Man on a mission: Russell rounding the Needles
On the 22nd June, Russell Farrington kited round the Isle of Wight, which is situated just off the Hampshire coastline on the UK’s central south coast. The plan was to go when it was southerly F3. In the event it was westerly F5 which caused big seas and very rough water with a total distance of 74 miles. Russell, who isn’t a professional kitesurfer, did it on a Cabrinha Double Agent foil board…strapless.
Russel completed the trip in five-and-a-half hours. Rounding an island is technically difficult, calling for skill on all point of sailing, as well as wind gust management, predicting lulls and shifts, plus the Solent is one of the busiest waterways in the world, so he needed to keep his wits about him for the duration. Russell was however backed up by a good safety crew and lots of sailing experience.
“I’m probably the slowest kitesurfer to do it, but I may well be the oldest at 47, and I must be the first strapless!”, Russell said, “ I can’t say I loved every minute, but it was the best adventure I’ve had for years and I’m stoked to have made it around. You don’t need an expensive carbon foil or dedicated race kites to do this. Strapless on the double agent I had felt very comfortable all day despite the steep chop, confused swell and strong winds. It copes really well in any conditions. I’m pretty sure it would have been much more difficult if I’d tried it on a high performance carbon race foil in the conditions I experienced.”\
Russell used the double agent (upwind) and the spade (down wind) as well as the 7m FX.