The Blue Lagoon at Pointe D’Esny in the South Eastern corner of Mauritius provided the perfect arena for Round 3 of the 2019 Hydrofoil Pro Tour. A huge flat water lagoon protected by vivid reefs and overlooked by Lion Mountain, it could only have been described as perfect by every one of the competitors in attendance from over 30 countries worldwide.
With wind stats nigh on perfect for Hydrofoiling, the weeks racing covered it all with winds of 6-30 knots and everything in between. Not only did this see huge changes within the standings, but it also allowed for the best riders to end up on top with consistent riding throughout the more challenging conditions.
Hosted by the luxurious Preskil Island Resort, competitors soon got into the swing of the enormous daily buffet breakfasts to fuel the racing, followed by a selection of delectable dinner options with seemingly no limit to the amount you could eat, before flopping into beds so big it didn’t matter which way round you slept! Recently renovated, this 4* hotel proved to be the perfect place to base yourself for watersports on the lagoon.
A short 5-minute walk lands you at the home of kiting in the area; Specialised kiteboarding, who not only organised, provided safety cover and support of the riders, also swapped in to enjoy a few of the races on home ground. Jerome and Dom could not have been more attentive to the riders nor the event and ensured everything went without a hitch.
Former world tour competitor Marvin Bausch set up the tour in 2016 after spending many years travelling the world and competing in locations which were perhaps not so ideal for kiting. The HFPT, on the other hand, is dedicated to only attending locations where not only are the conditions ideally suited to kiteboarding, you would also be able to bring your family and spend time as well. The lifestyle element of the tour is of great importance to Marvin, who incidentally bought his wife and young daughter to Mauritius to enjoy the experience too.
On the walk back to the hotel one evening (a little later than most due to a pretty perfect solo session after the racing), I stumbled upon the racers spread either side of the small road, in the bushes and rocks to the sea, picking up bags and bags of litter. And this was not a one-off. In fact, the Hydrofoil Pro Tour have an entire clean up initiative and perform these cleanups at every single event. “We all pick up trash at our local beach, and it is important we do the same at every location,” says Marvin. Sustainability plays a huge part in the HFPT and there are some rigorous, and admirable, guidelines Marvin and his team stick to at each event.
Notable performances throughout the week came from a few riders. In particular, Maggie Pescetto from Italy who arrived in Mauritius 4 weeks’ prior with the goal of getting around a racecourse on a foil. Not only did she achieve this, but she also bagged an impressive 2nd place in the Women’s with an even more impressive cheque to pay into the bank. The young Singaporean Maximillian Meader rode with the skill, passion and determination of someone far outweighing his short 12 years of age, and was incidentally one of only 4 riders achieving top 3 finishes in a handful of races. Finishing in a commendable 5th place overall and 1st in the Under 18s, he is surely one to keep an eye on over the coming years.
Throughout the entire fleet, battles were won and lost, and it was no less exciting no matter the position of the riders as they all rode hard and fast throughout the week. Whoops could be heard around the buoys as riders challenged each other time and time again, and pockets of internal competitions could be seen as the riders streaked around the course.
It was the 3 Frenchmen of De Ramcourt, Mazella and Parlier who provided the closest, and fastest, racing of the week with placing’s changing throughout the 19 contestable races completed. Coming down to the last day to decide, it was the ballsy choices of Theo De Ramcourt which pushed him ahead to confirm his win. Flying a size bigger, and opting for a different course than the other 2, split the 3 musketeers and crowned De Ramcourt champion followed by Axel Mazella in 2nd and Nico Parlier 3rd.
The closing ceremony went off in true Mauritian style with a feast from all corners of the globe and the presentation of winners. Summed up perfectly by Specialised Kiteboarding co-founder Dom, he states simply “In Mauritius, we give our heart”. No statement could be truer of a week of unparalleled racing, conditions and camaraderie.
Overall Top 10 After 19 Races:
1. Théo De Ramecourt (FRA)
2. Axel Mazella (FRA)
3. Nicolas Parlier (FRA)
4. Jean De Falbaire (MRI)
5. Maximilien Maeder (SIN)
6. Billy Guy Maupas (FRA)
7. Hector Paturau (MRI)
8. Philip Rowlands (AUS)
9. Daniel Leow (MAS)
10. Lorenzo Giovanelli (ITL)
1. Natalie Flintrop- Clarke (AUS)
2. Maggie Pescetto (ITL)
3. Stefanie Roman (GER)
1. Max Maeder (SIN)
2. Jeremy Raffray (MRI)
3. Maggie Pescetto (ITL)
1. Billy Guy Maupas ( FRA)
2. Daniel Leow (MAS)
3. Lorenzo Giovanelli ( FRA)
1. Dr Phil Rowlands ( AUS)
2. Martin Jensen (DEN)
3. Natalie Flintrop- Clarke (AUS)
Find out more on the HydroFoil Pro Tour, right here!
Thu 17th Oct, 2019 @ 11:15 am
By Sukie Robertson