Just when you thought you’d seen it all when it comes to flying on water, a cycling sensation is crashing in on the foiling world.
The New Zealand-made Manta5 hydrofoil bike has been catching attention on the Waitematā Harbour during this year’s America’s Cup action.
The bikes are powered by pedalling but use the same hydrofoil technology as the AC75s showcased in this year’s regatta to glide across the water.
“When people see it they just think, ‘what is that?’,” Manta5 product manager Hayden Reeves told 1 NEWS.
“It just looks unlike anything else and everyone is looking.”
Now Manta5 founder Guy Howard-Willis wants his bikes to have another similarity with the big boats – competitive racing.
“From the beginning I wanted this to be a sport,” Howard-Willis told 1 NEWS.
“If you can race it, then it's competitive and if it's competitive it could end up in the Olympics and that's what I’m going for.”
Already we're seeing wind foiling added to Paris 2024 so there is a definite chance bike foiling could be next.
Already 300 electric-assisted bikes have been sold around the world but Howard-Willis says the next goal to help his Olympic dream is to have a manual model that can be raced competitively in Europe.
“It's going to be a sport where there’s records to be break – there’s going to be speed records to break distance records to break.”
Just don’t expect hydrofoiling cyclists to reach the speeds currently being witnessed on the Waitematā Harbour – unless there’s light winds.