The first annual 2014 East Coast KiteFoil Championships was a sight to behold with 3 days of beautiful conditions and winds ranging from 10-20 knots. The Shelter Island Yacht Club became the first east coast sailing institution to support the newest and most progressive form of sailing yet– as 14 competitors from 4 different countries hit the water displaying just how far sailing has evolved.
The kitefoilers reached speeds of up to 30 knots during the action-packed races. The age bracket of competitors ranged from 14 years old to 55 years old. Former kiteboarding world champion Damien Leroy said that “Shelter Island was an ideal location for this type of event”. Dozens of boats stopped by to watch the races in awe as the kitefoilers flew around the course going more then 3 times the speed of any other sailing craft on the water.
The races were incredibly tight with the top three racers within a point of each other at the end of the regatta, making every race fun to watch. Some standouts were Leif Given, Zack Marks, Damien LeRoy and Jon Modica all taking wins in various races. Up-and-comers James McGrath and Jacob Olivier, both just 14 years old, battled it out with some of the top foil racers in the country.
Local kiteboarder, and event organizer, Jon Modica, said “he was extremely grateful to Shelter Island Yacht Club for supporting this new and alternative form of sailing”. He believes kiteboarding “will really help get more and more youth excited about sailing”.
1st Place Jon Modica
2nd Place Damien LeRoy
3rd Place Zack Marks
Sponsors: Shelter Island Yacht Club, Cabrinha Kiteboarding, Delta Hydrofoils, and SKORD.
Photos courtesy of Manuel Olivier, GoPro