Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Youth Camp: it's time for the new generation

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Youth Camp: it's time for the new generation

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Youth Camp: it's time for the new generation


30/01/2023 - 19:11

Talent scouting and observation are now on in Cagliari.

In the wake of its successful Next Generation program, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s consolidated initiative dedicated to the training of new generations of sailors, the team has set up observation sessions for youths of age Under 25, focused on foiling sailing. The Youth Camps will involve over 20 young athletes (girls and boys) divided into two groups: the first will take place from January 30th to February 5th and the second will be from February 6 - 12.
Strongly supported by Skipper and Team Director Max Sirena, these Camps were envisioned to create the Youth America's Cup team (to be raced aboard the AC40 monotypes) but, more generally, they will bring a spotlight to the sailing of the future.

«Our Youth Camps will not be limited to selecting and training youth sailors from a technical and sailing point of view», says Sirena, «they will also serve as a human observation session, where we will evaluate their aptitude for teamwork, team building, and interpersonal relations. Our aim is not only to select the best sailors for the Youth America's Cup in Barcelona, although this is obviously one of the objectives, but also to look to the future of the team - which could grow and be enriched with new resources in the various departments - and, in general, to bring very young sailors closer to the 'flying' discipline. If foiling is the sailing of the future, these kids are the future of sailing».

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Youth Camp: it's time for the new generation
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Youth Camp: it's time for the new generation

Coordinating the project will be Jacopo Plazzi, one of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's coaches (together with Philippe Presti and Hamish Willcox), supported by Francesco Marrai and Simone Salvà, two highly experienced coaches both in the traditional Olympic Classes and in the new foiling boats classes. At their side will be Marco Mercuriali, rules advisor for Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli since the Italian team's first challenges and one of the leading experts in America's Cup regulations.

The Camps will take place in Cagliari and will include onshore preparation and sea trials in the Golfo degli Angeli. Final races will be held during the weekend on two of Persico’s 69Fs boats, the foiling One Design class conceived and developed by the Bergamo-based Persico Marine boatyard.

«After consulting the Italian Sailing Federation and taking part in several events of the NEXT GENERATION FOIL ACADEMY FIV POWERED BY LUNA ROSSA we chose some promising youths from different disciplines, not necessarily foiling, to be included in the Camps» explains Plazzi. «Experience and talent count, but we also look at the human aspect, the ambition to grow and the passion; in the end, not everyone will go on to the Olympics or will necessarily sail onboard Luna Rossa, but many could still have a future in the team or in the world of professional sailing».

Two team members from Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli will also take part in the Youth Camp: Carlo Ciabatti (shore team) and Marco Gradoni (sailing team); the latter is multiple Optimist World Champion, World and European Junior winner in the Olympic Class 470 Mixed (paired with Alessandra Dubbini) and Rolex World Sailor of the Year (the youngest ever).
«The Youth Camps are a wonderful opportunity for young sailors», says Gradoni; «I think it is the first time that an Italian America's Cup team has offered this possibility to young sailors. As for me, I am delighted to be part of this. I will try to pass the experience I have had so far in the team to others, and I am sure we will share a great time and a lot of excitement».

The Youth Camps will also involve a fair number of women. This participation follows the new Protocol by which the 37th America’s Cup will feature a Women's America's Cup, immediately before the Final Match. Also, the technical level of Italian women sailors is so high that their presence is a crucial resource for any team.

The program of the Youth Camps includes on-water sessions, guided by the coaches, and theory lessons to learn the rules of the 69F and AC40 Classes. At the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli base the youths will also learn foiling techniques and have access to match racing tips from champions of the calibre of Jimmy Spithill, Checco Bruni and other team experts.

At the end of both Youth Camps the most talented sailors will be selected to participate in two events of the 69F YOUTH FOILING GOLD CUP circuit.

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