Here at Sandbanks Beach Club we’re exploiting our glamorous new location, team and facilities to prepare youth from all over the country to represent Great Britain in kite foiling!
This weekend around a dozen members of the British Sailing Team adult and youth squads have been taking over the centre and filling our shop with conversations about starting line tactics, missing foil bolts, general race banter and competitive mayhem! The competitors are training with Sam Ross, Andy Gratwick and the Easyriders Team to get themselves in the best shape for their upcoming competition in Gizzeria, Italy, where they will be representing TEAM GB.
Friday kicked off with the youth squad. After a bit of equipment preparation, the team had a morning of tow foiling and pump foiling behind our Ballistic ribs- a good alternative way to train that keeps the squad on the foil for those wind-less days! However, the squad were delighted to see the afternoon bring in a sea breeze. One of the great conveniences of the foil is that it doesn’t need much wind to get a good session in, so they headed out for some kite foil training on the water. The squad flew around between Bournemouth Pier and Hook Sands, focussing on turning techniques and building speed- obviously essential race skills!
Saturday started off with a race preparation session for the senior team on the beach. This was led by Sam Ross (our new team member… and Olympic windsurf and kitesurf race coach!) who prepped the guys for their day of racing. The sunny Saturday brought through a light SW sea breeze again in the early afternoon, transforming our otherwise tourist packed beach into a foil playground! The aspiring Olympians then went and battled it out in a series of races with rib support and coaching tips from both Sam, Andy (Our boss… Owner of Easyriders, Head of the BKSA and kitesurf race coach!) and the Easyriders team. Safe to say the kite foilers were in good hands, and will have massively benefitted from the blissful foil conditions, top class coaching and facilities in our new centre. They managed 6 back to back races with Ellie Aldridge, local Poole resident and current European champion, taking 6 consecutive wins. The day was finished off with the usual race debates… a dozen competitive young characters sat around the training area watching replay videos of the race finishes- I’m sure you can imagine the raised voices and sunburnt smiley faces that filled our centre for the evening!
The third day saw the return of the youth squad- the Under 17 racers. Due to the cloudy conditions and lack of wind, we had a quick change of plan and got them out foil towing again behind the rib for the morning. Then for the afternoon we headed out with the team on the kite foil kit again to work on starts after having a chat about tactics and line bias. We wish our kite foilers all the best in their competitions and hope the training will have paid off!
As well as obviously benefiting those who attended, the racing provided amazing entertainment for the general public and the holiday makers on Shore Road beach over the weekend. It was a bit of a spectacle to have the sky filled with colourful 12m race kites! Also we’ve now seen the sort of events our centre is now capable of hosting, and we’re all so excited about the possibilities for future events! Our team are now very used to receiving and answering the general vibe off the public that weekend…
‘Wow! That’s awesome! So how do I get into kite foiling!?’