The winners of SailGP Inspire’s WASZP racing in Taranto have debriefed the weekend of crazy racing which saw them secure a ticket to the event Grand Final in San Francisco.
Alessio Castellan and Rebecca Geiger picked up the titles as the best performing male and female sailors of SailGP’s Inspire WASZP racing program in Taranto after beating a line-up of talented youth sailors.
Both battled it out over five days of racing, including three days of qualifying races, often dealing with tricky conditions on the same racecourse as the F50s.
“It was an amazing week in Taranto full of adrenaline and new things to learn,” said Castellan, who managed to deploy ‘great starts’ and overcome ‘windy and wavy conditions’ to finish top of the male category.
Geiger agreed, describing the conditions on the first day of the WASZP finals as ‘really at the limit for this boat’.
Both sailors have ambitions to pursue their sport further, with Castellan proposing the addition of an Italian SailGP team tot he league. “My ultimate sailing aim is to one day be able to race in SailGP with an Italian team and potentially to win it,” he said.
Geiger also has desires to pursue her ‘sailing career at a high level’, including the ambition to join an F50 crew. But for now, ‘the Grand Final in San Francisco holds the central focus of the season,’ she said.
The five-day WASZP racing experience in Taranto also saw participants go behind the scenes of the Tech Base, meet SailGP athletes and race on the same course as the F50s.
Geiger described the F50 racing as ‘the best thing I have ever seen in the sailing world’. “The technology, the precision, the vast knowledge of the people within this great project really left me speechless, as well as the impeccable organization,” she said.
Both Castellan and Geiger will go on to compete in the SailGP Inspire WASZP Grand Final - Championship of Champions in San Francisco, where they will battle it out for the ultimate prize against fellow qualifiers from the season.
SailGP Inspire is the community, education and outreach initiative of the global racing league. The program delivery is supported by key partners, including global sponsor Mubadala, and WASZP, Rooster, MarkSetBot, Armstrong, Vakaros and Epropulsion.