The Grand Final of the Youth Foiling Gold Cup starts with a rock'n' roll
The final event of the YFGC got underway today with two races held in the waters off Cagliari, Sardinia. The competition will decree the overall winner of the circuit, who will receive a voucher worth €50,000 in addition to a wild card entry into the first event of the 69F PRO CUP - a regatta reserved for international professional sailors taking place from 12 to 14 November.
Six teams qualified across the three legs of the YFGC circuit to do battle in the Grand Final: DutchSail - Janssen de Jong, Young Azzurra, Team France, Okalys Youth Project, Team Argentina and Equal Sailing.
After a long wait ashore, the race committee only managed to get racing started after 3 p.m., when a firm south-westerly wind of 14-21 knots, with gusts of up to 26, moved onto the racecourse.
The first races were extremely challenging and brought new course layouts. The committee chose an L-shaped course with a reaching start for the first race, while in the second it opted for a triangular course with an upwind start.
In the first race, Team Argentina started well on the windward side, immediately taking the lead and recording the top speed of the day at 28.28 knots. The Argentinian crew then capsized on the downwind leg, closing the race in last place. The win went to Young Azzurra, who were rewarded for their extremely careful management of the conditions.
In the second race, the Argentinians chose the right side of the course on the upwind leg, rounding the mark ahead of the fleet and maintaining their lead over the course.
With two second-place finishes, Okalys Youth Project leads the provisional overall classification. The Okalys project aims to train young Swiss sailors by supporting their participation in top international sailing competitions.
As weather conditions worsened over the course of the afternoon, the race committee was forced to suspend proceedings after just two races. The program will resume tomorrow, with the aim of completing the six scheduled races.
Teresa Romairone - Youth Team Argentina / Yacht Club Argentino
"Today it has been a very challenging day. It was incredibly gusty with a lot of waves. It was tricky to hoist the kite and the maneuvers were very fast. We took some risk and it cost us a lot as we capsized in the downwind leg losing the gain we had. In the second race, we did a good choice sailing the upwind leg on the right side of the racecourse. We approached the top mark in the first place and we stayed in front until the end. We won just for a few seconds as the wind drop down in a while, just on the finishing line."
Arnaud Grange – Okalys Youth Project / SNG
"We like these pretty windy conditions, where we feel quite comfortable. In the first race, we tried to foil nicely but we realized that it was a little bit risky. The best mode was to foil slower than usual, avoiding to capsize and making mistakes. In the second race, we did a very good start. We were well placed and fast on the line, but the fleet on the rights side took good advantage. We made a good recovery on the reaching leg, foiling properly, paying attention to the gusts, and keeping the eyes wide open. Of course, we are happy but it's only the beginning of the Grand Final. It doesn't mean a lot, especially in this event where the points gained on the last days count for four. We are doing better than the previous races. So we are going in a good way."