After my trip to Pozo it was time for foil training in Lake Garda before the IQ foil worlds in Silvaplana, Switzerland.
We got a group of ladies together, the best coach “Huig-Jan” and spent some solid hours on the water. It’s the first time I had a serious “training camp”.
Training like this is a totally different world to me. But SO effective.
We had a very clear daily schedule and specific things to work on.
The first 2 days we worked on maneuvers like tacking and jibing.
Then we worked on upwind and downwind speed. And finally, the last days we actually had some racing with other countries that were training in Garda as well.
My gosh, I have to say that I really, really enjoyed it!
I don’t think I’ve ever had such a “strict” schedule for training.
I feel like there is so much I can learn in foiling, so sailing with these girls that have so much experience was the perfect learning opportunity for me.
In 6 days, I figured out a lot of things.
It’s just one sail and board, but there so many aspects that you need to keep in mind, and if you change one thing that will affect the other. I guess the most important tip that I’ve also received for slalom and now also for foiling, is that you need to be comfortable!
Once you’re comfortable on the setup, you can also push to go faster.
During the last contest in May I learned that my upwind angle and speed is okay, but what I really need to work on is my speed on a reaching leg and going downwind. Somehow, I just could not generate enough speed. This week I learned that Body positioning is everything!
And now that I’m writing about it I am only getting more and more excited about this foiling, because there is so much to learn.
Basically, what I figured out is that I just need to really counter the power of the foil.
A foil generates so much more lift than a normal fin. Because it always pushes the board UP, I need to push it down, lean out, and forward to translate the push up from the foil into acceleration forward. Does that make sense? Not sure, but right now that seems to work for me.
Then the races started. This is the best experience you can get!
Bringing everything we trained on together.
Nicole van der Velden won the local event the week before and has a lot of sailing experience, so it was great to match up against her. Sara Wennekes who organised the camp and has loads of RSX experience was also right up there every time.
And there were some more riders from Hungary and Czech republic.
Woops, now all the rules in sailing came in to play !! I need to read up way more on that soon.
But I think you learn most by doing. At the starting line so many things can happen, and just when you think you’re clear and ahead of the pack, you realize you cannot even tack because you’re not allowed to block the rider behind you. After every training we would have a debriefing about different situations and that was a good way to understand how the theory works in practice.
This is the first time I’m really feeling how important it is to have free wind and how hard it is to sail in dirty wind. In the racing I would also forget sometimes who would have right of way hahahah! Starboard tack (right hand in front) has right of way.
It’s a sailboat minefield out there on lake Garda.
We’re going at quite high speeds on the foil, and while trying to avoid all the kite surfers, lazers, 49’ers and 360ers ( I’m sure that’s a boat too!)
More than once I would panic when another foiler would come up to me and I forgot who had right of way haha… I ended up practicing some downwind 360’s on the foil to avoid collisions.
Also, I find that I’m heavier than most riders so on the days that it was lighter I decided to pump my heart out. It pays off! But I definitely need to keep up the endurance training for that. Other than that, it’s also important to have the right line to the upwind mark. It was as if I didn’t trust myself so much, so I would over sail the mark very often. But again, you can only learn by doing.
We would get so caught up in the training and sometimes were really far down in the middle of the lake when the wind would shut down. Yep. That’s how Garda works. The North wind blows in the morning until about 10-11 and then just completely drops as it gets warmer. About an hour later the wind switches and comes from the South. At least it’s kind of fun when you get caught in the wind hole with the other girls hahah.
Huig had a lot of work sailing us back to shore every time. Thanks for being the best coach!
Wow thinking about it more and more, sailing at Lake Garda was a total blast. And it’s an inspiring environment with so many sailors and active people around.
Everywhere you look, people are getting ready to windsurf, wing, foil, kite. There are so many different boats like optimists, moths, 49’rs. On land they’re mountain biking or running and from the water you see people mountain climbing and people paragliding through the skies. And I guess when it gets colder and you look closer you can even see people skiing and snowboarding. What an incredible place.
Thanks Huig and all the ladies for this training camp experience. It was an amazing way to improve.
Next up: IQ foil worlds at Silvaplana.
My only goal is to do better than I did in Italy, and send it on the downwind.
After Nicolas Goyard won the event in Israël, he gave me one tip: “Accept the speed”
He said he crashes every single session and still does. This way you find your boundaries and can then also push them. This was my mantra all week in Garda.
I am SO excited to compete at the IQ foil worlds now.
Accept the speed and let’s get it !