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Foiling Week Garda - Summary

by Jonny Fullerton 12 Jul 2016 14:55 PDT 5-11 July 2016

Foiling Week 2016 served up a bonanza of foiling action on Lake Garda from July 5th - 11th. Foiling Week is an annual festival dedicated to all types of foiling boats hosted by Fraglia Vela in Malcesine on the east side of Lake Garda.

The first two days were dedicated to boat tests and trials. Three classes (GC32, Flying Phantom and Moths) held separate regattas over three days of Foiling Week, including the classic long distance race with the entire fleet sailing the same course!

Lake Garda served up hot sunshine with the famous 'Ora' southerly overcoming the overnight 'Pelèr' northerly during the first two days of competition. (Thurs/Fri)

The Garda Classic, a 20-mile long lap of Lake Garda was set on Saturday with a weather mark set off Campione on the west side of the lake, before returning to a leeward mark half way up the lake between Malcesine and Riva del Garda, to a finish off the event host club, Fraglia Vela Malcesine.

With two start lines, (one for the GC32s and one for the entire fleet of foiling craft), started in a light southerly which sadly collapsed by the time the leaders reached the first mark. It was a long crawl but 40 foiling craft managed to finish the course in the soaring heat.

Flying Phantoms

The Flying Phantom fleet consisted of 10 teams from 6 nations in the fourth leg of their competitive European circuit. Racing was close throughout but for Tom Phipps and Jon Cook (GBR) scoring 6 bullets in 10 races including one win in the non discardable long distance race. The young British team edged out Benjamin Lamotte and David Fanouillere of France by 6 points.

Tom has campaigned for an Olympic place in the Nacra 17 class and is a training partner for GBR's Rio representatives Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves. He also intends to enter the race for a place in Tokyo 2020 in what might be by then a foiling Nacra 17. Interestingly another British competitor just missing out on selection in Rio, 49er sailor Rick Peacock also raced in the Flying Phantom class finishing fourth.

International Moths

42 Moths from 10 nations raced in a series of 11 races held on the same course as the Flying Phantoms and Prototypes. As per the Flying Phantoms, the first two days of racing were held in superb foiling conditions with winds ranging from 10 - 16 knots of breeze.

Rob Greenhalgh (GBR) currently ranked 3rd in the world, traded blows with fellow Brit, Dave Hivey throughout 3 days of racing. If it wasn't for an 8th place in the non discardable long distance race, Hivey would be head to head with Greenhalgh for the overall win. These two sailors dominated racing finishing well clear of third place overall, the popular local Stefano Rizzi (SUI).

Many Moth sailors used Foiling Week as an opportunity to get used to the waters where the 2017 World Championship will be raced.

Current 470 Silver Olympic medallist Stuart Bithell (GBR) competed in his Moth for the first time at a big fleet regatta. Stu scored a number of single digit results ending the regatta in 10th overall. He recognises that foiling classes will continue to be a major part of the future of sailing and is keen to be part of that future whether it be in a Olympic foiling class or as part of an Americas Cup team or professional foiling multihull team.

Another former 470 world champion, Nic Asher (GBR) has tried his hand at foiling aiming to get noticed for the skills it requires. Nic finished 11th just behind Stuart. Both sailors are aiming to return for the Moth Worlds next year in Malcesine.

GC32 Malcesine Cup

Round two of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour took place on separate courses as part of Foiling Week. The one design fleet expanded to a 10 strong fleet with the majority crewed and skippered by fully professional teams.

After 9 races sailed mainly over the opening two days in glorious Garda conditions, the Swiss Team Tilt helmed by Arnaud Psarofaghis with ETNZ's Glenn Ashby calling tactics, just pipped Franck Cammas and Team Norauto by one point. The GC32's also sailed the long distance race held on Saturday but this was not a points scoring race in the final series. The long distance race was won by Orange Team with the jubilant owner and GC32 founder Laurent Lenne on the tiller.

For a full regatta report see:


Courses where set for an eclectic mix of prototypes but most of the week was spent on speed runs, trials and just enjoying the opportunity to showcase their wares.

Among the prototypes on show at Foiling Week Garda were a small fleet of S9 catamarans who are gathering pace with small fleets establishing in Italy, the UK and USA.

A very impressive A Class DNA F1 cat (carbon copy of the version with which Mischa Heemskerk comprehensively won the recent A Class worlds).

Two Cherubs from the UK, were quick on the water, one with a single foil and one with twin foils. Also a Quant 23 scow monohull which was fast on the long distance race.

Others included two Voilavion foiling catamarans from France with a windward canting rig, suitable for singlehanded or double handed sailing. A Whisper catamaran and a tri-foiler design which sports two windsurfer type sails on an old tri hull which showed remarkable speed and manoeuvrability.

Four races were arranged for the Prototypes including the long distance race which was won by perennial Foiling Week returner, Graham Eels with his Vampire multihull from the UK. The Vampire was notably quicker this year and took out the long distance race by a margin.

Coaching and boat trials were available on a number of foilers including the Waszp which had 6 brand new boats ready for their first organised regatta.

Andrew McDougall reports on Waszp trials

"We could not be happier with how the boats performed and the enthusiastic response. We had 6 boats trialling on the water, mainly sailed by people who had never sailed a foiling boat. We had sailors ranging from 45kg to 125kg (no, we did not get him foiling!). Most were foiling within minutes and the smiles on the faces when they came in was gold."

"As the week went on and the word got around, more and more people were lining up for a trial. Many GC32, European Moth, Laser and Moth sailors were among those to fly it. The Waszp is now the talk of the town."

Before the trials, informal racing was organised with Chris Rashley, Stefano & Gianmarie Ferrighi, Harry Mighell, Francesco Bianchi and Andrew McDougall (AMac). Harry, who has had more time in the Waszp than anyone, won the day with Stefano 2nd and Chris 3rd

Foiling Forums

Another big element of Foiling Week is the Forum which attracts influential speakers presenting on a whole range of subjects including new foiling classes, equipment, design, safety, coaching and provides a unique opportunity to interact and discuss issues relating to the future of foiling.

There were also a number of trade tents, a photo exhibition and a boat park full of carbon rigs and foils.

A second Foiling Week edition is scheduled to take place in Newport Rhode Island from September 8 - 11th. Newport will hold races including the Moth North-American Championship and the A Class Catamaran Pre-Nationals. The C Class multihulls and the usual mix of prototypes will be on the water at the famous sailing venue.

Standby for more foiling frolics.

Full Results are available via:
Foiling Week on Facebook:
Grand Prix Sailing - Fans of Foiling on Facebook: www.facebook/grandprixsailing

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