Gianluigi Ugolini wins the 'A' Class event at Foiling Week on his class debut

Young Italian Gianluigi Ugolini won the National A Class regatta organized at Polisportiva Fior d’Olivo Acquafresca and hosted during Foiling Week 2017. Pier Faccin reports;

Last weekend, Polisportiva Fior d'Olivo Acquafresca organized a National 'A' Class Regatta this year, for the first time, and it has found an a significant place during The Foiling Week 2017. The great world event dedicated exclusively to the fast foiling boats that, from 6th to 9th of July, involved sailors, designers, builders and enthusiasts in conferences, races and boat tests in the fantastic surrounding of the Garda Lake. 

The young Gianluigi Ugolini, current Italian vice champion in the Olympic Nacra 17' Class, won the race with his absolute debut on his newly aquired Class A Catamaran from GBR Champion Chris Rashley. The Compagnia della Vela di Roma’s athlete had quite a slow start, finishing a 5th and a 7th in the first two races. But with his success in the third race, at the end of the first day, the ranking list saw him in third place behind by Stefano Casadei and the German Rainer Bohrer, the best interpreter of a day characterized by a very light southern wind. 

The following morning, a totally changed picture with the 'Peler', a strong northern wind. After waiting for some suitable conditions, at 9:30am the crews went down to the water for the remaining three races of the program, finding more sustainable gusts at around 20 knots. Gianluigi won the first two races and, ending second in the last race and so won the National Regatta in his debut in the 'A' Class. Behind him Stefano Casadei, a regular of the Adriatico Wind Club with a gap of 6 points who, however, ended up winning the last race. In the third place, the German Rainer Boher, not so effective with such strong wind. The general classification sees in fourth place Stefano Tacchi, winner of the first race on Saturday, then Bruno Zorzan, followed by the well renowned Australian Paul Larsen, who holds the sailing speed world record with his Vestas Sailrocket 2, then Marco Baldini, Daniele Menegatti, Claudio Masciullo and Paolo Penco for the top ten positions. 

Full rankings can be found on the Facebook page of the Class A group. Very nice pictures that were taken by the photographer Martina Orsini during the TFW 2017 event can be found on Facebook as well. 

Ugolini's victory at TFW 2017 recalls the second overall place gained by Vittorio Bissaro (Italy’s representant at Rio 2016 for the Nacra 17') at Arco in the A Class European Spring Championship. It is clear that the A Class catamaran has been selected as boat of choice by the leading Nacra 17' Italian helmsmen as a training boat for the full foiling version of the new Olympic 17, which will be available shortly. The battle for gaining a place in the next Olympic Games has just started. 

From the materials point of view, Gianluigi used the Polish platform eXploder equipped with Fiberfoam mast and a polish Bryt Sail sail. Worth of note is the Stefano’s choice who used an "old" 2012 DNA platform updated with eXploder boards. For him, the same mast and sail of Gianluigi. 

The next A Cat Italia National event, which ends the agonistic season, will be the Italian Championship that will be held in the Bracciano Lake, near Rome, from the 27th to 30th July with the organization of Associazione Velica Bracciano.