*Note that not long after writing this article: Olympic kitefoil racing became individual. Two medals one for man & one for woman. (see the other blog about the Olympic individual kitefoil racing)
What is kitefoiling?
When mentioning its perfect kitefoil weather.. Or having an awesome foil session in 10 knots. Yet, sometimes I still get dazzled eyes asking what the heck is hydrofoiling / kitefoiling?!
It’s just another new generation of kitesurfers flying over the water like Aladdin on his carpet… their very own magic carpet. These days Kitefoilen /hydrofoiling / kitefoiling has reached the tipping point. With loads of new people entering the world of floating above the water in silent speed and no chop. What once began as a bit of a fad for the people looking for something different, or – no offence – something for the older people – it has now become a mainstream attraction for young and old. All over the world.
Might be because one of the biggest benefits is that you can comfortably ride in light wind conditions – which where before better known as no wind conditions. Kitefoiling or hydrofoiling does not require a lot of wind, which makes it very popular in light wind areas or on light wind days. But in decent wind it can be fun to. Kitefoiling is not only limited to racing, and flying in silence above the water. No, jumping, handle passes, riding waves……. With a hydrofoil..??
So yes, A hydrofoil is a surfboard with a wing attached to a mast underneath the surfboard. When generating enough speed on the water, the wing has the ability to lift you and your board out of the water. Bit like an airplane. This decreases drag by a huge amount as your board is not touching the water anymore, giving you the sensation of flying over the water. Yep like…… Aladin. It is something complete new and different than kiteboarding in general. Furthermore, there is no sound! You’ll ride in absolute blissfulness as you’re not affected by the chop of the water anymore. Sounds nice right? or to good to be true..?
Follow the Olympic Ride & kitefoiling journey: Kitefoilingmissionsofmaris
And some not to miss out on Tips & Tricks in the kitefoilworld:
Now with the rise of the hydrofoil, it’s allowed kitefoil racing to become a well-regarded international sailing sport, so much so that it’s been accepted into the Olympics of 2024. And the Worlds in Scheveningen, the Netherlands – 2022. With the hydrofoil, the racing side of the sport has been taken to new heights. For now, being the fastest sailing craft around a course, other than an Americans Cup boats, it makes for some pretty exciting scenes – both for the spectator and participant! Speeds of more than 65 km/hour are reached.
Kitefoil racing implements his racing events like a yacht or sailing race along a course, that involves both speed and tactics. Boards with hydrofoils & foil kites are the equipment to race on. The goal is to outperform other kiters and come first in the race – the fastest and smartest.
Formula kite – Olympic discipline
This is the high performance hydrofoil class, using regulated registered series equipment. The equipment is selected by the world sailing As kiteboarding equipment for the Olympic event in 2024. The format will be mixed team relay. But also the individual Europeans and the worlds are under this discipline.
Kitefoil World Series – Pro Tour
This is a full development class, an open class – with minimum equipment regulations. Here the newest developed hydrofoils & foil kites are allowed to be used and tested among the other equipment.
Kitefoil Mixed team relay – Olympic format
For the Olympic format and all competitions related to formula kite. Kitefoil Racers are allowed to register one hydrofoil and up to four foil kites for use at the games or any other formula kite event – you can register every event again. Both men and women will be able to use kites from 7 to 25 meters and will race in anything from 5 to 40 knots, depending on the water/weather conditions. The equipment that racers can register will be decided upon by World Sailing every three years rather than all competitors being bound to a ‘one design’ system in which they would have to race on identical equipment made by one manufacturer. Instead, providing they stick within the guidelines, so all riders will be able to fine-tune their quiver and to suit their own riding style, bodyweight and personal preferences just as they’re allowed to in other Olympic sports like snowboarding and skiing as well.
The kitefoil mixed team relay will be a short track on a short windward / leeward course. The team should consist out of one man and one woman from the same nationality. The team members will be covering alternating laps with a changeover zone. But there are some more suggested other options of race formats to test. Competition will most likely consist of an opening series of heats. A knockout stage or other form of final in which the winner of that last race wins the event.
Overall it is expected that races will last in the region of 10 minutes for 3-4 laps of the course. This Olympic mixed team relay for the kitefoilers will the first time a relay format of this type has appeared in any Olympic sailing discipline. It would no doubt be an engaging one to watch. With the hope of World Sailing and the International Olympic Committee is that the massive wind range that foil racers are able to compete in will guarantee some spectacular racing for everyone!
Winning at the Olympics will be about being the fastest racer, not the best equipped racer!