Don’t you just love the new Olympic Class iQFOiL windsurfer? This super-sonic fleet featured in the February pages of the 2024 Ultimate Sailing Calendar will makes its Olympic debut at the 2024 Games: bringing a whole new level of excitement as they fly around the racecourse!
This frenzy of foilers is the fantastic work of the dynamic duo Jesús Renedo and Pedro Martinez. Partners for over a decade in Sailing Energy, they teamed up to provide comprehensive coverage of world class events and have been official photographers of the Olympic Games ever since.
“The iQFOiL Class is really amazing: we love it!” professed Jesús. “It brings a new challenge for us in the Olympic photography business. They are so fast, positioning is key. On the water we always use RIBs with outboards that are stable and can move around the racecourse swiftly.” The driver of the chase boat is a critical part of the photo team, they pointed out.
“As much as we like very much getting the action, we believe capturing the sailors’ faces and bodies are important to add some drama to the images. So we try to find spots close to the marks – but out of the way – so we can get close-ups.” Indeed, with iQFOiLs zooming about at 20 to 40 miles per hour, speed and agility of the photo boat is vital!
The iQFOiL replaces the RS:X in the Olympic arena, using hydrofoils to levitate the board completely out of the water, as if they are soaring! The ‘one board, one foil, one fin, one sail’ philosophy makes it versatile in light to heavy air conditions. But also, weighing in at just about 25-lbs., the seven-foot boat is compact and portable ashore, opening the door to increased accessibility of the craft and competitors. Pedro added that the iQFOiL regattas include varied formats – Course Racing, Slalom and Marathon – which makes every day different, with unique challenges.
“Fleet photos are very beautiful and so colorful, so we use a drone to get starts and backdrop images,” Jesús added, saying they operate DJI Mavic 3 Pro drones. Their standard kit is the Canon EOS R3 and Canon EOS R5 body with either a 600mm prime or 100-500mm lens; plus underwater housing with a wide-angle lens.
The photos featured in the 2024 Ultimate Sailing Calendar were captured in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands situated in the Atlantic Ocean, 80 miles west of Morocco. Half of the island is covered in massive black lava boulders, in the shadow of stark, dormant volcanos, making it an exotic destination. “Lanzarote is such a fantastic winter venue,” described Jesús. “The weather is perfect, the sailing conditions are unmatched, and being in the middle of the Atlantic is truly unreal. You’ve got a massive swell, constant wind, sea life, etc.. Being there is really amazing, and the residents and organizers make us feel at home.”
Jesús continued, “We will cover most of the major Olympic regattas this year and yes, the Games in Marseille!” The Paris 2024 sailing events will actually be held in the stunning Mediterranean seaport of Marseille. “Olympic years are amazing, as after following the sailors during their circuit to the Games we feel part of their journey and share the joy and drama with them.”
For more information on Sailing Energy, check out our February 2021 profile of Jesús and Pedro, and their stunning work at the 2020 Olympics:
And keep an eye on the final qualifying event for the Games: the Last Chance Regatta slated for mid-April in Hyeres, France. The Olympics are just five months away!
The December 2023 calendar images feature one of Sharon Green’s favorite regattas, the St. Francis Yacht Club Big Boat series sponsored by Rolex. Since Sharon arrived on the scene in 1983 she has been at nearly every running of this wet and wild event, which is now approaching its 60th year!
Sharon Green captured these images during the SailGP Series in San Francisco Bay: a great amphitheater for these super-sonic boats. Between the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the hills of Marin and stunning city front, add 360-degrees of spectacular backdrop to the excitement of the event.