ANTIGUA GEARS UP FOR WING FOIL CHAMPIONSHIPSaturday 15th April 2023
Antigua is gearing up for the exciting 2023 Antigua Wingfoil Championship, set to take place from May 1st to May 3rd. The event features two days of fast-paced slalom-style course racing, followed by a Long Distance race on the final day, which coincides with the Antigua Sailing Week Lay Day. Competitors will commence the race from Falmouth Harbour, and competitors will make their way along the south side of the island towards Turners Beach, and cover an 8 nautical mile stretch. The route takes them inside of Cades Reef before turning the corner and arriving at Turners Beach.
The Long Distance Race, also known as de downwinder takes the competitors out to open water where they can surf downwind on the wind swell. According to the organizer of the event, Maxim van den Pol “Going out on open water without a chase boat is not something you typically do because there is always the risk of breaking something. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to get out there in a safe and organized way”
To ensure the safety of all competitors during the long distance race, several chase boats will be in place to follow them. In addition, all competitors are required to carry a GPS tracker in the form of an app downloaded on their smartphone. Telecom provider Apua Inet is providing sim cards with the necessary data for the tracker to operate seamlessly.
The organization has adopted two classes to ensure fair competition for all participants: Pro and Leisure. According to Maxim van den Pol, the organizer of the event, "The Leisure Class is intended for those new to the sport and who want to join in on the fun while the Pro Class is for those with racing experience and who want to push their limits." The 3-day event aims to bring together local wingfoil enthusiasts, regardless of their level of experience. Sacha van der Wouden, the event organizer, believes that "It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or a seasoned pro with many races under your belt. It is about having fun on the water and sharing the passion for this amazing sport."
Local kiteboarding and Wingfoiling school Kelsick Kiteboarding has partnered with the event, adding to the excitement. The school is giving away a 2023 North Nova wing to the winner of both the Pro and the Leisure Class. Owner of Kelsick Kiteboarding, Jake Kelsick, expressed his enthusiasm for the sport being endorsed by Antigua Sailing Week, saying "Let the games begin! I am really excited to see this great new sport being endorsed by Antigua Sailing Week."
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