Wings, kites, boards and foils created a spectacle off the beach at Waitangi as Paihia turned on a glorious summers day to kick off FOIL Bay of Islands.
The ‘About Being Seen’ Island Race saw eight kites, twelve windfoilers, and six wing sailors blast out to Motorua Island in a glorious sea breeze which kicked in mid-afternoon.
Event sponsor and ‘About Being Seen’ founder Alan Dickey says the much-loved foiling event is close to his heart, and the excitement of watching sailors fly today is the reason he keeps coming back.
“It’s just so exciting, seeing these guys fly by at high speeds. When I first got involved with the event it reminded me of skateboarding, the on water version, and I always love being on the crest of something new. It’s been great to see this event grow and it doesn’t get much better than today,” he says.
Over the years Dickey has supplied the t-shirts for the event, taking pride in choosing different colours each year for the competitors and volunteers.
His San Francisco clothing brand has been born out of a long standing involvement in art and design, having worked with high profile sports teams and music artists and bands.
A Kiwi at heart, he says FOIL Bay of Islands is a great way to showcase the brand and support a growing local event.
Today the event offered a bit of everything, with kites crossing gybes on the finish line and foilers coming in at full pace after the downwind blast back to the Bay of Islands Yacht Club.
Full results will be available online in the coming days.
“It’s nice to have the club buzzing with the excitement of sailing and foiling, and we’re stoked to get some international sailors back amongst the action. Five years after the first event, the Bay of Islands weather didn’t disappoint for the event opener with a beautiful sea breeze to enjoy a foil out to the islands” says event coordinator Chris Fewtrell.
Three more days of racing are scheduled, from 11am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the Corners Cup scheduled for 4pm.
All are welcome to the club to spectate the racing, and we look forward to three more days of action from the Bay of Islands.