Walton-Keim retains his crown as King of the Waitemata

Kitefoiler Lukas Walton-Keim led from start to finish to retain his King of the Waitemata crown for 2020, completing the Rangitoto-Motutapu circumnavigation in a blistering 56minutes 11seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 33.8 knots (62.6km/h).

Lukas, who was recently recognised with Yachting NZ Performance award, averaged 24kts (44km/hr) over the 37km course, which was hosted by Takapuna Boating Club on Sunday.

18 year-old Lochy Naismith was hot on his tail in a time of 1.06.40, and Yachting New Zealand Female Sailor of the Year Justina Kitchen completed the loop in 1.11.02, giving Takapuna Boating Club sailors a clean sweep of the podium.

Sam Thom was the first of the wingfoilers around the islands, followed by Michael Raper and Stefan Cook.

The weather provided challenging conditions for the 36-strong fleet of kite and wing foilers, with the wind peaking at 30kts and wind against tide creating a gnarly sea-state around the back of Motutapu.

It was the third and final attempt at this race, a highlight on the foiling calendar, after the Covid lockdown prevented the original April event and bad weather halted the rescheduled date.  

"This year we had very challenging and exciting conditions, making for plenty of stories to laugh about at the club after the race." said Walton-Keim. "Although I did not beat my previous years record of 49mins, I think the improved level of Kitefoiling in New Zealand was on display and we will be ready to have another crack at it next year. 

"The King of the Waitemata is a fantastic race for anyone who can foil and I encourage everyone to enter next April, regardless of their racing experience."

Full results here

The 2021 edition of the race is scheduled for April 2021.