Elite Hydrofoil Regattas
2017 Fall Foil Regatta – St. Petersburg, FL
November 3rd, 4th, & 5th, 2017
The 2017 Fall Foil Regatta took place on the weekend of November 3rd, 4th, & 5th, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Organizing Authority (OA) was Elite Hydrofoil Regattas. The weekend was a huge success and the OA can not possibly express our gratitude to all those who volunteered their time, energy, and resources to the event. Without your support, we wouldn’t have been able to pull off one of the Nation’s favorite hydrofoil racing regattas!
Friday: Demo/Practice Runs Day
The original plan was to have a mid-morning meet-up at the Skyway, but the winds were not in our favor on the East. Luckily, the late afternoon sea breeze kicked up out of the West and we were about to host our practice runs and tech-talks at Pass-A-Grille Beach. Most of the racers were familiar with this location as it is one of the previous race locations for past regattas hosted by the Florida Kite Racing League (previous OA which dissolved).
After the competitors had their fair share of practice on the Gulf, they were all invited to Elite Watersports – St. Petersburg for dinner and Happy Hour. This get-together functioned as a last-minute registration/administrative opportunity. The start times and the event plans for the following two days were discussed and the racers enjoyed the chance to socialize with fellow racers. As a nightcap to the evening, the OA members hosted a free raffle for all present competitors and gave away some free swag. The Racers left feed, informed, and excited… Saturday’s races were just around the corner!
Saturday: Race Day 1
After learning our lessons from Friday’s wind pattern, the OA and Race Committee know the races would need to start first thing in the morning in order to take advantage of any morning winds out of the East. The OA and Race Committee were committed to hosting the day’s events at the Sunshine Skyway.
The skipper’s meeting took place at 8:30 am. Donna Sue Marks, our phenomenal Race Committee Leader, lead the meeting with start sequence instructions, race course pointers, and safety details. We had 27 registered racers. The first race sequence started around 10:00 am and we were able to complete 4 solid races by days’ end. During any given race there was a minimum of 20 racers on the course and no TLEs, meaning the fleet has really improved from past regattas and the competition was fierce. Saturdays race ran at the heading of 050 and the windward was .8 nm from signal. According to Race Committee’s records, the first two races were sailed in/around 16 minutes and the last two were sailed in 11 minutes! After the fourth race, the wind died down. Our racers were tired from completing four full races so most were content with calling it, which is what the Race Committee decided to do.
As the racing was completed for the day, many racers decided to either go casually ride in the Gulf where a warm Westerly sea breeze was coming in or go home and rest up for the next day’s races. Dinner and drinks were hosted at Park & Rec in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg which turned out to be a huge hit! A casual, yet hip atmosphere with many yard games and delicious food called for a good time had by all.
Sunday: Race Day 2
Sunday’s wind pattern shifted slightly from the previous few days, and was now on the lighter side (it was too Northerly). Unfortunately, the Race Committee (RC) was setup and ready to host the event, starting with a 8:00am skippers meeting, however, the wind was just too light coming out of the East. The collective decision was made to postpone the races until later in the afternoon. To take advantage of the Westerly sea breeze, the races would also move location and were now planned to take place in the Gulf off of Pass-A-Grille Beach. The skippers meeting was held at 12:00 pm and the first face sequence began around 1:10 pm. Again, all 27 registered racers participated. With the consent of all racers and the RC, we ran 3 races back-to-back, with a heading of 300 degrees at .7nm from signal with a steady 12 knots. According to the RC records, the racers were clocking in speeds around 33mph on some of the legs of the race and the total race times were 12-14 minutes. The final race was completed and all racers were back on shore by 3:00 pm.
Immediately following the completion of the final race, the on-shore team worked diligently to tally the final scores from all 7 races. Per our SI, we dropped each racer’s worst race and only recorded their top 6 race results.
Congratulations to ALL racers for competing! Everyone performed exceptionally well and should be proud of their results. Speaking of results:
FIRST: JACOB OLIVIER
SECOND: JON MODICA
THIRD: KAI CALDER
(The score with the * next to it was the one removed from the final calculation.)
Again, a job well done to all! Thank you for joining Elite Watersports and the Race Committee as we hosted our First Official Elite Hydrofoil Regatta! Looking forward to seeing you all again for the 2018 Spring Foil Regatta in St. Petersburg!
DROPBOX – Amateur Photos taken by on-shore team. Feel free to download whichever ones you care to. Use this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eak9e30ylzcblxx/AACsvtnPNW8EMIPYp7DOOe2Ya?dl=0