Harken Derm

Parlier wins Hydrofoil Tour San Francisco

Published on June 10th, 2018

San Francisco, CA (June 10, 2018) – The fourth and final day of the 2018 Hydrofoil Pro Tour enjoyed stellar conditions with ample sun, wind and competition as the top ten racers hung tight for three heats up and down the course. After grinding and pushing hard for three days all looked to gain a position or two – and some did.

As competitors took to the wind-riffed water, a rose ceremony was held for kiteboard racing photographer Michael Petrikov, who shot previous Tours and was well-known and loved in this community.

Then they jockeyed into position for heat one, ripping off the line at just after 1pm, only to have a general recall due to carnage at the start with seven racers down in a tangle of kites. Racers queued for the next start sequence, only to be delayed by a humpback whale closing on the race course – not an uncommon sight in San Francisco Bay.

Racing finally commenced with the top three – Nico Parlier (FRA), Johnny Heineken (USA), and Guy Bridge (GBR) possibly changing it up on points racing within feet of each other at times. Bridge managed an early lead only to get reeled in on the downwind legs by Parlier and Heineken. It was Parlier, Heineken, and Bridge at the finish line.

Bridge put the hammer down taking bullets in the next two races, while Parlier and Heineken chased each other up and down the course. In the end, Parlier held on to the lead spot with Heineken just four points behind to take second overall and Bridge two points more for third.

“I knew I had no mistakes allowed,” said Parlier after he stood on the first-place podium during the awards ceremony at St. Francis Yacht Club. “I did the maximum I could do. It’s awesome [to compete neck and neck]. It’s what we’re all looking for. Kiting against Johnny is awesome and kiting against Johnny in San Francisco is even better.”

At the top of their game, with near flawless racing, none of them said afterwards that they would have done anything differently.

“I just didn’t sail well enough today,” said Heineken. “Guy killed it. I had a good day yesterday and he had it today.” He was pleased to have Crissy Field firing and living up to its reputation keeping the fleet flying kites in the ten-meter range.

Bridge said he would have liked to nab that second, but “I’m happy with my consistency.”

Daniela Moroz (USA) took first place among the women competitors, but got bumped out of the top ten she coveted by just a handful of points.

“I was one of the people who got caught in that tangle in the beginning,” she said, and though it didn’t shake her, she suffered a wipeout in the day’s third race that kept her in the drink long enough for too many others to pass her. At 17 years old, Moroz continues to improve in speed, efficiency and handling as she schools most of the fleet.

Racing was held June 7 to 10.

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Source: Eric Due and Amanda Witherell

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