The final round of the inaugural Kitefoil Gold Cup racing series was completed over the last 6 days in sunny, windy, Townsville, in North Queensland, Australia. Organisation of this round in Australia was instigated by Marvin Baumeister with support from the Townsville Sailing Club, and without the resources of the sailing club and its awesome team of volunteers we could not have run such a successful event, thanks crew!!
The sailing event itself was was supervised by race director Robbie Dean from the USA, who brought with him a wealth of experience and has the total respect of all the kite foil racers, Rob also managed to do most of the commentary on the Live Stream, where it is still possible to view the races HERE
The races were all conducted in perfect winds, ranging from NW to SE, but mostly ESE and around 12-18 knots, riders all wore GPS trackers and these tracks are all visible on the live feeds. Speeds around the course were amazing, especially VMG’s and reaches of up to double the real wind speed, the sailing world is really sitting up and taking notice of this exceptionally high performance class of hydrofoil kite racing/sailing.
This years event series was tightly contested, with several riders within contention of the World Cup in the early stages, however by the time the series reached Australia, it became a battle between some very fast Frenchmen and women, and a a couple of USA riders. Townsville Women was won by Sophie Calliet, and Johnny placed 2nd gaining the overall World title, both riding Ozone Chrono foil kites, with Johnny riding a sword hydrofoil and Sophie riding a Radical brand foil built by her partner. So at the beginning of yesterdays racing, after 5 hard days of racing, Frenchman Nico Parlier had taken an unassailable lead in the Gold Fleet, but Maxime Nocher was within 5 points of Johnny Heineken and could have easily beaten Johnny and allowed Nico to win the coveted Gold Cup. So despite the best efforts of the Frenchmen, Johnny went out in the last 2 races, “lit” as he put it, on his 15m Chrono, stayed away from tangles and clear of tactics, to take 1st (bullets) in both of the last 2 races to take out the World title.
Congratulations to both Johnny and Sophie!