Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie combined to hand New Zealand their second Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final win in perfect Miami conditions.
Following in the wake of triumphant New Zealand sailors in 2016, young Kiwis Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie flew along the Miami shoreline to win the second edition of the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Finals. In the climax of a yearlong search for the planet’s most talented young sailors, the pair beat out 15 other international teams, with duos from Belgium and Sweden also outstanding in second and third.
Here is all you need to know:
- Sixteen teams from around the world gathered in Florida from November 9-11 to battle it out for the second edition of the event for sailors aged 16-20.
- After exciting action in the early rounds, Sunday's final saw all four Flying Phantom hydrofoil catamarans within centimetres of each other to the first mark.
- McHardie and McKenzie, though, put down their marker from the outset to lead from early on and triumph despite capsizing just after the finish line.
- Belgians Morgan Wirtz and Henri Demesmaeker followed them home in second with Swedes Emil Järudd and Hugo Christensson edging out Austria for third.
- McKenzie revealed: "The breeze picked up a bit, more than we've had in the past few days, and the boats were a lot faster, more out of control, but I think everyone here had a lot of skill. Every race was very competitive."
- McHardie, who sails with McKenzie in the Olympic 49er class, added: "The 49er isn't a foiling boat, so sailing the Flying Phantoms taught us skills in foiling and speed."
- Founders Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher of Austria launched Red Bull Foiling Generation in 2015 to find the world’s best young sailors.
- Hagara, 52, enthused: "It's been gratifying to see the interest in Red Bull Foiling Generation around the world, as well as the progress sailors from the program are making. The future of sailing is looking very strong.”
Image: Hans-Peter Steinacher, Roman Hagara, Morgan Wirtz, Henri Demesmaeker, Isaac McHardie, William McKenzie, Emil Jarudd & Hugo Christensson.