Hydrofoil Pro Tour on San Francisco Bay
Published on August 4th, 2016
by Michelle Slade, Marin Independent Journal
Joey Pasquali has been riding the kiteboarding scene for some 15 years but it was just three years ago that he and his kite buddies got interested in foilboarding.
The America’s Cup had moved into town with its super quick foiling catamarans, and as Pasquali recalls, “We were watching those boats and foiling was the big thing. We started tracking down foils for kiting which were built in France, we got some here and started riding them. They were a lot more fun than what we had been doing with kiting, and easier on your body.”
Pretty much the only kind of kiteboard racing that now happens on San Francisco Bay is foilboarding, and on August 4-7, one of the premier foilboarding events in the world — the Hydrofoil Pro Tour — will be held at Crissy Field. Forty-one competitors from 10 countries are registered to race. Pasquali is among one of the highest-ranked foilboarders competing, and with two Olympic campaigns in the 49er sailing class to his credit, he’s no stranger to high-level competition.
A Sausalito resident, Pasquali grew up in Santa Cruz where he was on the US Sailing Team in high school before heading to study at the University of Hawaii. There, he was easily persuaded by his college coaches to kite. “I love to surf and skimboard, so getting into a board sport like kiting was the perfect combination,” Pasquali said.
After college he returned to California and earned his captain’s license. He’s now a tug boat captain for Westar Marine, working seven days on and seven off which gives him a good amount of time to sharpen his foiling skills. He agrees that the quick transition by many bay kiters to foilboarding has been impressive, but not surprising.
“Just the feeling, the speed and ease of it makes foiling way more fun and the racing better,” Pasquali said.