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01/16/2009 - created by Andrew Buchanan

Race Against The Machine

The PWA gets the inside scoop on NeilPryde’s latest jaw dropping PR stunt, the Race Against the Machine.

Setting new standards in windsurfing PR, industry heavyweights NeilPryde have once again defied convention to publicise their new slalom foils, the RS:Slalom MKIII and the RS:Racing EvoII.

Dubbed ‘Race Against the Machine’, NeilPryde plucked the cream of their international slalom team to race Hawaii’s super ferry across the Molokai channel (see link to video below). The astonishing helicopter footage provides a thought provoking insight into just how fast the slalom fleet travel when gunning it flat stick.

Eager to know more, the PWA hit up wave/slalom specialist and NeilPryde rider, Robby Swift:

“We often test the NeilPryde Racing sails down at Kahului Harbour and so we see the Super Ferry flying in and out of there most days. I am not sure who it was that had the idea of chasing it around to take photos, but it was certainly a fun day out!

It was really windy (I was on a 5.5 RS Slalom, and pretty over powered) so it was also very rough out there. Micah, Antoine, Pieter and myself cruised out to wait for the ferry to make its way out into the shadow of the West Maui Mountains. We had Jason Polakow on the jet ski chasing us for safety, but he turned out to be more of a liability to himself as he was thrown from the ski a couple of times, and only just managed to catch it up again, swimming for his life! You would not want to be lost at sea with no jet ski out there!

We basically chased the ferry all the way from Kahului round towards the Molokai channel. I think Micah said we sailed 80km that day, and it was all full, break-neck speed, very exciting to say the least! At one point the helicopter that was following us so Elliot and Jerome could film managed to flatten me with its downdraft, leaving me floundering on my own, miles from anywhere. Luckily, the ferry switched course to go a little more downwind at that point, so I was able to catch back up again.”

Thanks for the insight Swifty. To check out Race Against the Machine, CLICK HERE.

Alternatively, for a different perspective you can view some amateur footage shot from the ferry (including Swifty’s wipeout), HERE.

Robby Swift is sponsored by JP boards and NeilPryde sails.

PWA / Andrew Buchanan

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