While most of the competitors at FOIL Bay of Islands are in summer sailing gear, Hawaiian kite foiler Adam Becker had been donning his 5ml wetsuit to adjust to the cooler water temperatures.
Becker is one of two visiting foilers who have come to the Bay of Islands especially for the annual event hosted by the Bay of Islands Sailing Club, and says he’s still feeling the chill despite New Zealand being in it’s tail end of summer.
“It is a little chillier here, but the smooth flat water is great for the foils and we’ve had an awesome few days racing so far. The winds are a little different, with more land produced breeze here compared to the Trade Winds typical of Hawaii, so it’s been interesting figuring it all out,” he says.
The pair says they’ve felt welcome into the New Zealand foiling community, with the fun and relaxed atmosphere amongst the competitors making them feel at home.
“The thing about the kite foiling community is that it’s small, and we want more people. Everyone is invited and that way there’s more people to race against and grow the sport,” adds Becker.
Yang, an organic farmer from Hawaii says minimal boat traffic and no swell makes ideal conditions for foiling.
Day two of the annual event saw an afternoon sea-breeze kick in once more, with kite foilers, wind foilers, wingers and wasps completing 6 races as a mammoth effort from the race committee lead by Chris and Debbie Fewtrell started over 30 races including the famous Corners Cup.
New Zealand female kite foiling champion Justina Sellers says it’s been tight at the top in the kite foiling fleet.
“We’ve had some awesome races today in 10 knots of breeze, and for the kites it’s been close racing at the front,” she says.
The event has attracted a solid Kite and Wind foiling fleet, with JJ Rice from Tonga also amongst the international contingent.
FOIL Bay of Islands rounds off a busy few months for the foiling fleets, following the Kite and Windfoiling National Championships and the NZL Oceanbridge Regatta.
The last two days have seen slow starts with calm hot days prompting the much loved sea-breeze which has enabled such enjoyable racing.
With two days left to go, we're excited to see what the rest of the event holds for our fleets.
Check out the photos on the event facebook page here.