Photography by Martina Orsini
04 July 2022
Scott Over, Commercial Director of World Sailing, Li Li, Managing Director of China Sports & Communications International Co Ltd., Aaron Young, the Commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Mr. Bruno Giuntoli, Operations Director of Foiling Week™️ and Luca Rizzotti, Founder and President of Foiling Week™️, met on live stream to announce the guidelines of the Foiling Youth World Series (FYWS).
The Series will be a multi-class team championship created by Foiling Team, dedicated to the new foiling generations of the world. The announcement was coordinated by sailing journalist and New York Times correspondent Chris Museler.
“Foiling Week™️ has become a key partner of World Sailing and we are working together to promote and develop sailing through their Special Event Status,” said Scott Over.
“This next step in their evolution, the launch of the Foiling Youth World Series, exemplifies many of our goals in sustainability, inclusivity and diversity, and the growth of our sport.
“We at World Sailing will continue to support this great organisation as they grow and benefit sailors and the communities they touch.”
FYWS will be a team competition of foiling boats dedicated to young sailors, with the aim of training future professionals.
The sailors will be part of teams representing some of the most influential sailing clubs, all competing for a world title. In 2023, the series will begin with four to five events which will take place in stunning locations around the globe.
FYWS will actively promote and support diversity and inclusion, sustainability and safety, all values for which Foiling Week™️ is considered a benchmark.
The new event will also have a huge onshore program rich with initiatives. Guests and audiences will have the chance to try the boats, see technology exhibitions, participate in conferences and use the latest virtual simulators.
A masterclass program is also being created and will include sessions on foiling basics and physics, boat building and repairs, and class specific playbooks.
Workshops will focus on hands-on boat works, foiling boat set-up theory, splicing, set up and optimisation.
The racing classes will be selected amongst Moth, WASZP or FD SWITCH, Nacra 15, Wingfoil, Kite Foil IKA and Persico 69F. Entries will be open to yacht clubs, sailing professional teams and MNAs (both single and group).
Each entry will include sailors in every sailing class, represented for a total of seven participants between 16 and 24 years old, of which at least 50 percent must be women.
“The Foiling World Series events present a great and unique opportunity for our future sailors to experience the world of foiling,” said Aaron Young.
The pathway is so important for clubs like the RNZYS to help bridge that gap between club sailing and professional sailing at a high level.
“The Foiling Week Series has given that next generation of both females and males a fun and exciting steppingstone from youth sailing at clubs to reaching the highest level in our sport – what an amazing opportunity.”
The series will pay particular attention to fundamental themes for the future of the sport.
On one hand, young sailors can train and access the best opportunities to then demonstrate their talent and skills professionally. On the other hand, the series will adopt fixed criteria in gender equity for all events from day one.
A list of ten possible hosting locations is currently being explored, evaluated and selected in North America, Europe, Middle East, China, New Zealand and Australia.
Foiling Week™️ is one of the signatories of the World Sailing Special Events Sustainability Charter and is consequently committed to respect and promote the dictates of environmental sustainability and protection, gender equality, social commitment, transparency and to promptly and clearly report all discrepancies found.
Efficient procedures and standards for safety to avoid accidents on the racecourse will be developed by FYWS organisers as well as specific foiling-oriented workshops on water safety to support ribs and coaches.
Series data will be included in the ongoing scientific academic study on Injury Prevention Research in Foiling. FWYS is committed to leaving a legacy of inclusion and performance in sport at each event.
A plan of locally based initiatives will continuously complement grassroots sailing through mentoring, data analysis coaching from events and training sessions, foiling specific physical training including injury avoidance, mental coaching, dietary planning and follow up.
The FYWS events will also have secondary, post-racing follow-up based upon the two weeks-long programs.
With the meaningful goal of developing the local foiling scene, it will be possible to experience foiling trials and coaching for a week after the event. Boats from the fleet could even remain at the event location and be lent to local yacht clubs who prove commitment.
“Look around, foiling will soon be the most popular way to go sailing,” said Luca Rizzotti, Founder and President of Foiling Week™️.
“We at Foiling Week™️ explore its boundaries, segments, trends and population since 2013. It’s huge. I think it is very clear that we stick to our motto Connect, Cooperate, Change: the Foiling Week™️ team is cooperating with yacht clubs and federations around the world to accelerate foiling diffusion.
“From Jeddah Yacht Club and Saudi Sailing Federation to China Sports & Industry Group, and to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron we are happy to engage with all passionate entities.
“The Series project is basically a new pathway of sailing that goes along with the Olympics and the Ocean racing. A long-term idea conceived and designed for future generations.
The best and most relevant yacht clubs in the world are joining the Series. We have already quite a few requests. Year one will start with ten teams so, if anybody wants to join just call us now, there are not many places left.”