiling Weektm has proved so successful that the date is soon to be set for next year and other venues have shown interest in hosting future Foiling Weeks. Future events will be advised in due course.

KiteFoil GoldCup 2015 at Hang Loose Beach, Italy – Day 4

Nocher Clinches Kite Foil Championship in Italy with Imperious Display

Monegasque Maxime Nocher sealed his victory in the KiteFoil GoldCup in Italy with a virtually unrivalled demonstration of speed, power and flawless technique that left the chasing pack peering at his back in the distance for much of the competition.

The reigning Formula kite world champion’s sheer pace and extreme angles sailed upwind and downwind ensured he snatched four bullets from the top “gold” fleet’s five races on the final day of four at the engrossing contest in southern Italy.

IMG 6603 small

Nocher was so dominant, especially in “gold” fleet’s racing in the perfect 9kts to 12kts of thermal Mediterranean breeze, that he had an unassailable lead with two races still to play out on the windward-leeward track just off a packed Hang Loose Beach.

Almost immediately Nocher turned his attentions to the next round of the four-stop KiteFoil GoldCup world tour in San Francisco at the end of the month, where he knows the competition will be even tougher with Nico Parlier (FRA) and Johnny Heineken (USA) both slated to race.

“Right now I’m really pleased with the win here,” said Nocher, as he came ashore after the last race. “I’m looking forward to San Francisco. If I can win again there I’ll win the whole GoldCup. I think Nico Parlier will be there and the Americans, so it’ll be tough. But that’s good.”

The KiteFoil GoldCup’s latest stop — following the first in La Ventana, Mexico — also offered up some new equipment twists in the lightly-regulated “open” class. In Nocher’s hands the Taaroa Sword2 with new wings proved as quick as ever, while his F-one Diablo foil kite showed itself as formidable as the relatively recent Flysurfer Sonic FR. But Levitaz’s new Aspect Bionic hydrofoil also emerged as a force to be reckoned with.

Despite Nocher’s emphatic win through his display of unmatched consistency, the young French rider Axel Mazella — who took the second podium spot — and compatriot Julien Kerneur gave him a run for his money, both snapping at his heels and on occasion overhauling him in the nip-and-tuck battles on the smooth waters.

Mazella, 17, riding a Taaroa Sword2 with developmental wings and an Elf Joker foil kite, realised he had his work cut out for him because of Nocher’s speed around the course. In the last race he got a slice of luck when Nocher caught a plastic bag in the water and had to jump to clear it, but then the same misfortune befell him later in the race.

“Maxime [Nocher] is just very, very fast,” said Mazella, who also took the Under 21 title. “I might be a bit quicker, but he is fast with better angles.

Kerneur, riding a 15m Paraavis GVX foil kite and a Taaroa Sword2 hydrofoil, went one better than his fellow countryman grabbing a bullet in a split-second photo-finish at the expense of Nocher in the day’s third race.

Mazella also lost out to Kerneur in the fourth race of the day when he crashed during a thrilling drag race to the finish line, slipping two places in the process.

The “gold” fleet’s two-lap course, typically completed by the winners in 12 minutes and 30 seconds, saw a number of riders start on a port tack to take advantage of the lift near the beach on the right side of the track.

But the tactic ensured most had to give way to the starboard riders and duck beneath the pack, many of whom tacked at the first possible opportunity to gain the same right-hand side advantage.

Benni Boelli (GER), riding a Flysurfer Sonic FR kite and Levitaz Aspect Bionic hydrofoil, used the right side of the course well often showing the same blistering pace as the top riders. His performances on the third day, the first of “gold” fleet racing, helped earn him a fourth place in the overall standings.

In the alternate “silver” fleet, also made up of 24 riders, North Kiteboarding rider Steph Bridge (GBR) came top for the women with a series of solid third places on the final day, just outpointing Airush’s Alexia Fancelli (FRA), who was the second woman and fifth overall in the fleet and Russia’s Elena Kalinina third and seventh respectively.

FINAL STANDINGS

1. Maxime Nocher (MON) – 9 points
2. Axel Mazella (FRA) – 23 points
3. Julien Kerneur (FRA) – 29 points
4. Benni Boelli (GER) – 47 points
5. Riccardo Leccese (ITA)) – 50 points

Full Results: http://internationalkiteboarding.org/images/documents/events/2015KFGCItalyResults.pdf

Flickr: GoldCup Italy Album

KiteFoil GoldCup 2015 at Hang Loose Beach, Italy – Day 3

Tight High-Octane Racing in Ideal Conditions Throws Up Enthralling Battles

Hang Loose Beach, Gizzeria—The contest for the top spots on day three of the KiteFoil GoldCup saw intriguing tactical battles on the water, with the leading riders trading places in the top fleet’s five races.

But Monaco’s Maxime Nocher emerged on top despite a crash near the windward mark on his last race of the day in the “gold” fleet that put him down the order and an earlier disqualification — reversed on appeal — for being over the line early.

IMG 6272The dramas for the young rider masked a near perfect day with four bullets in the stiffening thermal breeze that steadily increased from 9kts to 15kts, forcing race officials to lengthen the windward-leeward track and riders to put up their smaller 11m and 12m foil kites.

Axel Mazella (FRA), riding the same Taaroa Sword2 hydrofoil as Nocher, scored a bullet and a couple of seconds to keep him in close touch on the leaderboard going into the final day of the championship being staged off southern Italy’s Hang Loose Beach, the second of the four-stop kitefoil gold cup tour.

Fellow countryman Julien Kerneur started the day strongly with a trio of consecutive third places, but faltered slightly as the exhilarating competition intensified, the breeze picked up and riders figured how best to use the shifts on the right side of the course near the beach.

In the “gold” fleet’s fourth race of the day, completed in just under 11 minutes even after the course was extended, Nocher both demonstrated his fluency and vulnerability. The young monegasque on his 12m F-one Diablo foil kite was overhauled by Peter Mueller (GER) riding a Flysurfer Sonic FR foil and Levitaz Aspect Bionic hydrofoil on both upwind legs of the two-lap course, only to see handsome leads reversed in the drag race downwind.

“I was fast upwind, first to the mark both times,” said Mueller. “But Nocher is quick downwind. I also decided to sit back a little and not go too deep. There was a large gap to third place, so I wanted to protect the second spot and not risk losing many places with a crash.”

Flysurfer-Levitaz team-mate Benni Boelli (GER), who finished the day fourth in the standings, threw down the gauntlet to the other riders in the day’s first two races, snatching two seconds, but slipped from reckoning a little in the closing duels.

The young Briton Olly Bridge, clawing his way into contention on a borrowed Levitaz hydrofoil after starting the day seeded 11 following the qualifying series, finished the day in seventh spot overall after securing a couple of hard-fought fourths.

Bridge opted to start on a port tack in several races in order to gain the advantage of the lift near the beach on the track’s right side. The tactic meant he was only able to cross the line after most of the “gold” fleet had passed on starboard tack.

But it was effective enough that he was able to lead by the upwind mark, though both Mazella and Nocher were able to reassert their advantage with shrewd tactics of their own in the steady breeze under clear skies.

“I tacked too late because Maxime Nocher was covering me,” said a slightly disconsolate Bridge. “Then Axel Mazella was below me. But the port start was good and I should have won from that position.”

Mazella, 17, riding his Elf Joker kites, concedes he is a little slower on upwind legs than the likes of Kerneur and Boelli on their Flysurfer kites, but knows he will be in his element on the downwind stretches.

“I know I have just that bit better speed downwind,” said Mazella. “I may not have the [radical] angles of Nocher and Kerneur, but I have the speed.”

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER ONE CARRY-FORWARD SCORE AND 5 FINAL SERIES RACES

1. Maxime Nocher (MON) – 5 points
2. Axel Mazella (FRA) – 12 points
3. Julien Kerneur (FRA) – 19 points
4. Benni Boelli (GER) – 20 points
5. Riccardo Leccese (ITA)) – 24 points

Full Results: http://internationalkiteboarding.org/images/documents/events/2015KFGCItalyResults.pdf

Flickr: GoldCup Italy Album

KiteFoil GoldCup 2015 at Hang Loose Beach, Italy – Day 2

Tricky Conditions With Gusty Cross-Offshore Winds Cut Short Racing

Riders faced a frustrating day on the beach when competition was halted after just three races at the KiteFoil GoldCup in increasingly flukey and unstable winds, only contest to resume in the early evening with another three races.

But on day two of the championship — when the wind switched 180 degrees from the opening day and varied between 2kts and 15kts on the start line — Monaco’s Maxime Nocher again proved devastatingly quick, scoring a two bullets and a second in the “yellow” fleet’s three races.

In the day’s first race Nocher appeared to be in a good position on the second upwind leg of the one-and-a-half laps of the windward-leeward track, but was forced to tack again to round the final windward mark after apparently misjudging the lay line in the fickle breeze, allowing Simone Vannucci (ITA) to snatch victory after a strong race.
Yet Nocher’s dominance afforded him time to pull an aerial 360 at the top mark, “just for fun”, in his day’s final race keeping him top of the leaderboard. He will be seeded head of the 24 riders in the “gold” fleet for the final two days of the competition taking place off Hang Loose Beach, the second stop of four on the KiteFoil GoldCup world tour. The bottom-ranked 24 racers will compete in the “silver” fleet.
Nocher — riding his F-one foil kite and board, teamed with a Taaroa Sword2 hydrofoil sporting new high-aspect wings — has thrown down a marker for the other riders and shown his set-up to be fast in varying conditions.
In the alternate “blue” fleet made up of the field’s other half, Airush’s Julien Kerneur (FRA) riding a 15m Flysurfer Sonic foil kite and Sword2 hydrofoil, racked up two bullets and a second place to keep him hard on Nocher’s heels in the standings.
Kerneur traded first and second spots with Benni Boelli (GER), who reiterated the potency of the Flysurfer Sonic foil kite and Levitaz Aspect Bionic hydrofoil that earned him the third seeding for the final days’ “gold” fleet racing.

Britain’s Olly Bridge, who had struggled for pace on day one with his Elf foil kite and Sword2 hydrofoil, also scored two third places after switching to a Levitaz hydrofoil being used to dramatic effect by others.
“The conditions are pretty tough, much harder than yesterday,” said Bridge. “The gusts are everywhere on the course and shifting. But this foil is much better. It goes upwind much better and is more stable.”
Adrian Geislinger (AUT) also employed his 15m Flysurfer kite and Levitaz foil sporting the unexpectedly successful rear winglet to score a third, second and fourth in the “yellow” fleet.
Geislinger was clearly thrilled with his improved showing in the testing conditions that left him in fifth place overall and left him poised to contest a podium spot.
“Tactics were really important today,” he said. “You always have to look very carefully for the gusts and lulls. The conditions were really difficult. Every 10 minutes, or so, you’d get stronger winds. Normally it was 10kts, but then it would hit 20kts. The left side of the course was better, with big lulls on the outside.”
Still, the Flysurfer kite and Levitaz foil with its “awesome” rear wing have given him a big fillip, dramatically improving his performances from the first stop of the kitefoil tour at La Ventana in Mexico, where he could place no better than the middle of the fleet.

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER 8 QUALIFYING RACES

1. Maxime Nocher (MON) – 8 points
2. Julien Kerneur (FRA) – 11 points
3. Benni Boelli (GER) – 17 points
4. Axel Mazella (FRA) – 19 points
5. Adrian Geislinger (AUT) – 24 points

Full results:http://internationalkiteboarding.org/images/documents/events/2015KFGCItalyResults.pdf

Video Day 1: https://youtu.be/3CHsRMBY4CAVideo Day 2: https://youtu.be/gDgWOoJGH_k

Flickr Channel: https://www.flickr.com/photos/95313618@N08/sets/72157655259143600

KiteFoil GoldCup 2015 at Hang Loose Beach, Italy – Day 1

Near Flawless Performance Gives Nocher Edge in Thrilling Kite Foil Championship Opener

IMG 5583Reigning Formula kite world champion Maxime Nocher demonstrated his devastating turn of speed in the kite hydrofoil class, scoring four bullets in five races that cemented his place at the top of the leaderboard on the first day of competition.

The Monaco rider competing in the “yellow” fleet made up of half the 48 racers — the other designated the “blue” fleet — might even have made a clean sweep of five had he not crashed on a downwind leg to the finish line and concede the win to Axel Mazella (FRA), who also had a good opening day at the KiteFoil GoldCup Italy.

Fellow countryman Julien Kerneur (FRA) made hay in the “blue” fleet scoring several bullets that kept him in strong contention in second spot overall when the fleets are re-arranged for day two of the event’s qualifying series being being hosted off Hang Loose Beach, Gizerria, south-west Italy.

But one of the bigger surprises on a day of intense, fast-pace racing that saw the riders scythe through the blue Mediterranean at jaw-dropping speeds, was the success of Benni Boelli (GER), who ended in third position overall.

His 15m Flysurfer foil kite, in combination with a Levitaz hydrofoil with radical rear winglet and narrower ASV board, offered him blistering speed that saw him steal third place in the day’s final race despite an ill-judged pin-end start gamble that failed and put him almost at the back of the 24-strong pack.

But in the two laps of the windward-leeward track, which the winners typically completed in about 10 minutes in the breeze that built from a 9kts average to 12kts under clear skies, Boelli was able to blaze a path back into contention.

“This 15m Flysurfer kite is the one I’m used to riding at home, so I feel very comfortable with it,” said Boelli. “Not long ago we found a good set up with the Levitaz foil. The front wing is normal, but the rear wing is experimental and the fuselage is longer. It’s working very well.”

The sheer speed of the Flysurfer kites and Levitaz foils combination prompted Simone Vannucci (ITA), no slouch himself ending eighth overall, to joke that the Levitaz foils should be banned, an impossibility as the class remains “open”.

“I tried these Levitaz foils and they’re very fast,” said Vannucci, owner of ASV Performance and also a Flysurfer team-rider. “These foils should be protested on the grounds of technical advantage.”

Yet even the Flysurfer-Levitaz riders will have to contend with Nocher’s pace on his F-one foil kite, board and Taaroa Sword2 hydrofoil with new G10 wings that ensured he stayed well ahead of a classy field that included the likes of Olly Bridge (GBR) and Peter Mueller (GER), who ended fifth overall riding Flysurfer and Levitaz.

On the third day of the four-day championship the fleets will be seeded into the top “gold”and bottom “silver” fleets to compete for the podium positions. With the seven women mixed in among the men, qualification for the “gold” fleet will be a tough ask for them.

But Alexi Fancelli (FRA), riding a Taaroa Sword2 hydrofoil, managed a good showing just stealing a march on reigning Formula kite world champion Steph Bridge (GBR). Both were able outstrip many of the men finishing about half-way down their respective fleets.

IMG 5913

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER 5 RACES

1. Maxime Nocher (MON) – 4 points
2. Julien Kerneur (FRA9) – 7 points
3. Benni Boelli (GER) – 8 points
4. Axel Mazella (FRA) – 8 points
5. Peter Mueller (GER) – 11 points

Full results: http://internationalkiteboarding.org/images/documents/events/2015KFGCItalyResults.pdf

Daily Video: https://youtu.be/3CHsRMBY4CA

Flickr Channel: https://www.flickr.com/photos/95313618@N08/sets/72157655259143600