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Tribal ethos stronger than ever

by Rob Andrews, Foiling World 17 Jan 08:37 PST 17 January 2019
Changes to the pinning system on the compression strut fitting on the F101 beam: now you can pack up the boat without tools © Foiling World

First a quick round-up of things that are happening in early 2019

As you read this, the Toronto Boat Show will have an F101 on display on stand 1440. Our new North American dealer John Gronan will be there to answer all your questions and Foiling World's Rob Andrews will be there on January 18, 19 and 20th.

Displayed on the boat in Toronto will be the first edition of the tool free set-up. In our quest to make the boat as easy as possible to use, we had always wanted to not use tools to pack up the boat. So, when in the past you may have been searching for a screw driver or pliers, now with the new changes you can pack the boat up without going back to the car to get the tools. Changes are to a pinning system on the compression strut fitting on the beam and to the handle of the centreboard and rudder. The existing nuts and bolts have been replaced by pins and wing nuts to make the system easier and quicker to use.

Boat

The aim has always been to allow as many people as possible to experience foiling and we believe the F101 is a great platform to achieve this. But, like any new skill we also believe that the coaching environment is key to successful foiling. To that end we have always had coaching at the heart of the project as we believe foiling is a new strand to sailing, and just because you can sail doesn't make you good at foiling, just as being a sailor doesn't allow you to pick up windsurfing straight away, despite all these skills being based on sailing! Coaching will feature heavily in one's progress to better and better foiling, but so too will boat evolution. The F101 also needs to evolve to match the improvements in ability. Coming out in 2019 will be the ST additions that move sailors onto the next level and we intend to keep the development work going in 2019 to continually evolve the F101 and maintain it as the best foiling platform. There will be more information on the ST with photos in the next newsletter.

All these developments will be additions that can be added to the F101, no obsolescence, just incremental additions to match your ability.

Venues

Sailing on flat water with light to moderate breeze is how you have the most fun in the F101. Consequently Mar Menor, Portland Harbour and Garda all have a loyal following, but for the F101 Tribe, the venue has always had to deliver far more. Apart from the sailing, we are also looking at other options, facilities such as a coffee shops / bars on-site and ease of travel. The Tribe is about the social aspects; if you can chat about foiling with your sailing mates its more fun and we all learn from each other. If there are other things to do, then if you travel with friends and family, there are options for them (or for all the Tribe) to participate in, if the conditions are not suitable for foiling. At events, the F101 group APP is used to keep everyone informed of the racing window, allowing you to spend time with friends or activities away from the event. We as a group don't sit around all day under postponement flags!

Likewise we expect to travel to new Tribes and share the F101 foiling experience and that's why ease of travel is also important in the matrix that forms the ethos of the F101 experience.

People

Some of the people options are linked to the venues, as we think people are time poor these days and we are competing against other aspects of people lives. To make the F101 fit in against this competitive backdrop, the Tribe are key to the decision making process for Foiling World. The Tribe provide input regarding events and locations and they actively feedback on this and boat developments. It may look like a class association but we hope it is far more than past models of successful classes.

We encourage friends to come along to events, you can compete by sharing your boat and we are always looking at the boat ownership model, with Pro Vela in Spain even providing different levels of service at their club on Mar Menor, where the original Tribe members have based themselves for the European winter months. By encouraging the shared boat model, we are in a position for not only friends to participate, or for sailors to halve the cost of boat ownership, but to also allow Tribes to travel to other venues without the need to ship boats. Toronto Boat Show will be a key to this, as we hope to establish a North American Tribe and allow them to visit Europe for events and vice versa.

Technology is key to all of these communications, so Tribe members (you can only access this as a boat owner) have a WhatsApp group that allows them to also discuss training, technique and meet up's as well as general banter! We are also looking to provide each new F101 with an App that will allow more fun to be had from your F101. More details on this before the RYA Dinghy Show, but technology is at the heart of the people of the Tribe and the F101 class.

RYA Dinghy Show

Come along and meet the Tribe at the RYA Dinghy Show in North London, March 2-3rd 2019.

You will see that the RYA have picked up on the idea of Tribes with the Twitter strap line being "What's your Tribe?" and the hashtag as #MyDinghyTribe. Obviously flattering to the Tribe at F101, as we were the pioneers of the term and ethos in the dinghy sailing arena. As part of the Tribe emphasis at the show Rob Andrews from Foiling World will be on the main stage on both days, talking all things Tribe with Shirley Robertson.

Coaching event

Alan Hillman and Rob Andrews will be running a Learn to fly course for prospective F101 purchasers on the 7th and 8th February 2019. This course will take place in Spain at Pro-Vela in the Mar Menor, Murcia, the winter base for one of our Tribes.

The Learn to Fly course is for those who really want to know the basics about foiling, and how to get the most from their F101. The course covers aspects such as how the boat works, rigging and tuning, pre-flight checks and safety, launching/landing, the secure position, turning around, tiller and main sheet management, how to deploy, furl and sail with the Zero, sailing fundamentals of weight, steering and trim, controlling the boat when foiling, points of sailing and speeding up the turns.

If you race a dinghy at your club and can manage a Laser in planing conditions then you are good enough to start learning how to fly.

foilingworld.co.uk

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