Esteban De Cruz in Silvaplana, Switzerland. Photo by Yellow Flag

A historical event

This year’s Engadinwind event on the lake of Silvaplana was truly an amazing experience for those who came to enjoy the great conditions and beautiful surroundings of Silvaplana.

For Severne, it was a special event; a new board “Alien” was officially introduced to the public at a fun event, which also included lots of other upcoming Severne products.

The 2020 Engadinwind also hosted the first-ever iQFOiL European championships.

Anyone who stopped by at the 2020 Engadinwind event had the chance to meet up with the Severne team and check out the latest products. The focus for this year’s event was the Alien freeride foil which was available to test out throughout the whole event. There was no doubt about the prevailing experience of anyone who had a run on the new Alien board. The combination of the Alien board and the new Severne foil which will be available soon delivered a smile inducing experience for all who took it for a spin.

Esteban De Cruz in riding the Alien board in Silvaplana, Switzerland. Photo by Yellow Flag

Visitors also had the chance to stop by for an introductory event for a preview into all of the foil specific products currently in the pipeline for the Severne Hydrofoil Division.

With special guests such as 2020 Foil Freestyle World Champion Balz Müller presenting his future line of foil freestyle sails and 2019 PWA Vice World Champion Matteo Iachino presenting future foil racing sails, it was a star-studded event. It was great to see such many, socially distanced, faces on this sunny day. 

Finding the next up and coming Foil Freestyler

Meanwhile, Balz Müller was busy. Apart from winning the 2020 Freestyle Foil World Championships and being one of the main entertainers on the water, he was simultaneously on a secret mission; to find the next up and coming foil freestyler. The terms were quite easy. Impress Balz with your skills and take a grand prize… one of Balz’s latest Foil Freestyle sails “Foil Freek”. The selection process was meticulous and involved interviews, action on the water and general display of style. Ultimately, the choice landed on Jan Flutskish, who already at a young age, was pulling off moves and left an impression on the head judge Balz. A short clip of this whole process is set to launch this 2020 season.

iQFOiL – The future of Olympic Windsurfing

After a “Warm-up” Formula Foil World Championships where many of the participants were already on the brand new iQFOiL equipment, it was time to gather a fleet of 136 sailors for the history-making event; the 2020 iQFOiL European championships.

Despite tricky, northerly winds for the first two days, the wind swung around to the favourable, southerly stream on the third day. The course was set for slalom racing, which also is a part of this new Olympic class. Two eliminations were completed in some incredible conditions producing never seen images of a red fleet of wind foilers battling it out on all new gear and with a completely new format.

 

The following days brought lighter winds. The format was changed to course racing, which stayed on until the last day of racing, where a whole new medal race format was introduced; a sudden death 12 man elimination which saw 4 sailors eliminated for each heat sailed until only 4 sailors remained. The final finishing positions would also be the overall event result for the top 12.

The course was an Americas Cup style format with a reaching start, a downwind, a short upwind followed by another downwind. The finish was a long reach. 

The men’s final was completed in dramatic fashion with German sailor Sebastian Kördel leading the pack until the last 50 meters where he found himself in a pumping battle with RS:X World Champion Kiran Badloe, who ultimately took the win to become the first-ever iQFOiL European champion.

The women fleet was dominated by Helen Noesmoen from France who also took the win in the final in front of Islay Watson from Great Britain and Lilian de Geus from Holland.

Ultimately, racing was held in winds ranging from 7-25 knots over these days proving the versatility of this new class, which has already produced historical footage. The 2024 Olympics will definitely see a boost for the sailing sport with iQFOiL.

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