No announcement yet.

StFYC/Lagunitas Thursday night kiting series - foil board wins the night

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • StFYC/Lagunitas Thursday night kiting series - foil board wins the night

    StFYC Lagunitas Kite Race Series
    August 8, 2013

    Thirty-three kite racers enjoyed perfect conditions: Winds 16-22 knots, moderate ebb, large waves, and believe it or not…sunshine in August! Most competitors used 9-10 m kites.

    Digression: About five years ago Chip experimented with a foiling kiteboard. He showed excellent speed upwind, but had control challenges downwind, so he shelved it as a race platform. In the ensuing years, others around the world have developed more and more sophisticated foils and actively race them. Now they have arrived on the Bay!

    In the June 27 Lagunitas races Bernie used his new Sword foil board. He was clearly the fastest sailor on the course, arriving first at the weather mark in 2 of 3 races--only to suffer multiple downwind explosions. While he scored a 6th place finish for the evening, the proof of speed was there, waiting to be fully exploited. After all, what could be better than smoothly riding a couple of feet above the bay chop going higher and faster than other competitors?

    Johnny received a new Sword foil a week ago, put in a few days of concentrated practice, and on Thursday came to the starting line.

    Three races: Johnny 3 bullets, Joey 3 seconds, Heady and Chip were a point apart in 3rd and 4th, followed by the usual suspects in their relatively consistent positions. For the overall Lagunitas Series, Joey leads by a comfortable margin, followed by a tightly bunched group that includes Heady, Seth, Erika, Chip, Will, Due, and Stefaans.

    Foil board observations:
    Upwind the foil board is higher, faster, and smoother.
    Foil tacking is possible--for Johnny anyway.
    Approaching the starting line requires more speed than the rest of the fleet, so finding a lane can be difficult.
    The downwind angle is very similar to that of a course board, at the same speed or a bit faster.
    Foil gybing is possible--for Johnny anyway--but led to more dramatic explosions than blown tacks.
    A relatively smaller kite is needed. Johnny sailed with a 7 m.

    Longer term: Will this lead to a foil board arms race? To a separate Thursday start and score? We’ll see, because it sure is fun to watch…

    Check out the live stream:,
    Times 1:01 and 1:32 show the speed differential coming off the starting line.

  • #2
    For those of us not familiar with kite racing and the various competitors involved, is it possible to supply some additional information?
    Last names would be a good start.