Close and competitive racing will be held in the Gulf of Naples over the next five days. With five competition days scheduled for the Summer Universiade, it’s set to be a tough event, with 16 international teams taking part in 3 races a day.
The Universiade is a four-yearly event which hosts thousands of athletes as the venue steps up to create an Olympic allure. In 2015, Japan topped the medal table, closely followed by the USA. Naples has provided an incredible atmosphere for a vibrant opening ceremony and racing is fast approaching. The event is being hosted by the experienced race team at Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia. The venue is notoriously hot in the summer months, but this gives a great opportunity for the sea breeze to pump in the afternoons.
Sailors will be welcomed from across the globe. There are 16 teams from 13 countries competing, from Australia to Russia, Korea to Spain. There will be a very diverse group of sailors participating in this high-profile event. With most teams being new to the RS21 it has reset the playing field and it will be exciting to see which sailors master the new equipment with ease. The French and Japanese teams have taken the opportunity to get out on the water in the RS21 for both training and racing. Perhaps they will be the teams to beat? Designed with teamwork in mind, every sailor on the boat has a specific role to play and strong communication is key. It is going to be an interesting event to watch unfold.
The new fleet of eight RS21s provides this world-class event with the perfect equipment for heat fleet racing. The hard-to-achieve combination of responsive handling, ergonomic controls, a balanced rig and low sheet loads, the RS21 rewards great sailing but it has a forgiving enough nature to allow a range of ability to enjoy this newly designed boat.
Teams will compete in a fleet of eight identical RS21 boats with a quick-fire heat system. A draw will decide the composition of each flight in the qualifying rounds. At the end of the ranking rounds, the top eight teams will sail the final race to assign the medals. Races will be run under Addendum Q umpired fleet racing, so sailors will have to demonstrate an unwavering knowledge of the racing rules. Races will last approximately 30 minutes, with up to 12 races per day the teams will need to show consistency and endurance to get near the top of the leader board. The Italian Federation will be owning the boats and they will be hosting many more events of this kind; Italy is a great base for the RS21 class in Europe.
It is all to play for and we cannot wait to watch the teams compete in the RS21s.