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Young Azzurra select two further team members following training in Porto Cervo

by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda 30 Oct 2020 14:08 GMT
Young Azzurra training in Porto Cervo © Marcello Chiodino / YCCS

Young Azzurra, the Under-25 foiling team representing the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, sailed for the first time in their home waters this week. At the end of the training session, Francesca Bergamo and Erica Ratti were officially confirmed as crew members.

After a win and two second places sailing in the Persico 69F Cup on fresh water in Lago di Garda, Young Azzurra sailed on the sea for the first time becoming the first foiling boat to have "flown" on their home waters off Porto Cervo.

The six-day training session, coordinated by coach Enrico Zennaro and based at the YCCS Sports Centre, proved useful and in part took place together with Dutch Team Orange, another team formed to compete in the Youth America's Cup challenge. That event was subsequently suspended in light of entry restrictions for New Zealand due to the pandemic.

Young Azzurra's training week had been scheduled to address several objectives: from foiling at sea, where the waves have a significant impact, to further observations to define the crew members of Young Azzurra in view of the team's 2021 engagements in the Persico 69F Cup and other international initiatives to be defined.

"We are pleased to have sailed in Porto Cervo" coach Enrico Zennaro emphasised, "the weather came to our aid with exceptional conditions, making this a very productive session. I must commend the crew's attitude, they are demonstrating exceptional commitment and dedication."

At the conclusion of the training sessions, Francesca Bergamo and Erica Ratti were officially confirmed as team members, joining skipper Ettore Botticini and flight controller Federico Colaninno. The two girls, who had already raced successfully with the crew during previous legs of the Persico 69F Cup, will alternate on board in the role of mainsail trimmer.

Ettore Botticini: "We are particularly happy to have gotten our introduction to salt water in Porto Cervo, the home of Young Azzurra. We were able to manage the boat well from day one, despite the waves and gusts, which was not at all simple. Along the coast the wind was much more gusty than what we had encountered on Lake Garda, while further out, with one metre-high waves, we found new ways of navigating. Thanks to the presence of the Dutch team, the training was mutually beneficial, we learned a lot from each other. Finally, I'd like to officially welcome Francesca and Erica, their place on the team is absolutely deserved."

Francesca Bergamo, from Trieste, was born in 1997, boasts 2 European and 4 Italian championships in the Optimist, Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial classes. In 2016 she started helming the 49er FX Olympic with the aim of qualifying for the games in Tokyo. She entered the observation programme to define Young Azzurra's crew at its very outset.

"I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to be part of this project, I think it is worth its weight in gold." she commented. "It is an opportunity not to be missed, so I have put my Olympic campaign to one side. In Porto Cervo we really felt welcomed to our home and for me, being from Trieste, returning to the sea and the waves was a special feeling. We still have a lot to work on, but this first session at sea was a great starting point, I can't wait to get back on the boat and I'm excited for the future."

Erica Ratti was born in Rome in 1998. Among her many victories 2 Italian championships stand out, one in the 420 Class Under 16 and the other at the CICO 2017 at the helm of the mixed Nacra 17 catamaran. The Nacra marked the start of her experience in foiling, which now continues with Young Azzurra aboard the Persico 69F.

"I would like to thank the YCCS for the welcome we received in Porto Cervo and for the opportunity offered to me and my Young Azzurra teammates to take part in an international foiling programme. After my injury in August 2019 I had feared having to leave competitive sailing, this new opportunity is a dream for me!" said Ratti.

For more information or to schedule interviews with YCCS management or members of the Young Azzurra team please contact the YCCS press office.

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