Sailors to test limits in race

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Busselton will welcome some of the world’s best sailors this weekend when the fourth event of the SuperFoiler Grand Prix circuit kicks off at the foreshore.

Sailors test traditional limitations, racing at high speeds on foil-borne machines, reaching more than 80km/h.

The event, which kicks off today, will see six SuperFoilers bump and nudge for the Ben Lexcen trophy.

Sailors include former world champions, America’s Cup winners and Olympic medallists.

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Perth-based bowman Fang Warren will hit the water with his iD Intranet team.

Warren began building SuperFoilers in Nowra, three hours south of Sydney, before jumping abroad as a crew member about five weeks ago.

The 2008 29er world champion described the SuperFoiler Grand Prix as the “Formula one of sailing”.

“The main challenge is learning the boats because they’re brand-new and they’re pretty full on,” he said. “It’s a lot of work to get out there (on the water), but once you’re out there, you kind of forget about it and it’s really fun.”

Competitors raced stages in Adelaide, Geelong and the Gold Coast prior to Busselton before racing in the grand final in Sydney on Friday, March 23.

Vasse MLA and shadow tourism minister Libby Mettam said the high-profile event provided an exciting opportunity for tourism in the region.

“It is testament to our region’s coastal appeal that Busselton was selected as the WA leg of this event, representing another exciting dimension to the region’s events calendar,” she said.

“It’s not only another event for the region, it’s an event of international scale and will be seen by a global audience.”

“This event will reap dividends for not only the future of sailing and water events in Geographe Bay, but for our tourism brand going forward.”

Races will run from 4.30pm to 6.30pm today, and between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Visit superfoiler.com.

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