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European Dream Cup: Dutch Sail Team claims victory in a remarkable event at Gargnano, Lake Garda

by European Dream Cup 14 Jul 2023 15:14 BST 1-15 July 2023
European Dream Cup: Dutch Sail Team claims victory in a remarkable event © European Dream Cup

The curtains officially closed on the inaugural European Dream Cup after two intense weeks of learning, socializing, and sailing for the 60 young sailors who gathered in Gargnano, Lake Garda.

Their time was spent honing their skills in foiling while immersing themselves in the themes of sustainability, inclusion, and digitalization. Following a week of training, the 10 teams, representing yacht clubs from 10 different European nations, engaged in their first foiling regattas, demonstrating unexpected prowess in this exhilarating discipline.

The results on the water, combined with points earned through shore activities such as beach clean-ups and quizzes after seminars, culminated in a ranking. The culmination of the event was marked by a joyous prize-giving ceremony at Circolo Vela Gargano, where all participants felt like winners.

After a full day of racing, with three regattas held for the Silver Fleet and four for the Gold Fleet, Dutch Sail emerged as the triumphant team, claiming the top spot on the podium. They were followed by the Austrian UYC Wolfgangsee and the Danish Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub.

Dutch Sail: "These past two weeks have been incredible. It was our first time experiencing foiling, and the 69F provided us with so much fun. To emerge as winners in this event is truly wonderful. We had an amazing time and enjoyed every aspect of it. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved. We learned a great deal and made unforgettable memories with our team and other yacht clubs. We hope there will be future editions of this event!"

Team Austria: "Compared to the 69F, every other boat will now feel boring for us! Jokes aside, we are thrilled as a team to have had the opportunity to participate in the European Dream Cup for the past two weeks. We are eagerly looking forward to future events involving the 69F. If we had to describe this boat in one word, it would be 'crazy'! We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in organizing this incredible event!"

This extraordinary event was made possible through the collaboration of the European Community and Erasmus+, with the renowned Circolo Vela Gargnano at the helm of the organization. It aimed to bring together young sailors from across Europe, fostering strong connections while highlighting key themes of our time, such as sustainability, inclusion, and digitalization. Throughout the two weeks, the young athletes, along with their chaperones and coaches, attended numerous seminars and had the opportunity to interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds. These experiences will undoubtedly contribute to their personal growth and development.

Lorenzo Tonini, President of Circolo Vela Gargnano, expressed his delight: "This event was a tremendous success. The gratitude, joy, and happiness displayed by the participants were the ultimate rewards for our organizers. It is truly unbelievable and a testament to the incredible commitment of all the teams that, after two weeks of racing and engaging in shore activities, the final race saw four teams separated by just four points! We extend our thanks to 69F Sailing, all the volunteers, Insieme per Mano Onlus, and One Ocean Foundation. All the goals of the project were achieved, as the teams left Gargnano with a renewed passion for sport, camaraderie, and growth. The prize-giving ceremony was filled with smiles, and we couldn't be prouder!"

Sustainability took center stage throughout the event, with strong support from One Ocean Foundation. The foundation presented an important prize, the "More Speed Less Plastic - Young" award, similar to the senior SailGP circuit, to the team that achieved the highest speed on board the 69F. Team Denmark secured the win with a speed of 26.6 knots, achieved in just a few days of foiling! Moreover, One Ocean Foundation committed to cleaning over a ton of waste from the coasts of emerging nations, as they pledged to remove one kilogram of waste for every knot reached by the fastest team each day. Throughout the week, a total of 100.5 knots of top speed were recorded, leading to the collection of over a ton of garbage.

Jann Pachner, representing One Ocean Foundation, congratulated the organizers of the European Dream Cup: "We are honored to have been Sustainability Partners at this foiling regatta, and it was a pleasure to witness these young talents in action. Most importantly, we are delighted to have instilled a sense of sustainability and concern for the preservation of our oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers in participants aged 13 to 18. Considering the growing importance of addressing climate change, delivering this message to young people through their yacht clubs gives us hope. We are honored that all participants have signed our Charta Smeralda, joining us in our commitment to protect the seas. This event reaffirms that we are on the right track, and we express our gratitude to everyone involved."

While many clubs have expressed interest in future editions of the event, it is still early days. Now, it is time for the 60 young sailors to return home and share the memories created at the European Dream Cup with their friends and families.

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