SuperFoiler: The Best Sailing League No One Has Ever Heard Of
The SuperFoiler Grand Prix series is a diamond in the rough for sailing. I’m not sure if there are many people on earth who read, research and follow competitive sailing like I do, but when I stumbled across a highlight reel on YouTube last week, I could not believe what I had been missing.
First thing you need to do, is watch the race replays from the Grand Prix event in Sydney. The boats are outstanding (I’ll get into that), the sailors are top notch (I’ll get into that too), but the traffic dodging on Sydney Harbor is just phenomenal. The boats are taking tight ducks on Etchells and screaming at hove-to cruisers as they fly by at 30+ knots! Worth the price of admission by itself...
Let’s get into the boats though. In essence, 8 meter trimarans with 12 meter masts, reaching top speeds of over 45 knots... Oh, and the entire crew (of three) are on trapeze. The boats absolutely fly, with lifting j-foils on each hull to keep the entirety of the hull out of the water as much as possible. The pitch and angle of the foils are electronically controlled with aerospace technology, providing “the fastest platform for its’ size on the water”. All in all, the boats are fast, fun to watch, and seem to be designed to push the limits of both the crews and physics.
Speaking of the crew, this was the most shocking revelation of the entire program. Big name sailors are racing for the program, and with that, comes high quality racing. America’s Cup alumnus such as Ashby and Nathan Outteridge are a lethal combo on team Euroflex, World Match Race Tour champions Dan Morris and Phil Robertson both have teams, and Olympic medalist Olivia Price skippers a team, all in a series where each crew seemingly has at least one world championship under their belt. The racing is top notch and, with what seems like no comparable boats or circuit in existence, much of that credit must be given to the sailors themselves.
All in, what an amazing event. How I have not been following since day 1, I am unsure... But if I haven’t seen it, then I would assume few people have been watching. This should be on every screen and email chain in every yacht club bar, no ifs, ands or butts… I will be watching, will you?
- Connor MacKenzie