Welcome to Flight Club
Inspired by the America's Cup? A group of UK windsurfers joined me last week to learn how to fly.
Whilst I’ve spent the last 10 months doing bits of one on one Wind Foil Coaching and small groups, last week was the first Wind Foiling Camp to be held in the UK. However I’m sure it won’t be the last.
With some able to do the odd day and others in for the entire week, we had a total of 12 people attend flight school.I’m happy to say they are now all members of Flight Club.
I thought I wasn’t worried about a light wind forecast but as the days crept closer to the start of the week, forecasts of under 4 knots for it’s full length almost threatened to ground us before we started. Luckily this wasn’t to be.
A chance to meet the team, and look into Foils. We got the introductions out the way and then looked at the anatomy of the foil itself. Along with the anatomy we investigated the different types, brands and constructions available. We then had a quick chat through basic setup of boards and what would work best.
After getting changed the group were paired up. We talked through the basics of take off and got on the water. Being able to watch each other, and talk through take offs had a big impact, and everyone had lift off. Now it would be about turning take offs into glides.
The promising forecast ran away from us, and with no wind all day it became a good day for some foil admin. Mast track positions, footstrap spread were the most important factors. We also got everyone’s boards out and made sure we would all be individually setup for day 3.
From take off to glides. With kit better tuned and more understanding of how to glide it was back to the water to rack up some air time. Hops turned into glides and glides started to turn into sustained flight. After a video debrief it was back afloat for a few, where it really started to come together.
Yet another promising forecast disappeared as Weymouth turned to a millpond. However review of the video highlighted some keys on in flight stance and how to trim. We setup a foiling simulator and worked on how to trim whilst in flight. It was then a case of looking at some key stance aspects and understanding the use of the 2 engines.
We started with an inspirational edit from the week, and with everyone setup and ready for action now was time to fly.
It really started to come together on the 5th day. Sustained flight had arrived, with the team getting more comfortable in the air. Getting the feel for the impact their movements had and also the differences in different setups. After lunch and a quick video debrief, it was back out for more action. Here we started looking at longer flights and as the wind built even heading into Gybes and Transitions.
So despite a challenging forecast we got plenty of airtime. we were mostly foiling in-between 6-11 knots with only the briefest moments above this.
It was great to see how well everyone took to the challenge but also enjoyed the result.
If you’re interested in joining flight club, keep your eyes peeled there will be more camps, tuition and clinics soon.
Here’s a video from the week: