Florida Kite Racing League
2017 Spring Foil Regatta
When: May 5th, 6th, & 7th, 2017
Where: St. Petersburg, Florida (Pass-A-Grille Beach)
Sponsors: Elite Watersports, Liquid Force, Slingshot, F-One, Delta Hydrofoil, Ride Engine
Friday: May 5th, 2017
Friday was the kick-off to the event weekend with a full day of gear-tuning and test-runs. As many racers travel from out-of-state, some even from out of the country, they use Friday to get acclimated to the conditions; testing the waterways, launch sites, wind speeds, and their gear. Along with race-prep, the racers also utilize the casual day to catch up with fellow racers; exchanging stories and advice, discussing the newest gear, and race strategies.
Friday was quite windy and proved to be a fun day for all those on the water. Racers were able to ride much of the day and finished up with dinner and drinks at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, on Pass-A-Grille. As it was Cinco de Mayo, the yacht club celebrated by hosting a fantastic Taco Bar. The Race Committee joined the racers for dinner and knocked out registration to free-up some of the early morning chaos experienced previously on day 1 of the past races. The evening wrapped up pretty early and the racers headed home for some rest before the big day.
Saturday: May 6th, 2017
Saturday was scheduled to be Race Day 1, however, while we were sleeping, the winds decided to throw their own Cinco de Mayo party! With heavy winds come large waves and an agitated sea. Our Race Committee was nervous. We held our Skipper’s Meeting at 9:30 am and, after some discussion on the conditions, we decided to postpone until later in the day. At 11:00 am Race Committee met with the racers again and, again, decided to postpone another hour in anticipation of calmer conditions in the Gulf. Unfortunately, 12:00/noon came around and the conditions were the same; our Race Committee was unable to get out of the pass or keep an anchor, resulting in a cancellation of the races on Saturday. This decision was definitely not made lightly and we decided to air on the side of safety for the sake of our racers as well as our Race Committee.
Later in the afternoon, the wind speed subsided to a race-worthy amount, however, the seas were still unorganized with faces of 3- to 4-feet. As the racers were conditioned to race Saturday, there was much disappointment on the beach. Several of our local racers and FKRL founders offered alternative locations for those still looking to get in some time on the water. Many racers launched from the race site and headed to Bunce’s Pass. Bunce’s Pass is a little-known spot favored for its protected flat waters. For the most part, everyone was able to get out on the water and enjoy some epic wind. Saturday was rounded-off with a catered dinner at Elite Watersports, where racers enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner, cold keg beer, and raffle drawing. We knew Sunday was going to be action-packed, so many racers and committee members bowed out early in hopes of getting enough rest for “the” race day ahead!
Sunday: May 7th, 2017
Sunday morning arrived and, thankfully, the conditions in the Gulf looked favorable. The Race Committee was able to set the course! Skipper’s Meeting was held at 8:30 am and the first race was scheduled for 10:30. During Skipper’s Meeting, the committee members and racers agreed to complete as many races as time (and physical fitness capabilities) allowed. We would aim to complete two sets of 3 races and if we were able, we would top those off with 2 more races; we were making up for zero races the day before! Racers were pumped and took advantage of the time remaining, before the first race, to set up their gear and get into “race-mode”.
The day went off without a hitch! We successfully completed 8 races and had some great competition. Immediately following the final race, the Awards Ceremony was held.
Congratulations to ALL the racers for a fantastic day on the water; a job well done to everyone who competed in or contributed to the 2017 Spring Foil Regatta, making it a success!
A Special CONGRATULATIONS to Our Top Racers!
1st: Jacob Olivier
2nd: Kai Cader
3rd: Jon Modica
4th: Aaron McClearnon
5th: Jason D’Agostino
6th: Raz Sayre
1st in Inflatables: Tanner Hayes
Gris Award: Vadim Polonsky
Along with amazing race participants and race committee members, we would also not be able to pull off our regattas without the help of our sponsors.
THANK YOU, SPONSORS!!!
Looking forward to seeing everyone again in the Fall!
Elite Watersports and FKRL Member