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Reverso Air 2021 LEADERBOARD

Youth Foiling Gold Cup - Day 2

by Conrad Colman 4 Mar 16:36 PST 3-8 March 2021
Youth Foiling Gold Cup 2021. Kingdom Team leads. © Marta Rovatti Studihrad

More wind led to a welcome change of pace today as the sailors could invest their efforts in strategy and speed rather than just trying to fly. The wind was patchy and rewarded the teams who were sufficiently at ease piloting their boats to be able to keep their eyes outside the boat, looking for the next gust. This meant that the top-ranking teams at the end of day two were the ones that had clocked in the most training days before the start of the Youth Foiling Gold Cup.

Team DutchSail - Janssen de Jong, Young Azzura and RHKYC Team Agiplast didn't have it all their way however as the American Southern Challenge were finally able to bring the fight to the top teams. In race 3, they broke away from the fleet just after the start and still led going into the final upwind leg. They were overhauled by RHKYC Team Agiplast and the Dutch Kingdom Team at the finish line, but put together an impressive performance for a new 69F team.

Young Azzura were best able to threaten the Dutch domination today, crossing the finish line first in race 2 after leading the whole race. However, they were judged to be over the start line early and received a penalty that meant they tied with second-placed Team DutchSail - Janssen de Jong before falling behind the orange helmets on the countback.

Team DutchSail - Janssen de Jong dominated the day. They won all of the five races they sailed and got stronger as the day went on, winning race 5 by an incredible two minutes. But it was race 4 that revealed the true mastery of their foiling steed. Falling off the foils early in the run after a rare unforced error, they found themselves in the unfamiliar position of being at the back of the pack. At the end of the run, they dropped their gennaker and two-sail reached past their competitors, swerving to windward and leeward of the other boats until only the Americans remained ahead. On the upwind leg, the Americans split left, the Dutch to the right, found better pressure and completed their dramatic come-from-behind win.

Dede de Luca is the Chief Sailing Officer for the Youth Foiling Gold Cup and was intimately involved in developing the Persico 69F to its current mature level. He has a finely tuned eye regarding what it takes to make the boat fly and how to maximize teamwork onboard. He'll give us his coach's perspective on what the teams need do to improve.

Today's comment relates to the start line. "The teams are like little kids on the football field, all grouped together and standing on each other's toes!" From his perspective at the pin end of the start line, he thinks that the sailors are overthinking the start, especially if they are looking to derive a geometric advantage from one end of the start or the other. "Bias is nothing, freedom is everything".

Sailor Interviews

Langston Goldenburg, Southern Challenge, USA:

I think the best thing we're doing now is that we have improved our starts, how to have pace downwind and how to go fast on the second reach. The last piece of the puzzle is going back upwind. Once we figure that out, I think we can hold first (place) all the way through.

We're now figuring out weight movement, board and rudder rake. Anna Weis is going a great job on the trim. We're all coming together as a team.

Tony Massanet, Youth Bravo España, ESP:

Today was not a good day for us, as you can see in the results. But we're working on developing our speed and making a strategy to get into the finals. These early qualification rounds are good training for what's to come and if we make it to the finals, we'll see what happens.

The key moment in the race is the first gybe. The first boat to take off again is the one that wins the downwind leg. Tomorrow we'll work on improving our starts and learning what mode works best upwind.

Max Haenssler, One Switzerland:

It was a difficult day for us. We did a lot of small mistakes and they added up to missed points on the scoreboard. We are still a bit below the technical level of the other boats which means that when we're going well we lose some places, and if we are not going well we can't find a way to come back.

Our motto is that we need to make things as simple as possible on the water, but generally, we end up making it complicated! But we're improving every day and enjoying the sailing.

Overall ranking after two qualification rounds:

33 - Team DutchSail
28.5 - Young Azzura
27.5 - RHKYC Team Agiplast
21 - Kingdom Team
18.5 - Southern Challenge
12.5 - One Switzerland
12 - Youth Brava España
11 - Xela Racing

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