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Melges 2023 - Melges 15 LEADERBOARD

Antigua and Barbuda takes it all at the Youth Foiling Gold Cup in Barcelona

by 69F Sailing 30 Oct 2023 00:43 PDT 23-29 October 2023

The third act of the 69F Sailing Youth Foiling Gold Cup season was seized by the Antiguan team, Rum Runners, led by skipper Rocco Falcone, with Federico Colannino and Alice Cialfi—set to be a part of the upcoming Youth and Puig Women's Americas Cup.

Rum Runners demonstrated an outstanding performance, rarely missing the podium throughout this year, showcasing a remarkable display of talent and sailing skills.

In this event, seven teams coming from seven different nations showed up on the starting line. However, only six teams advanced to the final stage, earning the opportunity to compete in the last two days of racing. The backdrop of Barcelona this week has been nothing short of spectacular. Foiling against the stunning backdrop of the Sagrada Familia was an unreal experience for all involved in the race. The wind conditions have been a rollercoaster, offering an unmatchable mix, hence giving the opportunity to everybody to show their skills. Mornings greeted us with light breezes and calm waters, only to switch into stronger winds and powerful waves in the afternoons.

The final day, as anticipated, proved to be the most demanding. A nicer south-westerly wind and larger waves made it more challenging than any other day. After three Lima Course races (the former America's Cup racecourse, with a reaching start and finish), the race committee made the decision to shift to three more Windward-Leeward races to ensure safety for all participants.

Before the last two points, only Team Antigua and Barbuda had secured victory. The other five teams were still neck and neck, with any possible outcome. In a thrilling last race, Team Orient Express L'Oréal Racing Team, secured the second position and a spot in the upcoming Youth Foiling Gold Cup Grand Final. Meanwhile, Team Jajo-Dutchsail made a spectacular downwind sprint, swiftly maneuvering towards the finish line and grabbing the third spot on the podium.

Antigua and Barbuda's skipper Rocco Falcone said: "We had a really solid week here, lots of ups and downs especially with the waves, but we had a lot of fun and we are ready for the Gran Final, coming up next week."

"We finished in second in the Youth Foiling Gold Cup ACT 3 and we are really happy because we didn't just grabbed the second place, but we've also qualified for the Gran Final. We had a very tough week, especially when racing started, but we are already focusing on the next event and we can't wait to get back racing," added Clement Cron, the skipper of Orient Express L'Oréal Racing Team.

The French of Orient Express L'Oréal Racing Team and the Swiss sailors of Clean Sailors Youth Racing Team, who closed the event in sixth place, will join the other six previously qualified teams in the upcoming Youth Foiling Grand Final, scheduled to start next Thursday, November the 2nd.

Visit official event website here.

Full results available here.

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