119NM on a Foiling Kiteboard
In late October 2018 the PredictWind Team supported leading NZ Kitefoiler Sam Bullock in his attempt to do the 119Nm Coastal Classic course as an unofficial entry.
Sam Bullock is the 2 x NZ kitefoiling national champ so is more accustomed to sailing around short courses, so the 6 hours and 32 minutes to complete the 119Nm course was new challenge for him.
A lot of planning and preparation went in to the day with all aspects of safety and strategy carefully considered and planned. In the week leading in to the event, we knew the forecast wasn’t going to be a record breaker for Sam, but the moderate easterly conditions gave the opportunity to have a fast but challenging ride from Auckland to Russell.
Kite selection on the day based on the Predictwind forecast was spot on, with the same kite used for the entire race. The day was also a great opportunity for the PredictWind team to use their new Weather boat as the support craft for the attempt, which proved to be invaluable.
Sam started with the official race entries and soon cleared away from the fleet in the early stages of the race which was upwind sailing, after the first ¼ of the race the wind and coastline allowed for a long port tack slightly cracked off from close hauled, which meant plenty of speed but the challenges of being one position for several hours on a high performance piece of equipment pushing Sam’s skills and mental fortitude the whole way to the finish.
Successfully completing the course 20 minutes ahead of fellow kitefoiler Matt Taggart of Ozone kites, made for great celebration. With both kiters finished and enjoying a cold beverage on the shore long before the first of the Coastal Classic entrants made it to the finish line.