What a weekend we had at the 2023 Foil Surf Racing League (FSRL) event in Cocoa Beach Florida. Being a part of the Ron Jon Surf Shop’s Beach N Boards Festival adds a whole other element to this contest. Bringing a staggering spectator crowd and numerous activities to be involved in, it also adds some challenges! These challenges included affordable hotels for contestants, parking, waits for restaurants as well as dodging beach goers during contest. So we are very thankful for all who made it despite the increased cost. Notwithstanding these obstacles, the FSRL managed to have 58 registered participants sign up for the 2023 March event! Broken into categories of Prone Pro Race, Prone Open Race, SUP Race and Best Trick (Strapped and Strapless).
We could not have asked for much better conditions for the weekend! The weather was beautiful, the waves were firing and everyone was smiling. The energy of this many foilers all in one place was near magical.
The shop party on Friday Night at Good Breeze really kicked off the event. The Red Bull Truck was jamming tunes. Grills provided an epic platter of tuna/wings and more. Cabrinha provided kegs so the beer was flowing! And the shop was open for those who needed last minute gear. Everyone was tech-ing out and sharing their experiences. Some people even had a chance to meet their foil heroes.
Saturday morning went really smoothly as the swell started kicking. The 30-something people start of the Pro Prone heat was something to watch. The waves were heavy with very little exits making it a bit difficult to get outside and start laps. There were some scary near misses but everyone handled it well. As the day went on, the conditions just continued to improve. The waves cleaned up and the tide dropped allowing for some really nice shoulders to show for easy exits. This decreased lap times dramatically and made for more exciting races. The wind filled in a little bit in the afternoon which just adds a whole other element to race. It was very impressive to see some of these skilled foilers pump right back up into the wind with ease! We completed all the races with plenty of time left in the day for those with energy left to hit the water for fun sessions with some on wings.
Saturday night we all met at 4th St Fillin Station for dinner and drinks. This Gastropub has a great atmosphere. Riders discussed their strategy; their near misses and smiles were from ear-to-ear. I know a few riders went home to pump around their hotel pools. Select others continued out to a local dive bar called Jonathan’s which is known for their screwdrivers and French dip sandwiches. It was pretty clear the next morning who attended this after-after party as they were moving a bit slow. I may have been one of these select few. It’s hard to turn down good times when the energy levels are so high and you’re surrounded by great people.
Thinking that Saturday was going to be hard to beat, we woke up Sunday to the waves just looking even better and maybe a bit bigger. Tristyn had been handling registrations up to this point and he woke up with a fever this morning. So we had a little later start than desired but the Florida ground swell was pumping and we had two Seadoos ready to tow riders into waves making the Lift Expression Session something to watch. It looked more like an Air Show at times. Each rider was given 6 tows per heat from the Seadoo. They were able to paddle into waves between, before or after those tows. The level of riding in this event is hard to describe. Just check out some of the photos below and all video content. The drone footage from Alec is insane. You can see his drone BELOW riders doing airs in a lot of the photos. I think what stuck out to me the most was the level of strapless riding. From 360s to huge airs…I was almost speechless at times. It’s so exciting to see how much this sport has progressed and I can NOT wait to see where it goes from here!
We ended the event with an Award Ceremony on the Red Bull Podium on the beach at the end of the day. Our MC Steve did a great job keep the event lively and people entertained. We also had Ansley (winner of the charger award) pull the ticket for the drawing of Freedom FTW board. Ansley (at 16 years old) is hitting backflips behind the boat and had her first session in the ocean during the Expression Session. It was no easy day to start in the ocean with overhead thumping ground swell. But she charged it and crushed it. Even throwing an air on wave.
We are very thankful for everyone who attended, sponsored, volunteered, participated or just followed this event. We will continue these fun gatherings of foilers and see you all soon at the next one!
Results from the 2023 FSRL:
Prone Pro Race:
1st -Brady Hurley
2nd- Theo Demanez
3rd- Mike Pedigo
Prone Open Race:
1st- Adam Ragar
2nd- Matt Dill
3rd- Richard Syznert
1st- Alex Aguera
2nd- Eric Christenson
3rd- Tony Paul
Strapless Best Trick:
1st- Mike Pedigo
2nd- John Akerman
3rd- Brian Grubb
Strapped Best Trick:
1st- James Jenkins
2nd- Austin Tovey
3rd- Brady Hurley
Special Thanks to all our SPONSORS!
|Business Name||Sponsor Level|
|Grills Restraunt and Bar||Bronze|
Photographs here are a mix of the following photographers: