After five days on Lake Garda, Sam McKenzie and Zealous Sailing Oy will become the first WASZP ambassador for Finland, providing young sailors with the opportunity to get foiling in the world’s fastest growing one design foiling class.
"Recently I've had a craving to get back into sailing myself. It’s been inspiring to see so many friends and acquaintances succeed in the sport at the highest level whether it be as members of an America’s Cup team or an Olympic campaign. It’s been inspiring to see my brother Andrew and cousin William racing in the Olympic Laser and 49er class at the highest level, competing for their chance to represent New Zealand at the Olympics and ultimately win Gold. On top of this my close friend Tom Brewer had shared his positive experience racing the Waszp and strongly encouraged me to get on board.
Based on this and few other coincidences I decided to ditch the coach boat for five days, head down to Lake Garda, buy a new foiling Waszp and go sailing. I must admit – the Waszp is seriously impressive.
Whether it was Lake Garda’s surreal environment; the 22 degree water temperature; the 15 knot Ora breeze; the new boat; the fact I was flying over the water at 15-20 knots; or all of the above: it was one of the best sailing experiences I’ve had in my life.
The foiling Waszp for me is the perfect boat to get into. Almost 25 year of age, alongside my professional work as a coach (and thesis writer) I am ambitious to pursue competitive one design racing in a modern age boat that will teach me new and applicable skills. The Moth/Waszp argument seems to range on (at least in my circles), but for me (and my pocket) it was a no brainer.
I had been out on a Waszp once prior with a friend in New Zealand. Aside from that brief experience I had done no foiling whatsoever. I just hadn’t had the opportunity. Once out in the Ora on Lake Garda it didn’t take me long to get the hang of it. I had to ditch the Laser body movements and skiff steering techniques for a much quicker simplistic form of sailing where the body was still, the steering sharper and the trim intuitive.
The acceleration was impressive. I couldn’t help but laugh. The upwind was good, the downwind a bit tricky. The tacks and gybes… they need a bit of work.
From mid-July onwards Zealous Sailing Oy will have a Waszp in Helsinki, Finland. Based out of local yacht club Brändö Seglare. I’m lucky enough to have built a relationship with Andrew McDougal, Marc Ablett and the Waszp Team to become a Finnish ambassador for the class. With my ambassador hat on Zealous Sailing Oy has a mission to get as many guys and girls out of the water and foiling. We have an excellent opportunity to build an exciting modern foiling fleet in Finland.
Lastly, many thanks to Charles and Marco from the Waszp Test Centre in Garda. They have a great set up and provide an excellent opportunity to give foiling a crack!"