Speed with Guy Martin – Channel 4
We were contacted by Channel 4 to see if we would be able to introduce ‘Guy Martin’ to ‘Hydrofoiling’. This would be part of his series on “Speed’ & since we have a wealth of knowledge on foiling & coaching, Edgewatersports was the chosen venue to work with Team Bridge. Similar to what is seen on the America’s Cup boats now, this is a skill that involves balancing above the water on a set of wings that work in a way similar to aeroplane wings.
Guy is trying to beat the speed record for a human powered boat so it was felt that this skill would be invaluable to give him the muscle memory needed to use his custom built weapon that would see him challenge this record.
Guy arrived at our watersports centre & shop- ‘Edgewatersports’ and it was obvious immediately that we were going to get along. We started with the balance board which Guy cracked straight away. It is difficult to replicate the feeling of foiling, but this comes quite close in that it involves your weight over the board & switching on the small muscles in your body.
Time was tight so we soon equipped Guy with a wetsuit, impact vest & Helmet ready for his day learning to hydrofoil. Guy was no ‘waterman’, this was his first experience in a wetsuit!!!
We took a selection of boards and used Exe Wake to assist us with boats. The fastest way to learn to hydrofoil is behind a boat. Since Guy had never had the feeling of being pulled up on a wakeboard before, we needed to get this feel natural. This was shortly followed by the feeling of a directional board which gave the feeling of being rode flat on the water.
Following a demonstration by our middle son- Guy (now re-named big Guy) who is one of the top Hydrofoil racers in the world and myself, it was time for Guy to give it his best shot. The boat needed to be driven slower to enable guy to gain control of the foil when he was riding along the water. Any small movement the wrong way and you are off. So- as you can imagine there was plenty of crashes!! But as we know, Guy is not scared of crashing!!! Certainty not one to give up, Guy picked himself up & was determined to crack the beast!
This is a skill that most take 20hours to learn & Guy had set himself the challenge to learn it in 1 day so this was always going to be ambitious. Exhaustion in his arms & mental concentration soon took the better of him and although Guy had not cracked it, he had had moments of riding along & the feel of foiling. A break for lunch aboard the River Exe Cafe and it was time for more practice. An amazing listener & learner, it was a real honour to work with Guy Martin. He even came back to our house & had a cup of tea before he left to travel back to Grimsby for work the following day – ‘Top Bloke’!!!!
The opportunity was made possible with the support of Volvo and Into The Blue. Watch the TV programme here:
6mins 30secs into the show is the Exmouth Clip