Tenby kitesurfer Gareth ‘Mogsy’ Morgan was placed third in the UK in the Amateur Hydrofoil Class at the British Kitesurfing Racing Championships held recently at Exmouth.
The hydrofoil class is the fastest single-handed sailing class in the world, reaching speeds up to two-and-a-half times the speed of the wind. The hydrofoil lifts the surf board off the water and elevates the sailor above the water’s surface, reaching speeds over 30 knots.
Gareth is a chartered engineer employed by Danish oil company, Maersk Oil.
The British Championships consisted of nine races in wind strengths of up to 20 knots. Courses were windward/leeward Olympic courses around a start and finishing yacht.
Gareth uses up to 15m square parafoil kites to propel him around the race course tacking and gybing, abiding by the yacht racing rules.
Gareth explained that the Pembrokeshire coastline has been a perfect training ground for honing his hydrofoil racing skills, with consistent winds and a choice of sheltered waters. He also managed to get some mid-winter training in South Africa last winter, utilising the Western Cape’s Cape Doctor wind.
The latest Americas Cup racing boats use hydrofoil technology to revolutionise the sport of sailing, and sailing classes, including kitesurfing, have been inspired to follow suit.
The kite surf rider uses the hydrofoil to both support and steer through the water, minimising the drag and eliminating any wake that exists in conventional boards or hulls.
Gareth explained the sense of silence the sailor experiences downwind at over 30 knots and only hear the wind in your ears whilst sailing upwind at over 20 knots.
Gareth is also a British skiff racing sailing champion and a kitesurfing wave master champion and utilises all these skills in the fastest of all singlehanded sailing classes on the planet.
Gareth said he was delighted to get this placement as the hydrofoil class attracts the presence of some of the country’s best British sailors. He has been working and training hard on his racing skills and tactics over the last few years.
Gareth gets riding sponsorship support from F-One kitesurfing. He also provides coaching and instruction from The Big Blue Experience Kitesurfing Centre in Newgale during the summer months. Call the BigBlue booking office on 07816169359 or visit the Big Blue Experience new website for more information.