Day One HFPT Germany

Storm clouds brew as the HydroFoil Pro Tour kicks off in Fehmarn 

20th August 2017: Fehmarn, Germany

 

Report: Matt Pearce / Photos: Joern Pollex – Act Agency

 

 

The racing got underway today here at the HydroFoil Pro Tour in Fehmarn, Germany, with many of the world’s top hydrofoil racers on the beach at Sudstrand to take part in the fourth stop on this year’s tour.

The skipper’s meeting was at midday with a first possible start at 1.30pm and the riders, all of them keen to get on the water after watching the finals of the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour event earlier today, were on their way out to the course by 1.15pm. Shifting wind delayed the start a little as the race crew set the course and then the first of today’s three races began!

Unfortunately, due to the over eagerness of a handful of the competitors who had edged over the line before race director Stephen Aulich gave the official announcement, a general recall had to be called but this was actually a blessing as it allowed the riders to get a warm-up lap done while the race team reset the start line in the shifting winds.

 

 

By this time excitement was at fever pitch with Nico Parlier and Axel Mazella on 15 meter kites in winds gusting past 20 knots as this would give them the added power they needed to cut through the seaweed that plagued sections of the course. It’s just one of those obstacles that need to be overcome when foiling in the open ocean of course but it led to some pretty heavy spills in today’s races!

In the first race, Axel Mazella tore round the course on his red Enata wing coming in ahead of Nico Parlier in second and Olly Bridge in third and then, for the third race, the heavens opened as the riders stormed off the startline into a gathering mass of dark grey clouds.

 

 

This was where Nico Parlier, who currently leads the tour after regaining momentum after a slow start at the first event this year in La Ventana, took his first bullet of the day and he was completing the course in just 12 minutes which is seriously quick given the shifting, challenging winds and the size of kite he was on!

 

 

As the rain worsened and the conditions continued to prove challenging, Parlier rose to the occasion and took his second bullet of the day when he won the third race.

Speaking afterwards he said “We had a little bit of seaweed but we managed to sail around the course still and it was all fine. It was a good first day of racing for me and I hope to keep it up for the next days!”

 

 

Axel Mazella was hot on his heels during race two and three and finished second in both to secure second overall at the end of day one and German rider Florian Gruber managed to stay consistently within the top five to take third overall.

 

 

“It was a pretty good racing day because we got three nice races done in some challenging conditions. Not that easy but it was possible to ride even though it was tough to see the upwind mark with a hand in front of your face to block the rain!” Florian said after.

So, with that done, it’s on to day two tomorrow with stronger and slightly more cross-offshore winds on the forecast. There are six races planned and current tour leader Parlier will be out to build on his lead with only one point separating him and Axel Mazella!

 

Find out more at www.hydrofoilprotour.com

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