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Young Austrian Team Sail Fast and Fly in the European Dream Cup

by Team Austrian 12 Jul 2023 12:47 BST 1-15 July 2023
European Dream Cup 2023 © Mars Entertainment

The first ever European Dream Cup takes place in Gargnano, Lake Garda, Italy. The Project is held from 1st to 15th July, where 60 young and passionate sailors, aged 13 to 18 years, of 10 different European countries are learning to foil on the 69F class and competing against each other from 8th to 14th July 2023.

The EDC is a special Erasmus+ Sports Program with focus on sailing and foiling integrated with activities and seminars about sustainability, inclusion and digitalization. It is a major non-profit sporting event.

The 10 countries competing against each other at the Circolo Vela Gargnano are Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain. In the first few days from the 1st to 8th July the Teams got to know the 69F and how to handle this boat on the water. The 69F is a technologically advanced sailing boat, which fulfills every sailor's dream — Foiling, the experience of flying on the water! Together with activities such as musical shows, sustainability and inclusion talks, the days were always full of information and highly educational. Moreover, building new friendships and getting to know other countries with joy and delight are one of the most important topics.

The thrilling competition for the enthusiastic sailors began on 8th July with the first warning signal at 12 O'clock. The hosting venue, Circolo Vela Gargnano, officially opened the event in the evening with an incredible opening ceremony.

Looking back at the first few days of racing, the sailors can confidently say that they have made massive steps forward as a team and as individuals. They have proven that they can confidently sail one of the fastest boats on the planet.

These days Lake Garda shows its best side with blue skies and steady wind conditions. Starting off with the first racing day (July 8th) the teams were challenged with 6 to 8 knots wind force. 5 races have been sailed. Scoring three wins, the Dutch Team took the lead. With one first place each, the Austrian Team and the Danish Team were tied 2nd and 3rd. Followed by Bulgaria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Germany and Spain.

On racing day 2 the wind conditions were similar to day one with 7 to 9 knots of wind and 5 races were carried out. Ranking on top again the Dutch Team followed by the Danish Team and 3rd the Sailors from Austria. Behind the teams mixed up again from Hungary, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Finland, Slovenia and Spain.

Day 3, with around 8 knots windspeed and again 5 completed races, showed improvements of the foiling skills in each team and so the Danish Team took the lead, the Dutch Team ranked 2nd and likely the day before, the Austrian Team held the 3rd place. The German Team got 4th followed by Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria and Spain.

"Very Fast", the first few words of the Austrian flight controller after jumping of the 69F. This sums up, the impressions on the faces of the Austrian team after their first foiling experience.

"How were the first few days of the competition?"

Team Austria (Main Trimmer): "Absolutely exciting and fascinating, to try these incredible boats. We only had one day of training, so we try to concentrate more on the handling the boat while racing, so we can improve our skills and get ready for the final race days, where the results will count the most. Holding 3rd place makes us quite happy, but we want to push ourselves as hard as possible to prove to ourselves that we can learn to sail a completely new boat only in a few days."

"What did you like the most until now?"

Team Austria (Flight Controller): "Definitely the speed. Flying above the water at 20 knots boat speed is a dream that comes true. Sailing faster than the wind is an unbelievable experience and we are lucky to have the opportunity to try this."

"What worked for your team?"

Team Austria (Helmswoman): "The first tries of foiling worked pretty well. Especially our first foiling drop gave us a boost of motivation and self-confidence. We are really looking forward to give our best to achieve a foiling jibe. Overall, the team is absolutely hyped for the upcoming days and we want to show our best possible performance."

"What is your plan for the next days?"

Team Austria (Helmswoman): "Until the final two days we will concentrate on tactics and maneuvers, so that we have the best possible preparation for the Finals. All the other teams will improve their foiling skills, so we also have to improve as much as possible to try to get an advantage over the other teams."

The next days will be busy again for all competitors. Qualifying series are going until 12th July. After Qualification the 10 Teams will get divided into Gold and Silver Fleet - 6 Teams and 4 Teams. Then the Final Series takes place on 13th and 14th July. After all races, the winners will be celebrated at the closing ceremony on 14th July.

With a strong commitment to excellence and fostering unity of sailing community, the European Dream Cup continues to push boundaries of sailing and inspire future generations of sailors. Together with its sustainability partner One Ocean Foundation and the Onlus Insieme Per Mano, the organization team made an incredible job in setting up this big event.

Further information will be posted on the EDC website www.europeandreamcup.eu or on Instagram #EDC23.

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