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Young Azzurra debuts with a podium at Persico 69F Revolution Cup

by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda 19 Aug 10:49 PDT 16-19 August 2020
Young Azzurra Team, Persico 69F Revolution. © Persico 69F / Studio Borlenghi

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Young Azzurra team has debuted with a second place finish in their first regatta in preparation for the Youth America's Cup, scheduled to take place in Auckland between February and March 2021.

Young Azzurra kicked off at the Persico 69F Revolution in Gargnano on Lake Garda with a podium finish that was in no way a foregone conclusion, given the level of the participating teams. These included Dutch Sail Janssen De Jong and the RHKYC Team Agiplast, both challengers for the Youth America's Cup who boast preparation schedules on board the Persico 69F which have been running for some time.

Young Azzurra achieved second place thanks to the team's dedication to climbing the rankings in the elimination rounds following a less than perfect first race, ironically due to attempting much too complex manoeuvres along with risky tactical choices from the word go. After taking on board the advice of coach Enrico Zennaro, one of the most experienced sailors on the Persico 69F one-design boats, there were no further hiccups for skipper Ettore Botticini and his crew, composed on this occasion of Francesca Bergamo and Federico Colaninno. Four victories in the repechage rounds gave them access to the final with the winning team Top Gun Racing, Zeta Racing, who finished in third, and Dutch Sail Janssen De Jong.

This morning with a Peler, Lake Garda's classic northerly morning wind, of approximately 16-18 knots, Young Azzurra first faced the last round of repechage, followed by the semi-final and progression to the final. Skipper Ettore Botticini commented: "Very happy today, after having lost the first race we learned to do things simply and to concentrate on the essential: we broke free of the pressure and the emotion associated with starting such a large and significant project. We took care of the tactics and things kept getting better. The team works, with Francesca Bergamo as trimmer and Federico Colannino on flight control, we started to create automatic reflexes, we are in the game. All we gave to do now is keep training, starting from next week, because the journey has just begun."

The Persico 69F Revolution event was also the first chance for observations to be carried out to define the roster for the Youth America's Cup team: on this occasion for young Finn sailor Federico Colaninno, in the role of flight controller, and Francesca Bergamo, a 49er FX helmswoman, in the role of trimmer. Observation and training on the Persico 69F will continue from next week in Malcesine, also on Lake Garda. Due to its similarity to the AC9F, which will be used for the Youth America's Cup, the 69F hull provides the best alternative training platform, since only one AC9F currently exists, which is currently sailing in New Zealand.

Confirmed as skipper of Young Azzurra, Ettore Botticini is an emerging young match racer, already third in the world ranking list and world junior champion in 2018, whose development was supported by the Circolo Nautico and Vela Argentario. In compliance with the rules of the Youth America's Cup, Ettore Botticini has become a sporting member of the YCCS.

YCCS Commodore Michael Illbruck commented: "What a brilliant debut! Congratulations to the entire Young Azzurra team on behalf of the YCCS. This programme was created to give opportunities to talented young sailors and today's result shows us that we have started in the best possible way, we have a long way ahead of us."

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