Hydrofoil Pro Tour 2017 World Tour Wrap Up

Hydrofoil Pro Tour 2017 World Tour Wrap Up

HFPT Wrap Up

Sydney! We conjure visions of the magical harbour bridge, sunshine, Bondi lifesavers and long sandy beaches. Within view of the city skyline by the International airport lies Botany Bay with all attributes of the above including warm clean water. The launching beach was 100 metres deep and stretched for miles around the bay.

Georges River Sailing Club on Dolls Point was an excellent choice to host this event and certainly put on a good show. With a cast of well qualified volunteers and the local kiters pitching in to make another memorable event. The morning breakfast with fresh fruits, bacon and egg rolls was well received.

All wrapped with a cast of well qualified volunteers and local kiters pitching in to make this another memorable event.

Challenging heavy breeze first day then settled over the weekend 10-15 knots in this 4 day regatta. The smiles and comments from sailors arriving to shore with adjectives – Perfect, Brilliant, Magical, does not get any better, great racing, says it all.

The World Pro Tour carries many individuals with character and high abilities, this is the perfect scene where others can look to for guidance on equipment and rider techniques.

Thousands of followers throughout the world look in awe at the skills and lifestyles of the many participants providing roll models for younger persons, wishing they either had the ability amongst the action or just being at the event watching from the beach.

As the competition is hotting up with greater speeds be it foil reliability or kite development the gap is closing and different winners coming across the line.

This tour has been dominated two years running with Nicolas Parlier of France not winning every race yet a good yachty will tell you consistency wins regattas and certainly Nico has met that challenge.

Nico provides an exemplary example of fair sailing staying out of trouble “most of the time” excepting when l’ve called him OCS with a smile and a “l thought so” no fuss attitude looking to better himself always.

Target times with first finisher being 10 minutes of adrenalin racing seems to be most popular with the kiters, as with any sailing or yachting event the result is the same be it longer or short races this gives an opportunity for more starts and closer racing. With regattas of 24 races as was Sydney certainly no lottery deciding who comes to the top of the leader board.

The format with one minute attention signal (Orange Flag) then into 5,4,1 go RRS 26 also helps speed the process of more races in a day.

Starting lines with 35 kiters being 300 metres plenty of room and opportunity for port tackers should they wish J

Using windward leeward courses for each of these three regattas with leeward gates a slalom finish from the gate to start pin to a reaching finish behind the start boat. Something which appealed to all was the final race in each session being a reaching finish from the leeward gates along the beach to finish line out front of the yacht club.

Race management fits my agenda as lacking both skills and ability of a kiter yet able to offer something to the team. Having been a race official in the last three events Germany, Mauritius and Sydney l’ve loved every minute not without some stressful times yet the camaraderie and easy going attitude of all involved going with the flow helps create an environment where l just want to come back.

Stephen Aulich

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