Italy Sailing Sports USA

More Sailing Event Cancellations Amid COVID-19

The month of August opens on a sour note for the sailing buffs. Three glorious sailing events have been called off. Many sailing events and regattas have been affected by COVID-19 and the travel restrictions associated with it, and it looks like July disappointments have spilled over to August as well.

2020 Melges 24 U.S. National Championship

In an announcement addressing the teams, the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association President Megan A. Ratliff confirmed that the event, which was slated for 15-18 October had been cancelled. These events typically attract many travellers, which could pose a health risk to the people, especially the elders. Hence, there are tight regulations in place regarding the size of events to reduce the health risk.

“We continue to be optimistic and pray that the situation surrounding COVID-19 improves,” Ratliff states in the announcement.

“Please know that your board is working hard, exploring options for a safe return to conducting our Class championships. I am confident that we will be on the same starting line soon. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe.”

2020 Formula Kite Worlds

The Italian resort island of Sardinia was prepping to play host to two major events — the Formula Kite Individual competitions and Mixed Team Relay Worlds. The reason, once again, is the travel restrictions in different parts of the world, which allows only European contestants to participate in the race. So, though there were no regulations imposed on the International Kiteboarding Association, the organizers decided to call off the event in the best interest of all participants.

The Mixed Team Relay World was the first event planned in Olympic format. The event was scheduled for 13-18 October in Torregrande. The Formula Kite Individual Competitions were slated for 6-11 October. The event was first planned in Weifang Binhai but was later shifted to Cagliari.

The next edition regatta will be held in 2021. Weifang Binhai would host the Formula Kite Individual Competitions in September 2021, while the Mixed Team Relay World will happen in Torregrande, in October 2021.

2020 RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup

Founded in 2002, with a vision to expose the junior sailors in Bermuda to international sailing regatta experience, the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup plays a vital role in nurturing long-lasting associations with international sailors and Bermudians. the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup is organized for teenage girls and boys aged between 12 and 15. The organisers think that it would be too much of risk to bring teenagers to Bermuda amid the pandemic.

“At the end of the day the risks involved did not match the reward as the full experience of the Junior Gold Cup would not be realized in 2020,” organiser of the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup Dede Cooper said.

“It was a difficult decision and one that makes me sad as this is such a wonderful event for the youth sailors. As always, we are grateful to RenaissanceRe for their continuing support and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Bermuda sometime in 2021 for the 18th RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup.”

2021 RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup dates are yet to be announced.

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Next Edition of Ocean Race To Commence in 2022

The next edition of the Ocean Race, one of the toughest competitions in the sailing sport, has been scheduled for October 2022. The event will start from Alicante, Spain in October 2022 and finish off in Genova, Italy in 2023, the year that marks the 50th anniversary of this prestigious race.

This international sailing competition has scheduled stops in ten international cities across six continents. The organisers, for the first time in the history of the race, have released the confirmed event schedule for the next 10 years. A feasibility study for the European race slated for the next summer is also underway. This 10-year plan is a result of an effort to help the sailors, sailing teams, partner cities, and associates across the world to face the changing reality during the current pandemic crisis as well as through the post COVID-19 times. The organisers have invested time to collaborate and develop a positive way forward to an improved and stable future for all stakeholders.

The impact of COVID-19 on sailing, just like any other sport, has called for strategic planning involving the stakeholders and consultants to device a path forward in the current circumstances impacted by COVID-19 and beyond, through the changing sporting landscape.

Richard Brisius, the Race Chairman of The Ocean Race, shared “Since 1973, The Ocean Race has been one of the toughest challenges in sport. Winning teams have showcased that proper preparation is the foundation for success. We now find ourselves in unprecedented times and our first priority is with all those who have been and continue to be affected by the pandemic.”

“Winning The Ocean Race is still a big ambition for me”, says Peter Burling, Olympic and America’s Cup champion. He debuted in the Ocean Race in 2017-18.

“I know how much effort and planning and preparation it takes to put together a successful campaign. Building in this extra year ahead of the next race increases the likelihood of strong, well-prepared teams being ready on the start line in Alicante. I think this is a well-considered and good decision.”

A six-time race veteran and the co-founder of W-Ocean Racing, Chris Nicholson says, “The world has changed with COVID-19 and again we will witness the resilience of sailors, stakeholders and organisers of The Ocean Race. We have all lost significant time right at the crucial moment and this change is the right move. This will now allow us the time again to re-focus our efforts and be part of this great event.”

Racing with Purpose

Racing with Purpose, the prizewinning sustainability programme, is built upon the commitment to create a healthy marine ecosystem. Innovative workshops and summits are planned as part of this program, and the Genoa, Italy will be hosting the first edition. As an effort to inculcate the values in children, Racing with Purpose has developed a multi-lingual, curriculum-based immersive learning programme for school children, helping them understand the detrimental effects of plastic pollution on ocean ecosystem and our planet. It tells them how they can participate and contribute to the good cause. On the racing front, they are continuing to expand their ground-breaking innovations such as state-of-the-art technology using renewable energy on their racing boat classes like VO65 and IMOCA 60.

Italy Sailing Sports

Swan Cup to be held in September

The 2020 edition of the biennial Rolex Swan Cup is slated for 7-13 September in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Organised by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the regatta aims to promote sailing and to bring together those who love water sports and the sea. Over 60 yachts will compete under the theme ‘Celebration of the Sea’ in the 21st edition of the race that lasts for a week. The event marks the re-kindling of the competing spirit after months-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 global crisis. The event is upheld as an opportunity to mark the watershed after the pandemic crisis and the imposed time apart.

Spanning across seven classes selected from the classic and modern eras in the history of the boat brand Nautor’s Swan, this race is one of the biggest sailing events set to happen this year. This is the second regatta of the Mediterranean season 2020. The seven classes competing in the race are the Swan Maxi Class (vessels that are 60 feet and above), Swan Grand Prix Class (vessels under 60 feet), the vessels belonging to the Swan One Design Classes (ClubSwan 36 class, ClubSwan 42 class, Swan 45 class and ClubSwan 50 class) and the Sparkman & Stephens Class.

For the health and safety of the participants, the organisers will ensure that all the guidelines laid by the Italian government are met. Week-long post-race activities harmonising with the race theme ‘Celebration of the Sea’ are planned to engage the sailors.

“The Rolex Swan Cup will be one of the first sailing events after a season of enforced rest and we are amazed by the response we’ve already had in terms of participation,” said Nautor Group Vice President, Enrico Chieffi.

“More than 60 yachts have already registered, confirming that our owners are thrilled to participate in the regatta and they can’t wait to start racing again all together in Sardinia, celebrating their love for the sea, the sport of sailing and our brand.”

The race will feature the brand’s newest models in the competition. This includes the revived version of the evergreen classic Swan 54 class, as well as the yachts from the bluewater range including Swan 48, Swan 65 and Swan 78. What excites the participants and spectators is the chance to see one-design foiler — the ClubSwan 36 class — the award-winning class that bagged the Innovation Award in the ‘European Yacht of the Year Awards 2020’. The yacht is admired as the radical one-design sports boat.

The event will also feature the new Maxi Swan 98 in the water for the first time.

“Nautor’s Swan is excited to introduce the new era of Maxi Swan with the Swan 98 to the world next September,” Giovanni Pomati, Group CEO shared in one of the articles published by the brand.

“She is a modern masterpiece of design and construction, the perfect blend of performance, elegance and luxury. She is destined to become a timeless superyacht.”