Another magnificent day of racing on the waters off La Grande Motte as the Finals of the 69F Youth Foiling Gold Cup took place. Though the breeze was quite light in the morning for the first races, the southerly wind gradually strengthened, allowing the sailors to sail fast in full flying, foiling mode. The 69Fs raced close to the beach, offering a ballet of colorful spinnakers and superb fast reaching starts.
The six finalists in the Gold Group competed fiercely, sharing the race wins over the six races today. Penalty points weighed down some teams while others made experience and consistency tell the story. Rocco Falcone, Filippo Amonti and Alice Ciafi, the three Italians on the Rum Runners crew emerged on top after this first day of Finals, 2 points ahead of the Dutch Sail Team JAJO, winners of the 2022 youth circuit.
The day was much more mixed for the hosts nation’s French teams of Groupe Atlantic and Team France Jeune.
Although winners of two races Team France Jeune landed some expensive penalties. “But we are in the game,” explains their helmsman Enzo Balanger, “We prefer to take risks, attack hard at the start and show that we are a threat“. This group which has been selected for the Youth America’s Cup has never sailed together and is discovering the boat. So they are satisfied already by making the top 6 and of feeling that they are already matching the strong teams.
Tomorrow Sunday sees the big finale which will crown the winner of this Act 2 of the Youth Foiling Gold Cup. There are still 6 races to go and the game remains wide open.
Light airs and a few showers are forecast which could significantly complicate these final stages in front of the pyramids of La Grande Motte.
Provisional classification final day 1
Gold Fleet after 6 races
1- Rum Runners (Antigua), 23 pts
2- Team JAJO – DutchSail (NED), 21
3 – Luna Rossa – Piranha (ITA), 19,5
4- Groupe Atlantic Sailing Team(FRA), 15 pts
5 – Luna Rossa – Swordfish (ITA), 12
6- Team France Jeune (FRA), 8,5
Silver Fleet after 4 races
1- Clean Sailors Youth Racing Team (GER), 17.5 pts
2- Normandy Inshore Program (FRA), 16
3- Enzedder Racing (NZL), 15
4- Volaire (CAN), 11
5- HRM Racing Youth Team (POL), 5
6- BYC – Foiling Team (GER), 5
Avant Garde, Gottifredi Maffioli, Harken, North Sails, Vakaros, QI Composites, Vela Mania, Fraglia Vela Malcesine, Acquaviva WT, Cantine di Verona
The 69F project is the result of the commitment and skills of athletes, engineers and communication entrepreneurs who believe in the future of sailing hydrofoil and its affirmation in the world of professional regattas as well as in the world of lifestyle and amateur sport.
The 69F team developed and built an innovative high-performance boat, they designed captivating and sustainable competition formats and a sailing academy to train future young flying sailors and to entertain everyone, from pros to amateurs, with the aim of providing the ultimate foiling experience.