Forums > Windsurfing Foiling

Foil racing - It's cheaper than you think

Reply
Created by Mitch Pearson 2 months ago, 24 Mar 2020
Mitch Pearson
QLD, 142 posts
24 Mar 2020 3:13PM
Thumbs Up

Hey all I have written an article about my experience getting into windfoil racing. In particular that you don't have to spend half a house deposit to get out on the course and learn / have fun. Hope it's a good read and that it inspires some people to give it a go.

www.sail-world.com/news/227728/Foil-racing--Its-cheaper-than-you-think


antonmik
89 posts
24 Mar 2020 3:43PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Mitch Pearson said..
Hey all I have written an article about my experience getting into windfoil racing. In particular that you don't have to spend half a house deposit to get out on the course and learn / have fun. Hope it's a good read and that it inspires some people to give it a go.

www.sail-world.com/news/227728/Foil-racing--Its-cheaper-than-you-think




Is the quality of the foil good? I spoke with an athlete and he said that Zulu fins often break(they can be changed later under warranty ).

Mitch Pearson
QLD, 142 posts
24 Mar 2020 9:30PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
antonmik said..

Mitch Pearson said..
Hey all I have written an article about my experience getting into windfoil racing. In particular that you don't have to spend half a house deposit to get out on the course and learn / have fun. Hope it's a good read and that it inspires some people to give it a go.

www.sail-world.com/news/227728/Foil-racing--Its-cheaper-than-you-think





Is the quality of the foil good? I spoke with an athlete and he said that Zulu fins often break(they can be changed later under warranty ).


I have had no problems with the zulu foils' construction

RichardG
WA, 3151 posts
24 Mar 2020 7:59PM
Thumbs Up

Excellent article , congratulations to the author and it has some great insights. Someone else said to me today "Resin and plastics should be cheaper due to low oil price so price should come down.The opposite happened in 2009 so they justified the price to double" Is this correct, and in view of the AUD devaluation, will it translate to cheaper products or not in this space ?

[ NB 1 Australian Dollar equals 0.59 United States Dollar 24 Mar, 2020]

segler
380 posts
24 Mar 2020 9:50PM
Thumbs Up

Great article. The same thought process also applied to formula racing. I never wanted to spend the huge money it took to get all the every-year-latest gear Instead I was happy with 3-4 years old gear. The limitation was never my gear. It was me. LOL

I was never going to take any trophies home, but it was a most excellent racing and learning experience to be out on the course with the really talented racers, from all over the world in some cases. I tried to follow Phil McGain around the course once. Yeah, right.

What racing does, in any sport that has races, is hone your skills, attitudes, and focus for enjoying the sport in general. When not (trying to) race my formula gear, I used it to cruise long distances in total relaxation and fun.

By the way, yes, I did win a (very) few trophies for my (advanced) age class. It's all good.

Yes, you can definitely race with reasonable expense. You will benefit in many ways in our sport. Racing is addictive, even if you are in the back. Do it.

That said, for course racing on a foil, you really do need to use reasonably proper gear. That means a race foil, a wide board, and big sails. Freeride gear will just not work around an upwind/downwind course. So, get the more affordable race-oriented gear and use it for recreation foiling. It works just fine for freeride foiling, too. Several guys in Seattle are doing exactly this.

Paducah
903 posts
24 Mar 2020 11:56PM
Thumbs Up

Excellent article. My experiences are similar. I didn't have the full blown race kit but it's still fun and it pushes your skills up a healthy notch. Well written and worth it to get the word out especially for those banging on "it costs 10k to race". The Starboard Race Alu is another option plus there are others with wings from 800-1000.

I should add that most race organizers are very sensitive to the cost aspect and are quite willing to have a "freeride" class if they can get enough participants. Obviously, as something like the Nat Championships it may not happen but certainly at regional events they want to include as many people as possible. If they can get 3-5 people on the line with freeride foils and everybody is willing, you'll have a race. Just don't be shocked when the dedicated race gear laps you...

Last thing for us older buzzards - even if the chances of you getting a trophy are nil, remember that your signing up enables someone younger to have the opportunity to race and grow the sport. This is your chance to pay it forward.

WhiteofHeart
377 posts
25 Mar 2020 2:59AM
Thumbs Up

Awesome piece of writing! Indeed very important that everyone can race, on "any" budget. The more people do, the more fun it becomes!

As a tip for people looking to upgrade from tha "budget phase"

The difference between a 9.5 slalomsail and 9.0 foilracing sail for me is about 10-15 degrees in upwind (which is massive), they are similar in downwind (which is harder to get pointing & fast than upwind for me) and 2 knots of wind in stable flight (7 vs 5 knots needed to be powered up in the straps and harness and flying yhrough jibes).

Competativeness ofcourse still depends most on skill, practice and your opponents, but I think (not sure since I've never raced an alu mast foil) if you want to be competative a 9.0 foilracing rig is more important than the carbon mast vs alu mast for your foil.

The 9.0 is by far the most important sail, for average weight its competative to 10.0's from 8 knots up, and to 8.0's upto 25 knots in the gusts.

The formula is fine, I still use one aswell, although I have adjustable heel plates which make it 96wide in the tail. If you want to be more competative thats also a change you might want to consider making. Building something to extend your backfoot further outboard doesnt have to be a huge challenge. The major difference to a foilracing board to me is volume in the nose, I've found a dedicated board keeps planing through the tack even if its not perfect, while with the formula you have to be spot on.

Mitch Pearson
QLD, 142 posts
25 Mar 2020 7:09AM
Thumbs Up

Thanks guys.

Yes Aaron Mccintosh stated at the NZ windfoil champs that he sees the freeride class as the most important to growing the sport and where the focus should be. Yes you need the top guys to push the sport but without opportunities for the common sailor to experience and enjoy racing the class will not survive.

Maddlad
WA, 458 posts
25 Mar 2020 10:10AM
Thumbs Up

Yep, I've been racing with a set of Starboard GTR foils with the chunky aluminium mast recently as Mounts Bay Sailing Club has been awesome enough to run races for us.
I know I'm not as fast as some of the other guys on fast race gear but it just means I have to work harder to nail the starts and pick the shifts up the course to try and beat them. Hopefully I'll get a proper race set up soon but I'm the meantime it's been awesome just pushing myself and trying to beat my mates. I'd urge people to have a go if they can because like someone mentioned earlier, nothing hones your overall craft like racing. :)

Mitch Pearson
QLD, 142 posts
1 Apr 2020 7:44AM
Thumbs Up

I have written another article for Sail World as a follow up. Hopefully I can keep coming up with some more content as they are keen to help push Olympic Windsurfing in Australia.

www.sail-world.com/news/227878/Sailing-everyday-while-witnessing-Olympic-dream







Subscribe
Reply

Forums > Windsurfing Foiling


"Foil racing - It's cheaper than you think" started by Mitch Pearson