Foil Mania in Switzerland
With the rise of foiling, lake Silvaplana in Switzerland has been a frontrunner for large scale windfoil events in recent years. 2021 was no different; the new Severne Predator foil freestyle board made it to the public for the first time, new official iQFOiL champions were crowned, Balz “Radiculo” Muller became foil freestyle world champion, and Lennart Neubauer won the EFPT tow-in championships.
Photos by: Sailing Energy, Fabian Gattlen, Chris Czadilek, Marc Weiler, Emanuela Cauli, John Carter
Alien VS. Predator
For anyone visiting this years’ event, it was hard to miss the Severne stand packed with the latest products from the Severne Hydrofoil Division. Visitors could check out the latest FoilGlide 2 and FoilFreek sails, as well as, Alien foil freeride boards. But the centre of attention was without a doubt the new Predator foil freestyle board which visitors of the Engadinwind were the first in the world to see live.
During the course of the event, anyone also had the chance to test all of the gear on display at the Severne stand. The early feedback for the new Predator board in combination with the FoilFreek sail was clear; a versatile setup that not only appeals to the hardcore foil style rider but just as much to the adventurous freeride foiler looking for a more maneuvreable performance freeride setup.
As usual, all guests were invited for a beer to check out the presentation on stage, which also was the official introduction of the Predator board.
iQFOiL World Championships
Although we’ve seen iQFOiL championships before, this year’s event was the first official iQFOiL world championship. Over 220 competitors formed one of the most impressive fleets seen in windsurfing for a long time.
Over the course of the competition week, spectators got treated to some of the most exciting foilracing ever seen. With winds filling in nicely before noon on nearly all of the competition days, there was course racing, as well as, slalom action all day long. For those who had never seen foil racing before, it was undoubtedly a spectacular sight to see large fleet starts with more than half of the fleet starting on port tack and nerve wracking slalom racing with riders pushing the limit right until the finish line.
After initial qualifier rounds of racing where the fleet was split into two, the fleets were reorganized into gold and silver groups, and after a total of 15 races, it was time for the medal races where the top 12 women and men fight it out for the top positions in an elimination format. The medal race also offered exciting entertainment for the spectators with an Americas Cup style course with a reaching finish right in front of the beach.
The level was at an all-time high, but ultimately, it was Helene Noesmoen from France who took the win in the women’s fleet ahead of Brits Islay Watson and Saskia Sills, and Nicolas Goyard, also from France who took the win in the men’s fleet in an impressive medal race final.
Official 021 titles were also awarded to both the women’s and men’s fleet. Israel dominated the women’s podium with Shachar Reshef taking the win ahead of Helle Oppedal from Norway and Sharon Kantor, also from Israel, taking third place. The men’s u21 division was won by brit Finn Hawkins, who also finished eighth on the overall ranking, ahead of Max Castelein from the Netherlands and Louis Pignolet from France.
“FOILSTYLE” World Championship
Foil freestyle is a movement that is gaining traction year by year. The pioneers of the movement call Switzerland their home. The main innovator of foil freestyle, Balz Müller once again impressed with big, radical moves, as well as, expressed his artistic style which still goes unmatched. Unsurprisingly, Balz took the win at this year’s championships, and can once again call himself king of “foilstyle”.
There are, however, riders following Balz’s footsteps. Severne rider Lennart Neubauer impressed the crowd and the judges to get himself onto third place behind Balz and Balz’s brother Jac Müller who finished second.
This years’ championships were also the first to see the full Severne FoilFreek sail and Predator board combo in action with Michael Näf as the rider.
The wind at Silvaplana doesn’t usually kick in until around noon. This makes for perfect conditions for freestyle tow-in action. The EFPT once again held a successful tow-in championships with an elimination series spread out over three days. Each year, the riders improve, and it’s truly amazing what they now are able to pull off, just by getting towed and building some speed.
The standout was without a doubt Severne rider Lennart Neubauer, who is on a winning streak this year. Lennart also won the tow-in championships at the previous EFPT event in Austria and is now leading the overall ranking comfortably.
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