World’s coolest: IKA Kitefoil
We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Will Harris nominates the IKA Kitefoil
“Watching the gracefulness of kitefoil racing had me mesmerised the first time I saw it,” explains Will Harris. “It is an example of pure efficiency and use of all and any wind possible. From as low as 4 knots of wind reaching speeds of 30 knots on a 1.2m long board is incredible.”
Kitefoiling is now an Olympic sailing event, and will be making its debut at the 2024 Games. The class is a box rule, with a wide range of approved foil components, and choice of wing sizes. The foil kites use a ‘ram air’ principle so are self-inflating rather than pump-up tube kites.
“The racing looks like the kitefoils are doing a sort of ballet dance on the boards as they manoeuvre the kites and boards under their feet. It requires an unbelievable level of finesse and agility and the reward is pure adrenaline and very close and exciting racing,” adds Harris.
“I do kitefoiling myself and love it every time I go out since it’s made sub-10 knot conditions fun!”
IKA Kitefoil stats rating:
Top speed: 30+ knots
Adrenalin factor: 95%
Will Harris (GBR) is co-skippering the IMOCA 60 Malizia in The Ocean Race. A former Figaro skipper, he took the coveted 1st ‘rookie’ or ‘bizuth’ title in 2016 and also finished 1st in the Class 40s in the 2021 Fastnet Race. In the last Volvo Ocean Race he was part of the Race HQ team, and is co-skipper of Leg 3 winners Team Maliza with Boris Herrmann for the 2023 The Ocean Race.
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