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Foiling Week GARDA - Day 2

by Domenico Boffi 8 Jul 2017 09:42 PDT 6-9 July 2017

Lake Garda was a mass of foilers for another steamy hot day at Foiling Week 2017. By midday 12 knots was the sweet spot for all boats tuning up for the Downwind Dash.

On the water entry level foilers were again getting up as first time riders. As the breeze tapered during the afternoon the most impressive result was that the production foilers were still able to foil in 6 - 7 knots of breeze. All the foil technology is getting better for lower wind ranges which helped the smaller sailors, kids and female sailors.

The Downwind Dash consisted of a 10 km race starting off Assienza just South of Malcesine on the East side of Lake Garda and finishing in front of a crowd watching right in front of Fraglia Vela Malcesine, host club of Foiling Week Garda.

Around 30 craft contested the Downwind Dash, a mixture of kite boards, Flying Phantoms, A Class cats, S9's, Moths and a whole range of prototypes.

The race started in a faint southerly breeze which fluttered between 6 and 10 knots with big holes around the lake. The kites immediately broke away, able to foil much lower angles and remain on their foils. Most of the fleet got caught in patches of no breeze dropping off the foils and getting stranded in pods around the lake shore.

The first three foilers to cross the finish line were Sam Bullock from New Zealand, Enrico Tonon (ITA) and Valerio Venturi (ITA).

First Moth and fourth boat to finish was Rob Greenhalgh (GBR) sailing an 'Exocet' followed by fellow Brit Ben Paton also sailing an 'Exocet' Moth.

In the multi-hulls the Flying Phantoms enjoyed an early dog fight between the lead two Real Stone boats from Switzerland skippered by Bruno Barbarin and Robin Maeder.

The two cats sailed in tandem until confusion about the race finish line allowed Robin Maeeer to get the jump to finish first of the foiling cats.

Bruno & Cedric summarise their race

"The wind for the race was very patchy and light but we had a good start and after we were very fast reaching just behind the Moth, but the other Flying Phantom (Robin Maeder & Jank Roempp) had a little problem with their spinnaker so we got a bit more advanced. But we couldn't find the finish line so we missed it and gave them the win."

"I think the holes in the breeze around the lake made the difference between us and the Moths. They are good in the transition in the light winds.

"Lake Garda is quite different from lake sailing in Switzerland, it is flat water but we have more wind here and it is more stable. We train a lot and we also improve the boat speed and flight so we like sailing here. We have very close racing in the Flying Phantom series and we would like to make Foiling Week Garda part of our series."

Foiling Dinghy Expo

An exhibition of foiling dinghies (Whisper, F101, iFly 15 and Waszp, lined the shore of the Fraglia Vela Malcesine with their designers and representatives on hand to give guided tours of the craft. Trial sailing continued afloat with the lighter conditions again proving more suitable to learning foilers.

Julius Hornung test sails the iFly 15

"Looking at the bare hull and what you saw on the dock it looked a bit clunky and stubby but I was quite surprised when I got on the water it was very light footed, very fast and really easy to get on the foils even with two people on board. I sailed for a while with a trainer then took over singlehanded."

"The boat really accelerated and compared with a foiling mono it delivered a much more intense experience mainly because you are trapezing, you are hiked further out and riding a lot higher up. The four foil tips make the boat really stable and responsive. You can easily de-power the main and remain foiling in a gust."

"It does exactly what you want it to do. At one point we tried a foiling gybe but I couldn't get off the wire so the boat slammed down but because of the chunky hulls I didn't nose dive or capsize."

Gurit Foiling Forum Day 2

The core subject on day two of the Gurit Foiling Week Forum concentrated on 'Sustainability'.

The common theme that came out of the round table on the subject of sustainability was that the foiling marine industry needs to work together in combining resources to improve sustainability and reduce carbon emissions.

The foiling industry has the technology to create the designs for efficiency with reduction of waste and even re-cycling.

Enrico Benco who represents Go Sailing for a Change made the comment:

"We need to keep educating kids to make sustainability cool"

Every year one of the largest dinghy regattas takes place at Lake Garda with around 1000 Optimists.

Benco made the comment: "Put an Opti made out of recycled materials in front of the kids at a 1000 boat Opti regatta in Lake Garda and you capture their interest, and from there they are aware of sustainable practices and what that looks like"

Benco's company have also constructed a foiling Mini 6.5 sail boat completely out of re-cycled product.

Luca Torlaj from Polyant, a company that works on recycling carbon components and fibres, re-iterated the need to combine resources and ideas on sustainability working closely with the automotive industry.

Pierrerick Cassin from Agiplast, who produce marine and sports equipment with the re-use of plastics, encouraged the audience to look at regeneration rather than recycling.

Chris Ballen from event sponsor Torqueedo explained the value of using efficient electric sports boats for running races.

Luca Rizzotti, the founder of The Foiling Week, spoke about race management and reducing the carbon footprint at events. A specific initiative mentioned by Rizzotti for race management is the use of mark set floating drones. Another idea used at the 2017 Foiling Week is car pooling using BMW e-cars & use of BMW e-bikes for competitors attending the event.

The sustainable theme continued into the afternoon with test drives of the BMW sponsored 100% electric i3 car. Parts of the frame work and doors where made of recycled carbon fibre from the same process presented earlier in the day by Luca Torlaj from Polyant Carbon.

New Zealand 470 Olympic gold medallist Jo Aleh was the first to test drive the i3 and was thoroughly impressed.

"We use our cars way to much in New Zealand, this is just such a great car with incredible acceleration"

John Downey a self proclaimed 'wing nut' gave an update on his latest wing development for a custom A+ catamaran. Downey used the forum as an opportunity to seek ideas on the future of the C Class catamaran and the Little Cup. As John explained,

"The C Class and Little Cup has been somewhat eclipsed by the latest format at the America's Cup".

Marc Menec, Tanguy Le Bihan and Bruno Andre presented on their new company Foil & Co who manufacture foils for a number of pleasure craft projects including kites, windsurfers and surf paddle.

Menec pointed out that there are an estimated 25 million users in surfing and SUP foiling taps into that as well. Menec also gave details of a new market with huge potential. 'Surf Paddle'

Tanguy Le Bihan explained how hydro foils are opening up new areas for windsurfing and kites and that there are now new users on new lakes and now surfers are surfing in new spots on new waves.

The third day of the Gurit Foiling Week Forum carries the core them of 'Accessibility'.

Results can be found at

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