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Crowds 'learn to fly' at Foiling Week

by Becky Gilbert-Wood 19 Jul 2019 08:04 BST 10-14 July 2019
RYA First Flight sailfoil taster sessions at Foiling Week Lake Garda © Foiling Week / Martina Orsini

More than 50 novice foilers 'took flight' last week, as Foiling Week returned to Lake Garda, Italy (10-14 July).

For a second year, RYA Training Centre, the Andrew Simpson Centre (ASC) Lake Garda, put on a series of RYA 'First Flights' 90 minute taster sessions, aimed at beginner foilers. Delivered by RYA-qualified foiling instructors, the sail-foil and wind-foil training sessions, gave novices an opportunity to experience flying above the water for the very first time.

Aaron Smith, Chief Instructor at ASC, Lake Garda, commented: "It's been a busy, but brilliant few days here at Foiling Week, the weather has been perfect and the smiles you see from a first take-off are priceless.

"With over 50 people signed up, the sessions were so popular we had to add an extra slot each day to meet the demand.

"It was great to see more interest in the wind-foiling this year, with everyone that took part managing to take flight, and some even starting to get a few sustained flight runs, all within 90 minutes of first stepping foot on a foil board!"

The fantastic showcase of the RYA's recently-introduced, foil-training, also shone a spotlight on some of the exciting developments in the kit and boats available for beginners. The sail-foil taster sessions ran on RS Aeros, with the glide free adaptive kit. Whereas, younger sailors took to the water in a new concept of boat, the 10ft Pocket Foiler, which was enjoyed by many Optimist sailors.

Foiling Week, which aims to shine a spotlight on the thrilling world of foiling, offers enthusiasts a huge variety of on-the-water action, as well as, talks, workshops and a chance to view the latest innovations in equipment and design. This year's theme - 'we are all in the same bottle' - aimed to raise awareness and stop the use of single-use plastics on Lake Garda.

RYA Chief Instructor for Dinghy and Windsurfing, Amanda Van Santen, said: "We're delighted to hear so many people were able to experience the thrill of foiling for the first time at this year's Foiling Week. Aaron and the whole ASC team, have done a fantastic job showcasing the newest addition to our RYA training schemes and this exciting element of our sport."

Aaron concluded: "With the current equipment available, foiling is more accessible than ever before. There really has never been a better time to find your nearest training centre offering RYA 'First Flights' courses and have a try."

Following a pilot run in 2018, foiling was introduced to the RYA's sailing and windsurfing training schemes earlier this year, adding a new exciting element for sailors and instructors to enjoy.

For more information about the RYA foiling courses, please visit rya.org.uk/go/SailFoil or rya.org.uk/go/WindFoil. Or visit rya.org.uk/go/wheresmynearest to find a course near you.

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