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Festival of Sails 2017

Kiteboarding Australia 2014 Nationals - Hydrofoils

by Lloyd Deborah on 28 Feb 2014
Kiteboarder Ben Morrison-Jack (far right) with his Etchells class hat on at the 2011 Zhik Etchells NSW Championship with his winning team mates Steve Jarvin and Graeme Taylor. Tracey Johnstone
Ben Morrison Jack is not just a kiteboarder, he’s also sailor now turned innovator.

He’s respected in both sports. In 2009, as a kiteboarder he became the first to kite from Tasmania to Victoria with his mate James Weight. He sails Etchells class regularly with sailing legend John Bertrand.

But now Ben is literally going back to the drawing board and designing kiteboarding hydrofoils.

'Foils on kiteboards are a great equalizer and the most efficient way to get around a racecourse, they are 20 percent faster than a conventional kiteboarding raceboard,' he said.

'I’ve started making them and designing them because I’ve always been interested in them. The first time I rode a foil I was hooked.'

His creations will be raced and proven in the first national championships for foils, which will be held at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club from March 17 to 23.

Formula Course racing and freestyle championships will also be run at the club, which was founded in 1875.

The national championships in Brighton, one of Australia’s oldest sailing clubs, will be observed by sailing communities around Australia.

Many have already included kiteboard racing as part of their regattas.

'Sailing clubs are lucky that kiteboarding is coming to their homes, it will mean that their clubs are reinvigorated,' Mr Morrison Jack said.

'Running freestyle, racing and foiling together allows the sailing community to see how diverse and interesting this class of sailing is.

'In San Francisco the yacht club has been completely reinvigorated because of kiteboarding.'

For more information, including online competitors registration and all event details, visit website

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