By Jesse Andrews, KYC Sailing Director
We had ideal foiling conditions for the competitors that made it out to our first year of U.S. Sailing Junior Olympic Festival Foil Competition! Held on July 21st and July 22nd at the Kaneohe Yacht club, we had five junior wing foilers blasting around a modified Slalom/Upwind finish course with 13 to 20 Knots of wind. The top two foilers were looking fast on their new small 580cm2 foils. Cameron was using a harness also that helped him "trim out" his wing easily which helped his upwind pointing ability. Makani was using a higher aspect foil which he was able to pump upwind and downwind for better angles as well.
Over the past year winging has come a long way. The wings are more durable and stiffer, able to take higher pressure that helps the rigidity and translates to smaller wings with more power! Boards are a personal preference but must all of the fleet rode 4' to 5' boards with just enough volume to keep them up in the lulls. Every liter of volume equals about one kilo of weight. So in heavy air the advanced sailors typically use boards that can float about 1/2 or 3/4 of their weight. Beginners would want a board that would obviously float more than their body weight.
All these sailors only started winging after the "lockdown" in Hawaii that happened in 2020. A few picked up a wing for the first time last summer. But they are now some of the top wingfoilers in the state and a few have started competing on the outer islands and on the mainland. This sport is growing faster than any water sport in recent memory. I've seen kids from 8 year old to 80 all enjoying the simplicity and excitement that comes with the "foiling is Fun'' mantra.
For the IQ Foil event we scheduled it a day before the US Sailing sponsored IQ foil camp that we are currently running with over 20 participants at KYC. We allowed 9-meter "Open" division to sail with the 8-meter youth division to give them the opportunity to challenge the adults. Garrett January visiting from Clearwater Florida found the conditions to his liking. He seemed to have an extra gear upwind along with many near perfect start to give the top adults a real challenge! With a short double Windward/Leeward course the starts were imperative. There were numerous port tackers who made out well on most races tacking just once on layline.
The conditions made things challenging with 30+ degree shifts. Danicka Sailer had to drop out after an underwater collision with her foil at a crazy first race start. After that incident, we adjusted the line to favor the boat end and the course became even more tactically challenging. Proving very fast and consistent was Garrett January winning all the junior division races except for the first one. Reasonably close behind and just back from the ISAF Youth Worlds was Makani Andrews followed by Mateo Cortes all the way from Puerto Aventuras, Mexico.
We postponed the WASZP event to August 2nd due to many of our top WASZP foilers competing nationally and internationally.
Thanks to US Sailing, HYSA, Kaneohe Yacht Club, and Windclubhawaii for all the support!