New world title for foil windsurfing
Published on July 7th, 2019
The first ever Formula Windsurfing Foil World Championship was held July 1-6 in Puck, Poland. The venue has deep roots in the windsurfing world, hosting international events since the days of the Lechner, and now is celebrated for launching this title for the new foiling genre of windsurfing.
While not strict one design, the International Formula Windsurfing Class operates with an approved list of equipment from various manufacturers meant to gather similar gear for competition. With 21 races held and five discards, it was Maciej Rutkowski (POL) and Steve Allen (AUS) who battled it out until the final race with the Australian claiming the title by one point.
“This is the first time we ever had as many as 21 races for a single discipline at an event,” notes Allen. “It is amazing for how many chances we have. You cannot do everything right in all these races, but mistakes are the key. Sometimes you let yourself mentally slip and I was happy to come back when it counted.
“I’ve been so close to world titles since 2009 and I didn’t have anything until 2018, when I won at the Formula Windsurfing Worlds and now again with the foil. To win the first official title gives me power to continue my career a little longer.”
The venue delivered some exceptional races, most of which were in well over 20 knots of breeze. Some of the younger competitors had never raced in the stronger breeze and rarely do you race in 30 knots in youth classes, but in Puck it was a daily reality.
The main question for foil racing before the event was safety. Will it be safe in a fleet of almost 60 competitors? Will the difference in abilities and equipment be a problem? When will the wind be too strong for racing?
All of these questions have been answered as foiling passed the test, proving that if you can race on the fin, it can be done on the foil too.