Kane De Wilde wins the Voyager X Wet Feet
Get the details of what happened and what is to follow
So much going on this month in the world of Downwind. The first race had a huge turnout and a very competitive finish. The rest of July is looking busy. Those who can are heading to Maui, Aussie bay runs have been epic. On a personal note, I had my first reasonably successful downwind run in the UK in tricky suboptimal conditions, validated DW beginner 🤙
Events, races etc
Voyager X Wet Feet - Recap
Over 100 people entered, slightly more SUP than wing. It looked like an epic race, with a very close finish, top 3 in both categories within about 1 second of each other and coming down to wire.
Kane De Wilde - 26:42 (Lift 90?)
Andrew Gibbons - 26:53 (Lift 110 HA)
Mala'e McElheny - 28:17 (Lift 110 HA)
Brian Tricarico - 27:45 (Gofoil)
Derek Hamasaki - 28:00
Eli Maioho - 28:34 (Gofoil)
James Casey chats with Andrew Gibbon below. Andrew placed 2nd in SUP. They discuss board length, smaller foils, and how the race went. Andrew is doing 2 to 3 downwind runs PER DAY and then hitting the gym 6 days per week. Serious shit!
Andrew describes some of the big hitters from Hawaii and the secret senders. The race recap starts here. They had a big East groundswell and then a fresh South groundswell on the day, 25-35 mph wind, double overhead on the sets. Andrew has been doing SUP downwind for about 1 year, great progress!
Blue Planet Show chats through the race from a wing perspective. Lots of interesting stuff about the relative speed, Wing has to sail zig-zag lines while the SUP crew can pin it straight downwind. Highlights from the video: Kane hits a fish and still wins, advice is don’t use polarised sunglasses, also someone broke a paddle in the surf final stretch.
Looks like the wing foil and SUP foils were about the same speed to the finish, with a challenging finish in some decent surf and a few people missing the finish line. Apparently there was a prone format at the Voyager X Wet Feet? You could submit runs and the fastest time wins.
Paddle Imua - Preview
Another race added to the list, this time Paddle Imua on the 23rd of July, running the famous Maliko run on the North shore of Maui. Checkout the location here. As a regular human, this race looks hugely appealing. See some 2017 downwind foiling drone footage below.
For interest, here is their safety gear list:
PFD, Whistle, VHF/Cell recommended
Gear and People
Editor’s note - we will try keep this unbiased and impartial. No one on the dwfoil.com team has any brand affiliation and will remain impartial (do try your luck though)
Lift dominated the Voyager X Wet Feet, Lift 110 HA X has been the choice for most according to Andrew Gibbon. Kane was on a 90.
Code foils will be one to watch, with James Casey having the best mix of experience foiling, downwind racing, pro athlete-ing in the mix (save for maybe Kai?).
Starboard has a single piece foil which should prove competitive in the wing races with Zane pushing them around. Maybe give Robert Stehlik a run on his Mikes Lab! Expect a flurry of competitively priced gear from Starboard this year. I saw a pre-release Starboard downwind board on the beach and it looked and felt great (light!).
Axis will have the unreleased smaller ART PROs for their team, Olivia Piana and Perth!
Josh Ku looked like he had a faster Unifoil prototype in one of his videos.
Oskar Johansson on Armstrong is probably a good dark horse for M2O points. He could pump the whole way if it goes flat.
James and Josh talk strategy here.
DWFOIL.COM Manufacturers Championships
There are a bunch of other brands, and an incredibly stacked lineup of competitors this year. I’ll be compiling a list of the results by foil brand, and at the end of the year announce a winner.
There will be points for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and each race will have a weighting - distance and number of entrants. M2O will probably need to be weighted double. If you’re an actuary please message me.
World record foil
Olivia Piana completes the challenge, cruising with dolphins, avoiding orcas, backwash, boat fuel issues, riding into dusk. 20km/h for 14 hours. Incredible! How about the endless summer nights of the North Sea as a venue to better it? Imagine daylight is the primary constraint now.
More Downwind from Hawaii, Voyager Foiler making a compelling case for Maliko run
UK Downwind Race?
The UK is blessed with lots of wind and not much surf (sorry), the only issue is the lack of reliable and consistent wind. @gogfoiler has had a great idea to do a race. Critical is finding a spot that can take advantage of the prevailing Westerlies, deal with the South West blows, and not have too much ground swell which is usually at a crap angle. Bonus points if we can find a run that simplifies logistics with a train running along the coast! (e.g. in Marseille, thanks Olivia for the idea). If you are based in the UK and keen to know more, join the UK Downwind facebook group.
SUP vs Hand Paddles
How about this clip of knee paddles. I’ve fully committed to SUP but when I see clips like that it makes it clear that on a big slow foil, anything is possible. Incredible how despite the miss-steps, they were still able to get up. I’ve already felt the value of safety strokes while up on foil, and I would guess that is worth the hassle alone.
Two runs in Tampa, Florida, thanks for sharing John Nguyen.
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Questions for the audience:
What are you working on in your DW journey?
Should DW races run on a set date or have a waiting period?
What do you think of a prone shore-run race with self tracking via GPS watch?
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