Hydrofoil windsurfing is not a new idea. Early adaptations used teak boom Windsurfer boards on foils in the late 70s, and many variations of the concept have been tried since then without gaining much appeal or commercial success. However, in the last couple of years, Windfoils have evolved significantly – such that they are now an easy plug-n-play set-up with current boards and rigs. The result is truly revolutionary and perhaps the coolest advancement in windsurfing performance in a very long time.
It takes very little wind to get foilborne – only 8 to 10 knots – and once up on the foil, the floating sensation is quite remarkable. It is very quiet, completely quiet once the board leaves the water. The foil trim control is fore and aft over the lenght of the board: lean back to rise up onto the foil, lean forward to then level out or ride lower. Watch your ride height though, as “foiling out” (lifting so high that the foil “cavitates” at the surface of the water) will lead to a loss of foil lift and quick drop of the board back onto the water.
The performance and efficiency is amazing. A 6.0m² sail can be used for windfoiling where an 8.0-8.5m² is typically needed for planing a standard light wind board. Once foiling, the speed, acceleration and upwind pointing angles that are possible easily compare to what can be achieved with Formula racing gear.
Only 15 minutes by boat from Port Moselle or Anse Vata, the gorgeous little island of Îlot Maître makes for a great day trip. Get out there with L’escapade, which runs the resort on the island, with Coconut Taxi or by taxi boat from Anse Vata. There’s a beach and snack bar for day trippers, or talk with the resort about using its facilities.
Shorncliffe Pier is a historic pier in Shorncliffe, Queensland, Australia, situated near Saint Patrick’s College and lower Moora Park. The pier with its white faded timber railings, colonial street lamps spaced out along the stretch of pier, and resting shelter towards the end was a much visited attraction for families, residents and tourists to the area. Reaching 351.5 metres out into Bramble Bay it is the largest timber pier in Brisbane and one of the longest recreational piers in Australia. The renewed pier was reopened to the public in March 2016
Sète is the most fascinating small town on the French Mediterranean coast precisely because it doesn’t go out of its way to be charming. It doesn’t have the time. This is an attractive – but serious – port full of working people with stuff to ship out and turbot to sell.The site is wonderful. Sète encircles a lone hill, the Mont St-Clair, on the otherwise flat Languedoc coast. And it is all-but an island. There’s the sea out front, of course. Behind, though, is the Thau lagoon – a vast expanse of salt water, colonised by oyster- and mussel-beds. Between the two, a network of canals brings the scramble of port and fishing activity right into the town centre.
The canals both define the town and provide the current that energises the place. Many townsfolk have their own little boats to take them shopping. Anglers with apparently unlimited time on their hands line the banks and, come summer, the main Canal Royal is the theatre of Sète’s famous water-borne jousting. Sète is, in short, a swirl of a spot, with constant movement on land and canal.
It helps, of course, that Sète has the finest unsung beaches of the French Med – eight miles of them stretching along the spit of land separating the lagoon from the sea. An enormous scheme to tidy up access and the shore-side promenade is under way. But don’t wait. Go now to find the unfiltered boisterousness of the real Mediterranean. I wouldn’t have it any other way.