Regattas > How Foiling Week began

How Foiling Week began

by Luca Rizzotti, Ceo and founder of The Foiling Week, President of the International Moth Class

Foiling Week Catamarano Fraglia Vela Malcesine, Lago di Garda

The Moth, a 4m boat, flies like the 22m catamarans of the America’s Cup. The Italian Moth Championships had just finished in 2013 when Domenico Boffi and I realised that all the boats between the Moth and catamaran had got flying very quickly.

In 2014 we started Foiling Week to promote foiling sailing and we couldn’t have imagined what a quick evolution this would provoke. We wouldn’t have believed that in three years the Volvo Ocean Race, the America’s Cup and the Vendee Globe would all use foiling boats.

Per la primissima edizione abbiamo scelto d’istinto la Fraglia Vela Malcesine per il vento costante e poca onda: un elemento essenziale per volare in sicurezza.

By instinct we chose the Fraglia Vela Malcesine for the first Foiling Week as it has constant winds and few waves: this is essential to foil in safety. We were welcomed by Gianni Testa and Mattia Lonardi even though ours is a complicated event to organise. Not for the numbers of participants but there isn’t another worlsevent that incorporates conferences, exhibitions, shows, testing and multiclass racing.

The Foiling Week mornings are dedicated to Forums. Despite being in competition with each other, the boat constructors and naval engineers get together in the conferences to discuss all the latest news.

It is like being back to brother Wright age with planes: at the beginning it’s essential that pilots and engineers get together to exchange information.

The level of participants was always high. We had Bobby Kleinschmidt, a thirty five year old foiler from team New Zealand who won the Ameica’s Cup in 2017. We also had Paul Larsen with us who held the speed record of 68 knots.

At Foiling Week we also give room to those who are building their own boats as it is from their ideas and prototypes that we get to produce boats.

In the Round Table sessions with constructors, the naval engineers and sailors also talk about safety, sustainability and access that allow everyone and not just expert sailors to have a go at Foiling.

With our Trial and Experience Camp woman and youth sailors between twelve and seventeen years old can try Foiling.

The afternoons see Moths and Waszps racing together with the prototypes, the catamarans, foiling kites and foiling windsurfers. This finishes with the Downwind Race with all the classes together: single and double hander cats, kites and boards all racing together and the fastest over the eight miles races wins.

Moth Foiling Week 2018, Fraglia Vela Malcesine

Finishing with some history, numbers and technical data.

The Moth One Design is a class of open development and it was one of the first foiling boats. This means that with four metres length, two metres width and eight square metres of sail…you can do whatever you want! Therefore, the technological development has been concentrated on speed and the foil resulted from this. Ten years ago the Moth went at 12-13 knots in 12 knots of wind and today it goes at 20 knots.

In the 2017 America’s Cup, the 50 feet boats were faster than the 70 feet boats which shouldn’t be possible. This shows that evolution of the system is high. As yet, there is no hard and fast rule book and there is lots more to discover. The system are getting better and better and it’s amazing what technology lets us do.

There were only a few of us passionate about foiling in the first Foiling Week but this is growing fast and in only two years we were able to take the event to the New York Yacht Club in Newport which is the world capital of yachting and has hosted the America’s Cup for 132 years.

The format of the event is great and works: in 2017 and 2018 there were three foiling weeks world-wide in Malcesine, Miami and Sydney.