Foil windsurfing has been on the rise for a few years, and with the first official Racing world title being taken by Gonzalo Costa Hoevel on the first generation Severne HyperGlide sail, we are expecting an exciting season ahead with our next generation HyperGlide2 foil sail.
The first PWA foiling event of the year will take place in Japan, and a big fleet of more than 50 sailors is expected to battle it out for the top positions. Gonzalo, whom always has been an innovator within the sport, is situated in the southern tip of Spain, has access to a variety of conditions at his doorstep, and is currently preparing for the upcoming PWA foil and slalom event. We got to ask him a few questions about the ideology of the next generation of HyperGlide2 sails, the development of the sport in general and if he's ready to battle it out for yet another title.
You were the first official PWA Foiling Race world champion. Are you ready to defend your title this season?
Surely, I will try my best!!!! There are a lot of good riders out there and a lot of new gear, I don't know how their gear will perform, but I am sure it will be a tough and exciting year. I've been training hard and we have been working a lot on the R&D program. I was part of the R&D of all the racing gear I will use this season and I know we made big gains, so I am very confident I´ll have the gear to be a contender for the title again.
When foiling came up, you were one of the early adopters, and have been instrumental in developing some of the best products out there. Where do you see the next evolution of foiling going?
I think we will see big gains in the lighter winds, boards/sails/foils made a good step forward in that range without sacrificing the high-end performance. Some very innovative products are about to be launched! As well everything is becoming easier and easier, so I think foiling will only get bigger not only on the racing side but also on the recreational side.
You were part of developing the Hyper Glide foiling sail range. The new Hyper Glide 2 is a different concept with a high aspect design. What has lead the development towards that?
There were several reasons. In general, every time you foil with a 7,8 size sail you feel extremely comfortable due to the short boom. Is very easy to trim to get your best foil position. We thought we wanted to keep that short boom easiness but we needed more area. As well we were having a close eye to what was going around on foiling catamarans. On almost all the foiling classes high aspect sails were working better. So we started at that point to feel we needed to experiment in that way.
But to be honest, the first step was made by legendary Steve Allen when he cut a 12.5 formula sail. We got totally convinced at that point that we needed to work in that direction. So we followed up the concept and started trying a different number of battens, different shaping and super important different leach tensions, much tighter, on super long mast designs.
What can we expect from the next generation of Hyper Glide sails?
Can't say much but we have some really cool ideas already! Firstly, enjoy HG2!!!!
Where do you see the evolution of foiling taking the sport of windsurfing?
I think that it will make windsurfing bigger. I feel we have been given this opportunity to put windsurfing in the spotlight again. I've been in contact with Americas Cup legends that go wind foiling on their free time, how cool is that! So more and more people are getting into the sport just to foil and a lot of Ex windsurfs are coming back to try foiling! Its very easy and almost effortless...so everybody that tries it gets addicted.
You can stay up to date with Gonzalo on his instagram account @gonzalocostahoevel