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WASZP X-Camp 2023 at Circolo Vela Arco

by Elena Giolai 10 Nov 2023 07:14 PST 3-5 November 2023

At the beginning of November, the last WASZP X-Camp 2023, a technical meeting reserved for under-19s, organised by the Italian WASZP Class Association in collaboration with the Italian Sailing Federation, Circolo Vela Arco and the Garda Trentino Vela Consortium, ended in Garda Trentino.

  • On Garda Trentino the last X-Camp with the best 16 WASZP U19 helmsmen and the presentation of the 2024 programme
  • The speeches by FIV councillor Foschini and class President Francalancia, who explain how the WASZP project dedicated to youngsters has evolved

For the WASZP under 19 project, 2023 represented year zero, with the realisation of a structured programme reserved to the youngsters of the so-called foil generation, which culminated in the introduction of the WASZPs at the FIV Italian Youth Championship held in Ravenna. Championship to which the speakers arrived with a discrete fleet thanks both to the appointments of the "Next Generation Foil Academy FIV powered by Luna Rossa, which carried out mainly promotional activities, and to the series of training sessions of approach to the Championship, called, "X-Camp", which prepared the youngsters for the management, preparation and conduction of the boat. November was therefore the last event of the season, with a fleet of 16 boys and girls with increasingly advanced foil skills, representing the best WASZP foil helmsmen under 19 from all over Italy.

The Councillor of the Italian Sailing Federation in charge of Youth Activities Domenico Foschini: "Considering the success of the "Next generation Foil Academy FIV powered by Luna Rossa" as a Federation we made sure that the Class was included on an experimental basis in the Italian Youth Championship, then including it in the plan of contributions for the purchase of boats, as is the case for other youth classes. Believing strongly in collegiate gatherings, we also appreciated and encouraged the brilliant initiative of the X-Camps, which with the last appointment in November demonstrated a substantial technical growth of the participants".

The President of the AICWA - Italian WASZP Class Association Marco Francalancia summed up the path taken in the under-19 direction as follows: "This year's balance sheet is absolutely positive; the under-19 X-LAB project started in 2022, envisaging two X-Camp appointments, defined as 'pilot'; moreover, work has been done on the rest of the X-Lab project, which envisages 3 other areas of work the X-Team (the U19 team that participates in national - international U19 regattas), the X- Edu (a series of educational-promotional initiatives to explain the basics of foil and WASZP in particular), the X-Fun (events aimed mainly at pure fun, typical of foil sailing) and the aforementioned X-Camps, the more operational part with real collegiate training sessions on the water."

A well-structured project of the Italian WASZP class, which created the basis so that in 2023 the Italian Sailing Federation could include WASZP boats in the Italian Youth Championship on an experimental basis. The challenge for the class was to arrive in Ravenna with a group of youngsters not only sufficiently numerous, but also prepared. The participation of 22 boats from all over Italy was a success, for a project that had just started and with a foil boat.

But let's also find out why all these projects have an X in front of them: "It all came about because last year WASZP made a version for children, 'WASZP X', after the version initially created for adults and therefore with a large sail (8.2 square metres),"continues Francalancia. "Hence the turning point with an identical hull, but with tricks on the decks to facilitate the movements of the little ones and supplied with a smaller sail of 5.8 square metres. Although the initial idea of the WASZP X project did not specifically envisage the creation of a youth foil racing nursery, the Italian WASZP Class, from the moment it let the very youngsters try out the boat (who were going like "missiles"), realised that the path to take had been mapped out: the boat and the small sail are perfect for beginners and the medium sail is ideal for the next step, reached by those youngsters, who gradually improve their foil sailing.

Today we are therefore in a position to have a precise educational and sports project for all the under-19s who dream of foil racing: in 2024 the under-19 category will be included in the three stages of the Italia Cup, with separate rankings, and the X-Camps will continue to prepare new helmsmen and coxswains. In 2023 the only youth events were the Italian Youth Championship and the European Championship, a continental event in which Italy - presented with its X-Team prepared during the season with collegiate training - won in all the youth categories, confirming the goodness of the work done, also thanks to the FIV, which has always believed in the project. This puts us in a privileged position compared to all the other foreign classes - including the international one -, which have not invested like the AICWA in the Under-19 project, but which have clearly seen the results obtained, undertaking a dedicated path".

The X-Team, selected by the X-Camps, will participate in 2024 not only in the WASZP Italy Cup stages, but also in the FIV Italian Youth Classes Singlehanded Championships, Foiling Week and the WASZP Games in Norway.

Athletes present at X-Camp/CVArco, 3-5 November:
Jacopo Andrian, Jacopo Travaini, Jacopo Tesei, Rebecca and Tommaso Geiger, Alessio Castellan, Leonardo Centuori, Patrik Felda, Federico Quaranta, Francesco Carrieri, Moses and Malika Bellomi, Sofia Caputo, Leonardo Vanelo, Luca Franceschini, Toni Bencic.

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