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A Foiling Revolution is Happening
Once a month, sailing enthusiasts from all over gather at Lake Pupuke on New Zealand’s North Shore for some unconventional windsurfing action. This new hybrid sport is known as windfoiling and is a combination of foiling and windsurfing. The highly diverse group consists of ocean racers, Americas Cup sailors, former Olympic medallists and young sailors new to the sport. On Foiling Friday every month the lake is seeing as many as 20 avid sailors zipping about on the water. The trend has even started spreading to include other venues around the country.
What is That Buzzing Around on the Lake?
Alan ‘Madloop’ McIntosh, the owner of Madloop Windsurfing School, is known as the driving force behind making windfoiling popular in New Zealand. According to McIntosh, foiling has reinvigorated windsurfing. Although he was not too keen on windfoiling at the start and thought it was a dangerous sport, McIntosh has since realised that it’s attracting a lot of people to his school, including those who have never windsurfed and sailors who are experienced but want something fun as a cross-training sport. It started becoming obvious that the sight of the windfoilers buzzing around the lake is an excellent marketing tool for the windsurfing veteran’s school. He is now a regular at Foiling Fridays and has even said that he is convinced that Olympic windsurfing should go down the foiling route to keep it relevant in modern times.
Inspiring a New Generation
More and more windsurfing clubs in New Zealand are beginning to offer regular races for windfoilers. What makes windfoiling so exhilarating is that it is fun, fast and accessible to all kinds of water enthusiasts. Those who have caught the windfoiling bug say that it feels like you are surfing in the air once the board is on its way and starts to rise above the water. This adrenaline-charged form of sailing is almost like flying.