Olympic future of windfoil surfing tested at the Medemblik Regatta

By 23 May 2019 All news, Frontslider
Olympic future of windfoil surfing tested

The third day of the Medemblik Regatta had all the ingredients for a happy day of sailing. Nice wind conditions, lots of sun and exciting racing. A perfect day to start two new classes at the regatta: The Musto Performance Skiff and Windfoil surfing, “the possible future of Olympic surfing,” according to Aaron McIntosh.

McIntosch is a former Olympic windsurfer and RS:X coach of double Olympic Champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe and European Champion Kiran Badloe. “With windfoil surfing we literally fly over the water, this makes it faster and super exciting to watch.” Something todays supporters can only agree on. Its one of the reasons why this should be the new olympic windsurf class. “The RS:X will go into its fourth cycle at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The equipment has been developed over the years and it has been a great Olympic board. But now it’s time for something new. Never before a windsurf class had so many cycles”, McIntosh says. “The problem now is, many countries have invested in training their youth into RS:X surfing. They’re afraid the step towards foiling is too big. But it’s not, in fact, it’s easier to learn how to windfoil then to surf the RS:X. The material is easier, with a smaller sail and you don’t need to learn sail with a harness to gain speed.”

“After I tried it, I was sold”

McIntosh started windfoil surfing after 17 years of no windsurfing at all. “I was a bit skeptical at first, but after I tried foiling, I was sold.” Now he’s racing at the Medemblik Regatta as well. “Today was good, in one race my focus wasn’t there, but the first day is done.” In total a group of 26 international surfers are foiling, some of them also racing in the RS:X this regatta. The Dutch Casper Bouman is a former RS:X surfer, now he’s more into slalom surfing, but in Medemblik he is windfoil racing as well. “I was a bit done with course racing, but the foiling makes it more exciting again.” Bouman ends up in 13th place overall on the first day. Dutch Lilian de Geus manages to stay ahead of him on the 12th place. She comes from the water a bit tired: “It was fun, was able to keep ahead of some of the guys. But after surfing RS:X this morning I’m pretty tired now.” In the RS:X she maintains here leading position.

Badloe just in time at the start line

Kiran Badloe keeps his lead in the RS:X men in the morning. Maybe also a bit tired, he arrived at the Windfoil surfing course just in time. “I was the last one going out, arriving at the course I asked the others how much time to the start. Was only 35 seconds before we had to start, so I was right on time.” Badloe smiles, he maybe arrived last at the startline, he comes over the finish line first in all races. So not only leading in the RS:X, but also at the windfoil competition.

Strong competition in RS:X Youth

The French Fabien Pianazza is only racing in the RS:X Youth. Last year he was unbeatable in the RS:X Youth, this year is harder for him. “It’s a strong competition here in Medemblik, but it’s fun racing. Today I finished first, second and first.” He does climb to a strong leading position again with a gap of ten points with number two Yun Pouliquen (FRA).

Musto Performance Skiff started their Medemblik Regatta
It wasn’t only surfing today at the Medemblik Regatta. The Musto Performance Skiff also started their regatta. After their first day it’s already a battle in the top 3 with Rick Peacock (GBR) on the first place with 5 points, the Dutch Paul Dijkstra in second place with 6 points, and Pim van Vugt (NED) is third with 7 points. On Friday another 3 races are scheduled for them.

In the Hansa Liberty it’s the Dutch Vera Voorbach taking over the lead from David Durston (GBR). Paul Phillips (GBR) is in third place after three races today. Finy Teitsma (NED) takes over the lead from Nick Kruizinga (NED) in the Hansa 303.

Cover photo: Sander van der Borch