First Event Success for the RS:Convertible Foiling Class
The invention of the modern hydrofoil has already changed the way we see sailing today. Boats just aren't 'modern' unless they can lift completely out of the water, and the novel idea of strapping one to a sailboard has done wonders in turning around the decline in participation of the sport. At a time when kiteboarding successfully kicked windsurfing out of the Olympics (at least for a few months), windsurfing desperately needed this development.
Neil Pryde were one of the first to commit to making a windsurfing dedicated foil, and many have followed this year, with their own foils, boards and even sails dedicated to foiling. But nobody else has the power to start a one-design class with olympic potential! Neil Pryde have already said that they intend this class to become the Olympic windsurfing class, and to prove the concept they've been pushing hard to get an event up and running.
The first of which, was the RS:One Convertible European Championships in Penmarc'h Brittany France this month, where nearly 30 racers competed on identical foiling windsurfers. Wind ranged in the 7-12 knot range for most of the event, which is too light for conventional windsurfers to get up and planning, but for the foils it was no trouble. Racers sped around the course at board speeds over 20 knots at times, keeping spectators entertained and the racing close. Three divisions gave racers a chance to find their niche too, with 'The Pulsar' taking the form of a compact slalom course, the Super 8 being a long distance race and the Regatta looking more akin to the Americas Cup (or basically just a course race).
Next up for the class is the World Championships, which of course will be more of a demonstration event given how new it is. That being said, there's 40,000 Euro on offer, so racing is bound to be fierce! That all kicks off on the 30th October in Azores, France - before a packed 2018 season.