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WASZP UK prepares for a big year in 2023

by Martin Evans 5 Dec 2022 14:10 PST
WASZP UK looking forward to a big year in 2023 © James Tomlinson

The WASZP UK class is set for another big season in 2023, continuing the growth of the country's most active foiling class. For the past two years, the national championships have seen over 55 boats from every corner of the UK as well as a handful of internationals that made the trip to join the friendly one-design foiling racing.

The UK is widely recognised as the leading WASZP nation around the world, with the highest numbers for event attendance as well as a collection of international titles and experienced coaches (listen to world number 1 Ross Banham on the WASZP podcast The Swarm). Alongside the high performers at the front of the fleet, the WASZP UK class considers itself the most inclusive class in sailing right now, welcoming sailors of all ages, sizes, genders and abilities.

WASZP events cater for every sailor as an individual, striving to give all members a unique and rewarding experience depending on where they are in their foiling journey. If you are a junior sailor with dreams of SailGP or the Americas Cup, the WASZP UK class can give you access to world-class coaching and racing. If you are stepping away from Olympic classes but still want fast, fun one-design action, the WASZP UK class is the place for you.

If you are a long-time sailor looking to spice up your sailing with a bit of foiling, the WASZP UK class can provide the coaching and learning opportunities to help you get to grips with the boat and excel on the racecourse. If racing isn't your thing but you just want to feel the thrill of flying, the WASZP UK class can connect you with plenty of other like-minded sailors from the swarm.

No matter who you are or what your motivation for joining the swarm, the WASZP UK class will strive to give you the best sailing experience possible.

The WASZP_X - the junior rig for the WASZP - is now available worldwide and the junior fleet is building with guaranteed inclusion in 2023 events. This makes WASZP racing and foiling accessible to sailors of optimist size and upwards, forming the start of a genuine foiling pathway that leads to the junior Americas Cup, SailGP and the Americas Cup.

In 2023 the WASZP calendar is bookended by the Start of Season and End of Season championships. The former kicks off the season at Datchet - a WASZP stronghold and one of the biggest WASZP clubs in the world, with 20 boats in its ranks. The End of Seasons returns to Rutland after a very successful event in 2022, which saw 35 boats enjoying alternative style racecourses, fancy dress sailing and a classic WASZP social.

The central part of the season is made up of a newly devised 4 Nations Cup, which aims to bring together the UK fleet with the fast-growing Irish fleet. Consisting of an event in Wales, England, Ireland and Scotland with the best three to count for the overall title, the UK fleet will be putting significant resources into making each event a celebration of the class in its respective region.

Cardiff Bay hosts the first of the 4 Nations Cups over the late May bank holiday. The venue has previously hosted the Extreme Sailing Series and Volvo Ocean Race and offers a genuine stadium atmosphere that puts the racing directly in front of thousands of people on the shores of the Welsh capital!

The English leg doubles up as the UK National Championship, this year returning to Rutland. Over 70 boats are expected, with the championship welcoming Irish sailors and a number of the new WASZP_X rigs. This event will break records for the biggest domestic foiling fleet! There will be three days of training in the lead up aimed at all levels to help sailors sharpen up before the main event.

Following the Nationals, the fleet takes a short break in July to make space for the European Games, which in 2023 is conveniently just over the English Channel in Quiberon, France. A very big group of Brits is expected to hop on the ferry to France and fly the union jack throughout the scoreboard in Quiberon.

The Irish leg, including the Irish National Championship, takes place in Dublin and will see UK sailors returning the favour by heading over to the Irish capital. Like the UK fleet, the Irish fleet has its fair share of young talent alongside a healthy mix of abilities and ages that are all in it for the craic.

The final leg of the 4 Nations Cup will take place in Scotland at Loch Lomond. Home of the legends behind Sailingfast, the WASZP UK dealer, there is no doubt the series will round off with a well-planned and very social affair. As far as beautiful foiling venues go, Loch Lomond must be on the bucket list for the Brits!

Alongside the events, expect to see plenty of class training weekends and other training opportunities with WASZP UK's friends at the Andrew Simpson Centre throughout the winter, spring and summer.

Keep an eye on WASZP social accounts and to stay up to date with all the latest WASZP news!

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