Wing foiling is the new black
Published on October 23rd, 2023
The evolution of board sailing had increasingly got more complex, with the rising level of required gear and skill excluding the masses. While the shift from sails to kites provided portability, finding sufficient launch space and avoiding entanglements remained detriments.
But performance increased with each step, so all good… right? Maybe not as the latest step toward wing sails is notable for other reasons. They are not faster but the boxes they do check are contributing to massive growth around the world, and is bringing championship racing to Miami, Florida.
Coral Reef Yacht Club, in conjunction with Cabrinha and Adventure Sports, will host the first ever Wing Foil Atlantic Coast Championships on November 17-19. Fifty competitors are expected for the three-day championship with racing to occur in the vicinity of Sister Banks, just to the South of the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Participants are coming from across the USA with all ages and skill levels attending from pro-level riders to intermediate and novice wing foilers. At the moment, 2020 Olympians Stu McNay (Men’s 470), Lara Dallman-Weiss (Women’s 470), and Steph Roble (49erFX) are among those registered, joined by wing foil youth and pro rider, Henry Vare from the San Francisco Bay Area.
With one of the healthiest wing foiling communities in the US, South Florida is truly the mecca of East Coast USA foiling. On any given windy day, as many as 70+ wingers are on the water in various Miami hot spots from Virginia Key, to Crandon Park, up to Miami Beach, and even just off of Coconut Grove.
Winging offers something for literally everybody as it’s low-impact and quite safe and requires almost zero infrastructure to participate – just throw your kit off the dock or the boat and away you go!
Courses are very unique with speed in mind and generally feature slalom downwind racing with a few short upwind legs to maximize tactical decisions. However, wing racing is just like normal sailboat racing – tactically challenging and quite physical with the same amount of attention paid to wind shifts, starting tactics, etc., all with speeds in the mid to high 20s.
Participation will be limited to the first 50 entries.