Flysurfer athlete Olly Bridge is known to push the boundaries on the foil, around a race course or with breathtaking stunts. It was no surprise that Olly was approached by the British SAILGP.
“They were asking me what’s possible if we can do a race or a stunt. I mean, why don’t we try both?”
Tow-ups have become more and more in fashion lately, but nobody has done it behind a foiling boat. The tow-up involves the kiter attaching himself to a long rope and slowly getting pulled by a moving object or a winch. — this action is highly dangerous and can cause serious injuries or death!
Olly knows the high risk involved in this stunt and fully trust in his Flysurfer equipment, but even with years of kiting and paragliding experience, there is always a tense calm before you start getting lifted.
“I always dreamed about being on a F50 boat. It is so fascinating to see them fly with 40 knots over the water and how much coordination between the crew members it needs to be successful in a race. I was so keen to beat them with my VMG & ML Bullet on the course, but the wind kicked in late. The conditions were bad with an average of 8 knots and a time limit of one hour. We decided to go for the tow-up instead of the race.”
The British SAILGP-crew put the boat into the water, Olly launched his SOUL 18 and attached the 100m rope to the back of his harness. Communication is key to the success of the mission; everyone was linked with a radio and hand signals for speeding up or slowing down were discussed.
“At the start, everything went smooth, the boat went slow, I gained the first meters of height. But then the F50 got some speed and all of a sudden they accelerate fast and I was shooting up in the sky…. I think around 70m I released the rope… ready to loop the huge foil kite.”.“
Stay tuned! We’re excited what Olly Bridge is going to do next!