Congratulations to Russel Farrington for winning the Edge Race Cup on England's southern shore. Breaking record after record with multiple channel crossings and island circumnavigations, Russel never ceases to amaze us. Read about his latest podium at the Edge Foil Race in the interview below.
Hi Russel, Congratulations on winning the Edge Cup! Could you tell us a bit about the competition?
The Edge Cup is the Hydrofoil British National championships, hosted by Edge Watersports at Exmouth. Now in it’s 8th Year the Cup has two fleets a gold fleet which includes 3 of the best riders in the world, Guy Bridge, Olly Bridge and Conner Bainbridge, and a silver fleet. I entered the silver fleet which was for non-professional racers who were generally on LEI kites.
What do you enjoy on the foil and have you competed in foiling before?
This was my first time. I’ve been foiling for nearly 5 years but have never been into the speed / racing part of the sport. I’m much more excited about riding waves or trying to do strapless freestyle tricks on the board. It was great to have a first go at racing.
What equipment did you ride to race?
I was lucky enough to get my hands on the 2019 Cabrinha Hi:Rise Lift foil with the Xbreed 5”5 board and a 12m Moto. The foil arrived the morning of the race and I had only just unpacked and set it up a few minutes before the competition started. This didn’t cause any drama as it was super easy to feel comfortable on the foil pretty much immediately. I always foil strapless but it appears that this is not the norm for racing as I was the only one in the fleet.
You managed to win the Silver fleet, what do you put this down to?
Both fleets started each race together so it was chaotic at the start as everyone was battling for the same corner of the start line. Being on the lift foil I was able to slow right down whilst staying up on the foil, which really helped me to get my timing right and hit the start line at speed just as the hooter went. The course was a mile upwind and then back to the start for the Silver fleet with the Gold fleet doing the same course but with two laps.
We had 5 races during which the wind built from a gentle 10mph to close on 20mph by the time we finished. I was surprised how well the Lift foil held it’s own against the rest of the fleet on the upwind leg. Also being able to tack and gybe relatively easily compared to many others in the silver fleet I was able to tuck in behind the sandbank and take advantage of the weaker current. This helped me get to the windward mark first in all 5 races. Downwind I took advantage of the stability and control the lift gave me to take a very direct line, looping the kite to travel as close as I could directly down wind to the finish. The combination of great upwind speed and a solid downwind approach allowed me to win the first 4 races and come second in the 5th.
What was your highlight of the race?
Being on the same race course as three of the fastest foilers in the world gives you a real appreciation for just how good they are. It was incredible to watch them come past at such high speeds but with such great control.
What a great event! Will you be competing again?
I can’t see myself getting into that side of the sport but I really enjoyed the Edge Cup and will definitely return next year for another try at the Silver fleet. In the meantime I’m really looking forward to trying the lift in waves and working on more strapless foil freestyle tricks.