2022 NATIONAL KITEFOIL CHAMPION, Lukas Walton!
This competition consisted of 18 races in total, 6 races per day. The first three races started at noon every day, followed by a short break where the competitors could eat, drink, have a break and change kite size if they desired. This year there were 16 competitors in total, from 11 years old kids, to kiwi sailing legends.
We asked some questions to the champion and here is what he said:
What were the conditions for the event?
"We were very lucky with the weather conditions, with strong onshore winds throughout the entire competition, making it easy for everyone to get out on the water and rip around. We had pretty big waves at times that made it trickier to send it, but also made the racecourse more interesting. At times, I used my 15m and even my 11m R1v4, which made for some fast laps."
Take us through a bit of every day:
"I think the event was really successful. Everyone seemed to have a really good time and there were lots of tight battles going on throughout the fleet. Takapuna Boating Club did a great job of running the event so the riders got lots of races without too much extra time on the water. I’m happy to get the results that I did and to fend off some of the great talent coming through the ranks for another year. I’ve been training a lot with my training partner Justina, and I think we are both showing that our hard work is paying off. A special shout out has to go out to Hugo Wigglesworth for coming consistently 2nd at just 14 years of age. He will be going to the youth world champs this year and I hope he kills it. It was unfortunate not to have Lochy Naismith racing, who is recovering from knee surgery, who would usually be right up there fighting for the podium, as well as any international competitors who would have liked to have come if travel was less restricted. Fingers crossed that we will have lots more at the 2023 Nationals."
What is your quiver? What is your opinion on the gear you use? Do you love it, if so, why? Would you recommend this gear to other kiters, why?
"During the regatta, I used my 15m and 11m Ozone R1v4. My 15m is my oldest kite and has close to 100 hours on it. It has had a tough life but still performed well. I will replace that kite in the coming months when my new one arrives. My 11m is really new and was an absolute pleasure to race on. It feels really fast and is really stable for a small kite. I’d like to race more on that size in the future. I enjoy the R1v4s because they perform at such a high level while still being easy enough to use for intermediate riders. To go with my kites, I’m riding a Tarifa Foil Board and a Levitaz R5 foil, both of which I'm really enjoying and fit me well."
Team Ozone NZ wants to congratulate Lukas for being so persistent and dedicated to what he loves. We are proud of you Lukas! We are looking forward to the 2023 NZ Kite Foiling National Championship, for sure it will be as fun and successful as other years. We wish all the riders a great riding year pushing their limits and representing our beautiful country, New Zealand!