Cagliari, Italy: The Youth Foiling Gold Cup has ramped up a gear with the start of the knockouts, a series of direct eliminations that the teams must face over the coming days in order to secure a place in the final.
The knockouts are organised in three rounds (A-B-C), each consisting of three races, in which six teams participate. The first knockout round included Team Argentina, Equal Sailing, Katana Sailing Team, Okalys Youth Project, Youth Europ Sails and ETA Sailing Team – the teams sitting at the lower end of the rankings after the qualification races.
Perfect wind conditions, with the usual thermal breeze filling the Gulf of Cagliari, made for another day of exciting racing.
Team Argentina, the girls on board Equal Sailing, and the Swiss of Katana Sailing Team racked up the best performances in knockout series A.
Sena Takano from Equal Sailing said, “We had perfect conditions to foil today. It’s been windier than the last days. Especially in the last race where we are still figuring out how to foil nicely in medium conditions, but we are keeping on learning. This is my first time in Cagliari and I’m very surprised: the wind conditions are so good and the sea is so clear. Really amazing to sail here.”
ETA Sailing Team, meanwhile, failed to make it to the second round (knockout B), bringing their participation in the competition to a close.
Jann Schüpbach from ETA Sailing Team said, “A bit disappointed about today but we didn’t have high expectations because it was the first time for us. We enjoyed the boat and today was a perfect sailing day for the wind conditions. But we did too many mistakes which in the end cost us a lot.
We had a bad start in the first race. We were too close at the starting line and we had quickly to bear away in a gust and we capsized which, of course, is not the ideal start. Then we recovered, and in the following races, we had two very good starts. Unfortunately, we had some issues in the downwind legs.
“But I’m very happy with how we sailed and how we improved. There’s still a lot to learn for us. We’ll be back next season. We are totally addicted to 69F.”
On Wednesday the race committee will continue with the second knockout round, the first race of which was already held this afternoon. Only the teams with the top five scores will go ahead to knockout C, where Young Azzurra awaits them, thanks to having finished second in the qualifying series.
Knockout A ranking:
16 Team Argentina
14 Equal Sailing
12 Katana Sailing Team
9 Okalys Youth Project
4 Youth Europ Sails
3 ETA Sailing Team