One explains the tricks to winning, the other coaches you. So you become a better sailor


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Francesco Bertone (left) and Simone Malagugini (right) are the souls of the Drylaps team.

One just won the Giraglia as tactician on the Ker 46 Lisa R (and is reigning European Waszp champion), the other just placed his students first, second, third, fourth overall and first female at the Italy Waszp Cup in Bellano. These are just the latest results, in order of time, of a palmares that would make even the strongest of sailors envious, loaded with golds, silvers, bronzes on national and international race courses.

The Drylaps Team and who’s behind it

They are Francis Bertone e Simone Malagugini, aka Team Drylaps, the brand they created that combines the skills of one of Italy’s strongest and most versatile sailors, Bertone (winner of several Italian, world and European titles on One Design, dinghies and cabin cruisers), with those of Malagugini, a recognized successful coach with Olympic experience. Drylaps, in short, is there for you if you want to become better sailors and crews.

drylaps coaching
Simone Malagugini as coach with Francesco Bertone, who would go on to win the European Waszp

How Team Drylaps was born.

Let’s rewind the tape. It’s the 1990s in Genoa, and Francesco (b. 1984) and Simone (b. 1986) meet as opponents on the race courses, in Optimist. Bertone, pure talent.

children drylaps
Two very young Malagugini (left) and Bertone, in their early days in 420

Youngest Malagugini, so much desire to grow as a sailor. The two decided to join forces first in 420 and then in 470, where they took some great satisfaction. Then, their paths diverged: Francesco specialized in one-designs and cabin cruisers, becoming one of Italy’s most highly regarded tacticians. Simone discovers his vocation as a coach.

drylaps 470
Together in 470 quite a few years ago. Bertone at helm, Malagugini at bow on trapeze

I actually have the feeling that Simo and I never stopped being boat mates, even when we were far apart,” says Francesco Bertone. Sort of like Holly and Benji, the soccer champions featured in the historic Japanese anime, who first played together and then each went their separate ways, but never split up.

The rapprochement between the two took place some time ago, after Malagugini, who had since gained international experience as a coach (he was coach of the Finnish Olympic team in Rio 2016, worked with Japanese athletes, Germans, the Swiss youth team just to name a few), began working with the crews of the boats Bertone sailed on.

drylaps waszp
Together flying on the Waszp. In the foreground Simone Malagugini, in the background Francesco Bertone

But not only that. The two share a passion for foiling and specifically for the Waszp, the most successful flying drift in recent years where Bertone, coached by Malagugini, won European gold. “We also went back on a boat together on the Perch 69F in 2020“, Malagugini tells us with a laugh, “but we are both ‘sanguine’ so we do our best if Fra is on the boat and I am on the dinghy!“.

From the experiences of both of them, it came almost natural to create a brand, Drylaps (the English term Drylap, literally “dry lap,” is slang for when a foiling boat does the entire race in the air without ever touching the water), which would bring together their activities, from coaching on all kinds of boats and one designs (with a focus on foiling) to onboard tactics to crew management.

The Drylaps method. Sailing, coaching, foiling

A sailboat is a sailboat. Whether flying or an offshore cabin cruiser, the ‘mental method’ to achieve a goal, which may be winning, placing, or simply improving a foiler’s ability to lead is always the same“, Malagugini explains.

Who are Drylaps’ ‘customers’?From thecruising boat owner who wants to improve as a sailor and maybe start racing, to those who are approaching the world of flying boats like Waszps or 69Fs for thefirst time, from the youngest to the oldest,” Bertone explains.

Bertone and Malagugini, complementary talents

We close with the most classic of questions: in what ways does Malagugini complement Bertone, and vice versa? Bertone: “Simo, with his coaching attitude, is good at keeping you grounded and keeps you on the path to the goal. A method that you can see a mile away is the result of long experience: with Simo, you never throw away a day’s work. We are very different, but we are always clear about our goals. Doing better“.

drylaps 69f
Simone Malagugini (left) and Francesco Bertone

Malagugini: “Fra gives me constant feedback from aboard the boats he sails or flies on, and helps me understand what would take three times as long to understand from the outside. This saves us time and resources. On the Waszp, for example, we exchanged feelings and experience all the time. The European gold is also the result, in addition to Fra’s talent, of this teamwork“.

Would you like to avail yourself of Drylaps’ advice? You can contact them on their Facebook page, Instagram profile or directly at this email.


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