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2015 Kite Foil Gold Cup – Challenging second half

by Steve Bodner on 3 Aug 2015
Windsurfing at beach - 2015 Kite Foil Gold Cup Steve Bodner www.stevebodner.com
The second half of the Kite Foil Gold Cup was all about making progress overcoming obstacles. While there's still many dues to pay- the hard work paid off and I finally got around the course for the first time. A small victory but Ill take it.

I made some huge gains off the wind in the lighter races going deep with the kite low in the window and really sending it. A breakthrough moment as I now know its possible to now get downwind more efficiently. Still there were some spectacular crashes on the foil- both upwind and down- but particularly on starboard tack. The right side of my body is bruised battered and botched.

Day three started with a fizzle. The first five minutes out in a butter smooth flood tide and 14k of breeze, my 10.0 kite broke a center line. I hustled back to the beach and made the switch to the 7.0 as the breeze was building but the cleat on my second bar was slipping giving the kite full power at any moment. Somehow I managed in the spastic and gusty conditions off crissy field and even ended up on the score sheet as finishing not one but two races. Most likely- I was lapped finishing my first race as the fleet finished their second race but it was my first time just to get around the course. By the last race- things got ugly as the wind built to 20-25k and the 7.0 became more than a handful. I called it quits as the downwind falls were becoming more and more painful.

Watching the gold fleet races from the wall was spectacular. The fleet has evolved with everyone on foil kites and the newest foil technology. The gold fleet sailors all had gps trackers making it possible to watch the race live in the St.FYC grill room. The tracks for each race can be viewed and races replayed here. French sailors Maxime Nocher and Nico Parlier stayed on top of the leader board just in front of locals- Johnny Heineken and Joey Pasquali.

The last day had a full flood tide and mid teens to starts the day. The gusts were starting to roll in and we had two back to back races so I headed out with the 7.0 kite again - a bit underpowered but all entirely doable. Just getting down to the course was more feasible with a smaller kite as I wasn't constantly overpowered and could concentrate on sending it deep and keeping the kite moving.
Upwind, the kite foils effortlessly. Its almost not even the same sport as off the breeze.
I got off the line just behind the pack as to avoid and any tangles and kept out of trouble- except for the dozen or so random face plants on starboard tack that seemed to slow my pace down.

Small stumbles but just remember to get back on the horse.
I was even starting to make some transitions as the non foiling gybes are becoming a bit more stable and although not on purpose- tired my first foiling gybe. The bottom quickly gave out as my speed stalled and I went right into a big face plant. I managed to get around the course twice in three races before the wind picked up to just about nuclear. Another small victory but feel I gained much from sailing the regatta from kite handling, foiling and time on the water.



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