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Miami Foiling Week: The hydrofoil community descends on Miami

by Chris Museler 14 Feb 07:28 PST
Miami Foiling Week © Foiling Week

It has been two years since Foiling Week, the epicenter of hydrofoil innovation, broke its own mold and held the first non-European event in Newport, RI. Designs first announced there are now full-production foilers and making history at professional sailing series around the planet.

And Foiling Week and its Gurit Forum of round-table topical explorations has become even more globalized, with last month's Sydney Foiling Week. There the leaders in the hydrofoil space, including America's Cup-winning skipper Glenn Ashby, shared with the world their innovative and collaborative spirit.

This week in Miami, thirteen speakers, including sailors (two-time Moth World Champion Paul Goodison), designers (Nacra 17 designer Pete Melvin) and builders (Fast Forward Carbon's Tommy Gonzales), will represent latest in foiling developments.

The fantastic waterfront facilities of Shake-A-Leg along the pristine waters of Biscayne Bay will play host to both the forum and what every participant looks forward to: the demonstrations/trials, regatta and distance race. The on-water program will be second to none where every age and sailor-type gets to explore, test and share the excitement of foiling above the water.

And as Foiling week grows, so does its international community that is working to expand hydrofoil innovation into new realms where it can better lives and improve efficiencies in sport and transportation.

"Foiling requires stakeholders to meet and discuss innovation and hot topics," said Luca Rizzotti, founder of Foiling Week and Gurit Forum. "We have come so far since 2014 and it's important that this community of highly intelligent people have a place to gather and share and collaborate."

Rizzotti said he is already seeing the fruit of the Forum's efforts with safety initiatives being executed at international events, sustainability proposals shared across manufacturers and events, and accessibility issues for women, children and disabled sailors being addressed with new designs.

Community Based
Wherever Foiling Week goes, the local sailors, designers and builders come out in force. Like a Pied Piper, people come out of the woodwork to follow and take part in the event. This will be no different in Miami.

Miami is home of the US Sailing Team, and members of the foiling Olympic Nacra 17 squad will be floating in and out of Foiling Week. Also, visionary filmmaker Patrick Rynne, founder of the Waterlust Project, who explores the ocean through the lenses of lifestyle, environment, innovation and social responsibility, lives in Miami and will be visiting the Gurit Forum and trial events.

Even legendary innovator Greg Ketterman, inventor of the Ketterman Tri-Foiler in the 1990s, will be at the Forum to give perspective in how far foiling devekopments have come and some insight into the future.

Most importantly, anyone in the area is encouraged to come to Shake-A-Leg to share their own creations and even test them at the on-water trials. Or just come to try out foiling for the first time.

Like in Newport, America's best are flying into Miami to share the projects that most excite them. David Clark, founder of Fulcrum Speedworks, will be offering demos on the production UFO foiler. And George Hradil of Delta Hydrofoil, a leader in the manufacturing of kite foils, will be sharing his findings as he pushes the design/build envelope.

There is also an international contingent coming to Miami. Louise Chevallier and Karl Blouin from Canada will be discussing the latest developments in the C-Class catamaran. And Sean Baldwin will share plans for Foil Baddeck 2019, a hydrofoil event in the Canadian Maritimes celebrating the innovations of Alexander Graham Bell.

Gurit Forum
The 2017 Gurit Forum in Lake Garda focused on the three tenants of Foiling Week: Safety, Sustainability and Accessibility. In Miami, the two-part Forum, a round-table, open and relaxed discussion with panelists and heavy audience participation, will dig deeper into the safety considerations in design and race formats. As boats fly faster, sailors must adapt and sometimes the learning curve becomes dangerous.

In addition to safety, the second forum topic will be about the branding of foiling. Like an new and growing space, today's innovators, sailors, designers and builders, have a disproportionately high influence on how this segment of the sport is presented and perceived in the world. This discussion will explore how much control we have over the development of foiling from a community perspective.

Miami Foiling Week program

From February 15th to 18th, 2018 at Shake-A-Leg Miami.

Thursday, February 15th
Practice race, Foiling Trials 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm free Bacardi bar

Friday, February 16th
Gurit Forum, Harken Kids Trials, Long distance Race
from 7:30 pm Foiling Week Party

Saturday, February 17th
Gurit Forum, Harken Kids Trials, Course racing, Foiling Coaching
from 7:30 pm dinner party at Adventure Sports in Cocunut Grove

Sunday, February 18th
Foiling Trials, Course racing, Foiling Coaching
late afternoon prizegiving with free Bacardi bar

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