Formula Wing Europeans – No wind? No problem!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Wind conditions didn’t allow for racing today on Lake Silvaplana. 
  • Riders went to St. Moritz to enjoy a variety of alternative foiling activities. 
No wind? No problem!
No wind? No problem!

Unfortunately, there was no racing today due to inconsistent light winds on Lake Silvaplana. Instead, the riders made the most of the free after pumfoilingSUP foilingtow foiling, and even showcasing an impressive display of lightwind wingfoiling. With a breathtaking backdrop of the Alps, it wasn’t long before there was a fantastic foiling frenzy on the lake.

Busy pontoon as riders queue up to 'dockstart' a variety of pumpfoils
Busy pontoon as riders queue up to ‘dockstart’ a variety of pumpfoils

Inspiring the next generation in the foil revolution
Unphased by the lack of wind was local legend Balz Müller! The windsurf foil freestyle World Champion has been a pioneer in wingfoiling from the very beginning. With constant innovations in the freestyle discipline, he has inspired many people worldwide to join the sport. With an endless enthusiasm for foiling, Müller was delighted to put his light wind wingfoil skills to the test on St. Moritz lake today. 

Balz Müller displays his foiling skills in front of the iconic St. Moritz
Balz Müller displays his foiling skills in front of the iconic St. Moritz

Müller’s stoke was contagious as more and more riders jumped on the water to join him for the fun, inspired to push their own light wind skills to the max. “These days wind is overrated, with hydrofoils, you can literally pumpfoil everyday” mused a fully frothed Müller, “we could do a race in zero wind and a glassy lake and that’s what I love about the foil revolution.” He adds, “my favourite part of the sport is the light winds, you feel like you’re flying over the water, almost like you’re paragliding! You make your own apparent wind and then you can go; it’s much more technical, but anything is possible!” 

Ernesto De Amicis
Ernesto De Amicis

When it comes to pumpfoiling, the first to hit the water is always Italian rider Ernesto De Amicis. Looking back on his pumpfoil journey, he reflects, “a few years ago at the WingFoil World Cup in Campione, I saw Balz pumpfoiling and I thought that I had to try it! It was super difficult to learn because the front wings weren’t properly developed for pumping yet. But over winter, I kept on trying in my home spot in Italy and could finally do it!” On returning to Campione the following year in 2022, the young Italian discovered that his determination and perseverance had paid off.

“I could pump really well at this point. In fact, I got the world record of 46 minutes! I held the record until January, but now people can go for hours and hours! Now I can pump really well and I enjoy days like today in St. Moritz where I can have a lot of fun pumpfoiling with other people.” The up-and-coming Italian believes his pumpfoiling skills have translated well to wingfoiling, “it has helped my wingfoiling a lot, it gives you a really good technique in pumping in terms of upwind and downwind. I found it really necessary in wingfoiling and it’s a really good technical training for when there is no wind.”

Crowds gather to watch the foiling spectacle unfold
Crowds gather to watch the foiling spectacle unfold

Pushing the limits one step at a time 
In a fast-developing sport like wingfoiling, it’s important to keep pushing the limits of the sport more and more. These things take time, but slowly we can break the ideas of what we think is possible, with a dream to race in 5 to 30 knots. The introduction of Formula Wing has made some critical steps in making this happen. Being allowed to register only two gliders leaves the door wide open for riders to register a bigger wing that would enable 5 knot races to be possible and a smaller, racier wing for the stronger winds. 

Anything is possible with a front wing like this!
Anything is possible with a front wing like this!

The wind looks promising for racing tomorrow, allowing for two sessions to take place. The morning session will conclude the qualifying series, followed by an afternoon session where Gold fleet racing will commence. You can follow the action live on Metasail where you can track all of your favourite riders. 

Flying over the glassy waters of St. Moritz lake
Flying over the glassy waters of St. Moritz lake

RESULTS MEN

1. Bastien Escofet – FRA – 2.6 p 

2. Kamil Manowiecki – POL – 3.6 p

3. Oscar Leclair – FRA – 4.0 p


RESULTS WOMEN

1. Maddalena Spanu – ITA – 3.0 p

2. Marta Monge – ITA – 10.0 p

3. Wai Yan Ngai – HKG – 10.0 p

See more info and results here

Text Credits: IWSA Media
Photo Credits: IWSA Media/Sailing Energy
Video Credits: WSA Media/ICARUS Sports

To keep up to date with Ensis ENGADINWING 2024 Formula Wing, please visit wingfoilracing.com or follow on:

@wingfoilracing
@icarussportsmedia

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