The Art of Making your Own Fun on a No-Race Day

Even when there was no racing on day 1 of the 2021 KiteFoil World Series Fuerteventura, the 48 sailors still make their own fun. With ages ranging in the fleet from 14 to early 50s, from keen weekend warriors to Olympic aspirants, there is a great appetite for enjoying beach life, even when the breeze refuses to get up over 5 knots.

© Sailing Energy / IKA: Beach volley ball under the postponement flag

Some sailors fly their kites on the beach, fine-tuning the Dyneema lines for perfect control, others exhaust their competitive juices on hard-fought games of volleyball or football. Or even playing to the crowd with gravity-defying backflips.

© Sailing Energy / IKA: Chilling in the tent

When racing is canned for the day because there’s not enough wind, most sailors will clear out of the boat park straight away and get back to their accommodation. Instead Riccardo Pianosi and Ulysse Dereeper ran their 21-metre kites up a 50 metre sand dune, moon-leaping their way up the steep hill and launching themselves back down towards the sea, at times flying 8 metres or more above the sand. Hazardous but a good way to ramp up the adrenalin levels.

© Sailing Energy / IKA: Interview with the girls from the British Sailing Team...

Thirty minutes after racing had been officially cancelled and sailors should have been getting on the shuttle bus back to the Royal Suite Hotel, the wind picked up just enough to tempt some out on to the water for some late afternoon action. The wind wasn’t quite strong enough to hold up the kites of the less fortunate and their enormous sails crashed to the water. That wasn’t in the plan, and makes for the tedious but important job of drying off the kite before competition gets underway tomorrow.

© Sailing Energy / IKA: Postponed on Risco del Paso beach

With the forecast of stronger trade winds re-establishing in the Canary Islands for the rest of the week, there’s a higher level of confidence that sailing will actually go ahead. Thomas Beckett, a Copenhagen lawyer in his late-forties, is here with his son, Emil, and two of his nephews, Asger and Johan. “We have a good time on the kitefoil circuit even when there’s no racing. It’s great to come here with members of your own family, and to meet up with friends from around the world. Fuerteventura is a great venue for watersports. The boys have had really good wind when they were here before, going fast on the 9-metre kites, so I’m confident it will come in for the next days.”

With no racing completed today, the plan is for six on Thursday, first start at 1230pm on Risco del Paso beach. All the action on the climactic final two days of regatta on Friday and Saturday will be featured on Facebook Livestream.

© Sailing Energy / IKA: Weapons at the ready