January 18 2018: 32 of New Zealand’s most talented youth sailors will be competing in the first stop of the 2018 Red Bull Foiling Generation World Series, to be held at Auckland’s Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on February 24-25.

The seven-stop series acts as a talent scout for the world’s best sailors aged 16 – 20, providing them the opportunity to advance their careers through elite hydrofoil racing, culminating with a World Final in November 2018.

RNZYS General Manager Hayden Porter says “We’re thrilled to be hosting the Red Bull Foiling Generation for the 2nd time at RNZYS, this event is a fantastic opportunity for our young kiwi sailors and we can’t wait to see them all competing in February”

A large number of entries were received for the New Zealand event, which proved challenging for the selectors to whittle it down to 16 teams. Each team of two will battle it out in the hope of advancing to international waters and become new world champions.

“It’s hard to pick a winner because the level of quality in the fleet is high and there are a number of sailors who have now built up a good level of foiling experience,” Yachting New Zealand youth co-ordinator Stu Thomas said.

Some promising Kiwi talent selected include Nick Egnot-Johnson (3rd in 2016), Josh Wijohn, George Angus, James Wilson, Celia Willison and Charlotte Porter – all of whom are part of the RNZYS YTP or the RNZYS Performance Programme. 

RNZYS Performance Programme sailors Nick Egnot-Johnson and Josh Wijohn may have a slight edge over some of their counterparts, after spending their summer training on the Squadrons’ foiling Nacra 20s. Many competitors are also returning for their second chance at the world championships, making no shortage of experience when the 17ft Flying Phantoms take to the Waitamata Harbour. 

One to look out for in the fleet is 17-year-old Jackson Keon, who last week won the 29er world championships in Hong Kong – a seriously impressive result. Crystal Sun and Olivia Hobbs were the only female team who made the gold fleet at the championships, and will also endeavour to make the podium.

Isaac McHardie (RNZYS PP graduate) is another one to keep a keen eye on, finishing runner up at the 2016 edition, as well as racing at last year’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in Bermuda. With two more solid years of experience under his belt, and a great crew member in William McKenzie, this team is going to have some speed.

Fresh on the foiling scene are 18-year-olds Louis Eruera Schofield and George Angus (RNZYS YTP), who have been training at the recent RNZYS International Foiling Camp. This team will be sailing with nothing to lose, and could be the dark horse of the competition.

2016’s New Zealand Champions Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson showed undeniable talent, and went on to take the overall 2016 Foiling World Championship title in Newport, USA. Micah then proceeded to race in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.

Red Bull Foiling Generation provides the opportunity to showcase your skills and ability to hold your nerve,” says Micah Wilkinson. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put your hand up and show the world you are up for the challenge of racing the best.” 

Both Kiwis have now advanced over the event’s age bracket, leaving the doors open for a new pair of 2018 New Zealand champions. Who will take out the first stop of the series on their home waters?

Spectators at Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf will witness all the close calls and capsizes, as some of our young sailors touch foiling catamarans of this calibre for their first time, learning the ropes and competing all within a matter of days. It will be a big weekend in the City of Sails, with the Volvo Ocean Race fleet also beginning to arrive for their stopover.

For more information, visit the event page on

2018 Red Bull Foiling Generation NZ Teams

Skippers / Crew
1. Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie
2. Nick Egnot Johnson / Josh WiJohn
3. Oscar Gunn / Taylor Balogh
4. Kate Stewart / George Gautrey
5. Greta Stewart / Henry Haslett
6. Jackson Keon / Tom Fyfe
7. Seb Lardies / Josh Armit
8. George Angus / Louis Eruera Schofield
9. James Wilson / Jordan Stevenson
10. Lewis Anderson / Pat Morgan
11. Josh Berry / Mitch Jackson
12. Ben Paterson / Sean Paterson
13. Alastair Gifford / Blake Woodfield
14. Crystal Sun / Olivia Hobbs
15. Annabelle Rennie-Younger / Jack Honey
16. Celia Willison / Charlotte Porter


2016 Imagery:

To download still and moving imagery free for editorial use, visit the Red Bull Content Pool.

Red Bull Foiling Generation 2016 World Final – New Port, Rhode Island, United States.

Red Bull Foiling Generation 2016 National Final Stop 1 – Auckland, New Zealand

For Further enquiries:

RNZYS PR & Communications Manager | Andrew Delves

Red Bull Communications | Opal Mackinnon

Yachting NZ Communications | Michael Brown Michael Brown

Red Bull Foiling Generation:

Red Bull Foiling Generation provides talented young sailors aged 16 – 20 the opportunity to advance their careers through elite hydrofoil racing. This global competition gives wings to promising talent across seven events, in as many countries, Japan, UK, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, France and New Zealand. The seven-stop series serves as a great training foundation for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, which caters to competitors aged 19-25.


Recent Posts