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69F Women Foiling Gold Cup in Gargnano, Lake Garda - Day 1

by 69F Sailing 31 Aug 2023 21:51 PDT 31 August - 3 September 2023

Gargnano, situated on Lake Garda, Italy, will forever be remembered as the location that hosted the inaugural edition of the 69F Women Foiling Gold Cup. This event, exclusively for women, was a fervent desire of some of the top athletes in the sailing industry.

Ten teams have entered, representing nine nations and three continents, with some of the biggest names in the business. The fleet includes 15 Olympians and five Olympic medalists, including Jo Aleh, who secured a Gold medal in the challenging 470 class at the London 2012 Olympics. These remarkable sailors have all convened on Lake Garda from today, August 31st, until Sunday, September 3rd, to compete against each other in the one-design, full-foiling monohull for crews, known as the 69F.

The competing teams are as follows:

1. VMG RACING (NZL) - Jo Aleh, Molly Meech, Erica Dawson
2. WOMEN'S AC TEAM GERMANY (GER) - Luise Wanser, Franziska Mäge, Sophie Steinlein, Carolina Werner, Alica Stuhlemmer, Tina Lutz
3. TEAM CANADA WOMEN'S AMERICA'S CUP TEAM (CAN) - Tate Howell, Isabella Bertold, Maura Dewey, Grace Poole
4. SOCIETA' VELICA DI BARCOLA E GRIGNANO (ITA) - Maria Vittoria Marchesini, Alice Linussi, Giovanna Micol
5. TEAM AUSTRALIA CHALLENGE (CYCA) - Olivia Price, Natasha Bryant, Lisa Darmanin, Lucy Copeland, Zoe Thomson
6. TEAM JAJO - DUTCHSAIL (NED) - Maxime Jonker, Mirthe Akkerman, Arianne van de loosdrecht, Ismene Usman
7. AMERICAN MAGIC 1 (USA) - CJ Perez, Anna Weis, Pearl Lattanzi
8. AMERICAN MAGIC 2 (USA) - Erika Reineke, Sara Stone, Cam Farrah, Stephanie Roble
9. ORIENT EXPRESS RACING TEAM (FRA) - Audrey Ogereau, Lara Granier, Aloïse Retornaz, Paola Amar
10. TEAM PROFAND SPAIN (ESP) - Patricia Suarez, Francesca Bergamo, Teresa Romairone, Clelia Sessa

Most of the teams are from the America's Cup Campaign and are using the event as a training and selection platform for the Women's Youth and Women's America's Cup, which will be contested in 2024 in Barcelona. Some are simply female sailors aiming to enhance their foiling skills. For many of them, today marked their first opportunity to race in a fleet of foiling monohulls. They expressed their enjoyment, and over eight races, the umpires did not issue any penalty points, as the teams demonstrated fairness on the water by adhering to the rules.

Eight races were completed on the first day, held mostly under foiling conditions with wind speeds ranging from 8 to 11 knots. A southerly breeze blew from noon until around 4pm. The first flight has concluded, and the second one is well under way. The plan is to complete five flights by Saturday and then proceed to a Gold Fleet series involving the top six teams on Sunday morning. The event will culminate with a best-of-three match race between the two leading teams in the early afternoon.

As of now, with a slightly uneven number of races completed, American Magic 1 leads the overall rankings, followed by Team Jajo - DutchSail and Società Velica Barcola e Grignano. However, only three points separate the third and seventh positions, indicating that the competition remains wide open for the next two days in Gargnano.

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