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Pushing the limit on kitefoil racing

Published on June 6th, 2018

The skies and waters of San Francisco Bay will be ablaze with 50 of the world’s top hydrofoiling kiteboarders for the 2018 Hydrofoil Pro Tour on June 6-10, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA.

“Kitesurfing has just been voted into the 2024 Olympics so the sport is only on the rise,” said StFYC’s Event Chair Seth Besse. “We can expect more of this stuff to come.”

San Francisco Bay racers and St. Francis Yacht Club members have been at the forefront of kitesurf racing and hydrofoil development since its inception as a sport, making this a special stop on the Hydrofoil Pro Tour every year.

StFYC has also taken the initiative to ensure the Tour is a certified Silver Level Clean Regatta by meeting environmental standards established by Sailors for the Sea, the world’s only sustainability certification for water-based events.

“As kiteboarders, our passion hinges upon the health of the natural elements,” said Erika Heineken, StFYC member and Tour competitor. “We’re thrilled to not only have the support for a sustainable regatta from the St. Francis Yacht Club, but to promote this concept among the kiteboarding community.

“Hydrofoil racing is one of the most progressive aspects of kiteboarding, so taking the Pro Tour in this direction should help spread the mindset throughout our members and to the general sailing community.”

Fresh off the 2018 Tour’s second stop in France (May 18-21), the event will draw some of the best local and international kiters for four days of racing on the City Front.

Guy Bridge (GBR) is the current leader but will face stiff competition from Nico Parlier (FRA), who has won this stop a few years in a row. Local pressure will come from Johnny Heineken (StFYC), holder of multiple world titles, who finished third last year. Also look for Joey Pasquali (StFYC) who finished fifth overall, and Daniela Moroz (StFYC) who’s been hot on Johnny’s heels in StFYC’s Thursday Night Series.

“We’re anticipating windy, gusty, shifty tough conditions with very tactical and fast racing,” said Tour Organizer Marvin Baumeister Schoenian. “This is one of the fastest regattas of the year and will be an incredible experience for the riders and an amazing spectacle for viewers around the Bay and at the St Francis Yacht Club.”

For optimal wind conditions, the competition will be held off Crissy Field beach on the afternoons of Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 7-10, with up to five races per day. On Saturday, the kiters will be joined by the local formula windsurfers to compete in the San Francisco Bay Challenge, a distance race to Berkeley and back that will test both strength and strategy.

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