Since Foiling Week was born in 2014, Italy, Garda in particular, has become one of the undisputed protagonists of this movement, and an award that photographs the foiling world and highlights the best athletes and healthy carriers of innovation could not be missing either. We are talking about the Foiling Awards, the recognition for the best sailors in the foiling world as well as the most innovative foiler companies and manufacturers on the market, organized by the founders of Foiling Week.
It proved to be one of the must-attend events for all enthusiasts, the Milan Foling Awards evening, hosted on Feb. 20 in the extraordinary spaces where the former printing presses of Corriere della Sera used to operate, reorganized by WeWork, a company that offers coworking services. The awards, divided into eight categories, and the FW Design competition, were established by Foling Week, “the first and only global event dedicated to boats that sail in foiling, their sailors, their designers and their builders.”
The Foling Awards seek to honor those who have most distinguished themselves during the previous year in eight categories significant to the development of foiling: Sailor Award; Design Award; Innovation Award; Production Boat Award; One Off Boat Award; Motor Boat Award; Sustainability Award.
To welcome guests and spectators, an exhibition dedicated to the shots of Martina Orsini, the official photographer of Flying Week, and the ever-fascinating drawings of French illustrator François Chevalier. Opening the evening of celebration was the official debut of Perch 69F. A 6.90-meter one-design for three-person crew, monohull and flying boat, which will inaugurate its racing season from next April in Cagliari with already six boats in the water.
Presenting boat and race format were Giorgio Benussi and Marcello Persico, the promoters of the Persico 69F project. In addition to using the same technology as the AC75s, the next America’s Cup boats, it also has an interesting racing format. Delegated to the circuit organization are not only the logistics and preparation of the boats, but also the training and foiling initiation of owners and crews. “We have dedicated time and resources to the start-up of 69F,” said Giorgio Benussi, chief commercial officer of Coming Solutions, the company that together with Persico Marine conceived and initiated the 69F project. “Today we are contextually ready for the large-scale production of the monotype and the start of the first competitive and foiling training season.” He was echoed by Marcello Persico: “Owners and users of our boats will have access to the best technology available in the production of foil hulls: the research and development carried out by Persico Marine to make custom hulls that have made and will make sailing history is condensed into our one-design, ready to be brought to market.”
This was followed by the FW Design competitions, in which the top three winners of the competition reserved for design and construction were awarded. Winning first prize was the project of Massimo De Luca and Davide Cipriani of CentrostileDesign, followed by Morgane Suquart of MMprocess (second) and Charles Viviani (third). The first of the Foling Awards presented, which remember are given on the basis of votes cast by a popular jury through online voting to the proposals selected by Foling Week, was for the boat One off . Vittorio Magnaghi, marine sector manager of Gurit, the company that produces advanced composite materials awarded the AC75 Luna Rossa in the person of Horacio Carabelli, co-designer coordinator of the Prada Pirelli team, accompanied by Team Director and skipper Max Sirena. The Italian crew engineer on behalf of the entire team said, “We are very honored to receive this award that rewards two years of commitment and constant research. It was a team effort that involved everyone, from the design team to the shore team, from the sailing team to the suppliers. All with one goal, to make a high-performance, state-of-the-art craft.”
Vying for the award are four IMOCAs: Advens; Apivia Mutuelle; Arkea Paprec; and Hugo Boss. Four AC 75: Britannia, Defiant, Luna Rossa and Te Ahie and the maxi tri: Team Sodebo Voile.
The following regattas or circuits had been chosen for the Foling Award Event category, reserved for foil boat events: Brest Atlantiques; ETF26 Series; GC32 Racing Tour; SailGP and Transat Jacques Vabre. Presented by GAC PINDAR, a logistics company partnering with FW and regattas such as the Volvo Ocean Race the award was presented to Julien Di Biase (director of operations) and Tim Godfrey (marketing director) of Sail GP. The award for reducing the environmental impact of foiling, the Foling Award Sustainability was given to Alex Thomson Racing for the Imoca 60 Hugo Boss: it uses for on-board communication and electronic navigation system, mainly energy derived from photovoltaic panels specifically made for this specific application. Presenting the award was Torqueedo, a company that produces electric motors, represented by Oliver Gluck (Vice President of Marketing). As a reminder, also competing for the award were Fulcrum Speedworks, for the production of a green foiler, and Artemis Technologies and Tuco Marine Group ApS for a workboat using foils.
Presented by Foling Week itself is the Foling Award Innovation reserved for those boats that represent a significant evolution in the foling world. In competition: CONDOR concept-board (one of the first windsurfing boards specifically for the foil world, with a specific concept for gliding and foiling, produced by Elix board); Laser Kit Foilsz (efficient kit that comes from the same designers as the Moth Mach 2); Lupo Electric Foiling Bike (a curious pedal-powered tool for sailing); Moth Aero Kit (first aftermarket aerodynamic kit to reduce the drag of the Mach 2); Moth Double Sail (double AC 75-type sail, developed by sailing consultant American Magic); Slingshot Wing (American company was the first to develop and reinvent the wing sail); SYRA-Foilers (first double-crew boat with central canting foil system); TF35 electronic foil control (system suitable for flying an Airbus reported on an 8-meter barque boat).
Luca Rizzotti awarded Bertand Favre, the man behind the concept of the TF 35, the catamaran with an innovative and sophisticated software-based automatic foil control system. Marcello Persico was then the one who awarded Mayeul Van der Broek for the Sp 80, “the next world fastest boat” as the winner of the Design category for this project that aims her to surpass by at least 20 knots the current sailing speed record: 62 knots. Online voting determined that it was the favorite among the other shortlisted contestants: ISpace2O DeepSeaker DS1; Lazzerini F33 Space; The Flybus; Vortex M1 by Mode3 Design.
In the Foling Award Motorboat category, Candela 7.5, a refined and elegant production boat, routed both the foils of the Aquila cruising catamarans, installed on all models of the Sino-American brand, and the prototype of the French giant Beneteau. Gustav Hasselskog (CEO and founder Candela) has been awarded by Oliver Gluck.
For the series boats, the Foling Award Production, contested between BirdyFish, Nautor’s ClubSwan 36, Nikki by Skeeta Foiling Craft, Peacoq 14, Pogo Foiler, SYRA-Foilers NTFM-SYRA18, T-Foiler 35 went to the Syra 18, the first monohull with series foil. Accepting the award were Nils Frei and Yves Detrey of Syra foilers and presenting it was Paolo Manganelli (principal engineer) of Gurit.
The moment dedicated to the single man in the Foling Award Sailor saw the Swiss Balz Müller, winner of the first world championship in freestile windsurfing foiling, An athlete capable of performing incredible evolutions to a windsurfing board equipped with his hydrodynamic appendage system, he left behind: Vittorio Bissaro & Maelle Frascari (Nacra 17 world champions); Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier & Yann Riou (winners of the Brest Atlantique on the maxi TriEdmond de Rotschild); Charlie Dalin & Yann Eliès (winners of the Transat Jaques Vabre on the Imoca Apivia); Daniela Moroz (Formula kite world champion); Mischa Heemskerk (World Catamaran Class A champion); Nicolas Parlier (Formula kite world champion); Tom Slingsby (Moth World Champion & SailGP winner); Team Australia SailGP crew (Tom Slingsby, Kyle Langford, Jason Waterhouse, Ky Hurst, Sam Newton and Kinley Fowler winners of the first SailGP season); and Ruggero Tita and Cate Mari Banti (winners of the Sailing Tokyo Test Event on Nacra 17)
Closing the evening, Luca Rizzotti and Domenico Boffi, the creators of Foling Week, presented a special award to Gabriele Ganga Bruni as Foling coach, for his work with the crew of Bissaro and Frascari and the Tita and Banti crew who won the last two world championships in the Nacra 17 Olympic catamaran.
The next Foiling Week, an appointment for all foling sailing enthusiasts, is set for June 25-28, 2020 in Malcesine, at the Fraglia Vela Malcesine, on Lake Garda.