Olympic athletes and world champions Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich launch the Equal Sailing project. An initiative that aims to promote a fair and competitive environment for all professional sailors: men and women.
A project that aims to reduce the gender gap in the sailing world by offering training sessions and opening the doors to top-level regattas to the best female sailors.
The career opportunities offered by Equal Sailing include the chance to participate in the 69F Academy initiative, where a selection of the world’s best female sailors (20% of whom are chosen from among the most promising U25s) will be able to develop fundamental skills on board the 69F, a high-performance foiling yacht and the only flying monohull other than the AC75. The 69F Academy training courses last 6 days and take place before each Persico 69F Cup event and will also be linked to other regattas including the Youth Foiling Gold Cup.
“I am thrilled and very proud to see how far we have come. It seems like only yesterday when Francesca and I were sitting around discussing how we could try and make a difference,” commented co-founder Giulia Conti – Roman, world and European champion, four-time Olympic athlete in three classes and coach of the US FX team for Tokyo 2020. “Now we already have a full roster of exceptional female sailors and two events around the corner: the 69F Youth Foiling Gold Cup in Cagliari (Sardinia – Italy) and the 69F Foil Cup, an event for professional sailors, in Sferracavallo (Palermo – Sicily). It’s really exciting to be able to create opportunities and involve so many women sailors of this calibre from all over the world”.
“Giving life to this project with Giulia is a dream come true,” continues Francesca Clapcich – co-founder, from Trieste, world champion, Olympic athlete, Ocean Race sailor and the first Italian sailor to finish the Solitaire du Figaro. “The two of us are friends and close teammates. We have experienced first-hand how difficult it can be to go from being a successful dinghy sailor to developing a career in the sport we love. It shouldn’t be that way and that’s why, with Equal Sailing, we want to provide real opportunities for top female sailors looking to pursue a career in professional sailing and make it easier for future generations to reach their full potential. To do this we need partners who want to support our project and help make a difference in our sport.”
The first event for Equal Sailing will be the 69F Youth Foiling Gold Cup, scheduled from 21 to 31 October in Cagliari. The team members will be Silvia Mas (ESP) – 470W World Champion 2021 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic athlete, Paula Barcelo (ESP) – 49erFX World Champion 2020 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic athlete, Sena Takano (JPN) – 49erFX Tokyo 2020 Olympic athlete and member of the JPN SailGP Team, Jana Germani (ITA) – 2021 49erFX Youth World Champion, and Eugenia Bosco (ARG) – silver medallist at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima (Nacra 17) and currently training for Paris 2024.
The 69F Foil Cup (12 – 14 November Sferracavallo, Palermo) will be attended by Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) – gold medallist at London 2012 (match race), two-time 49erFX World Champion and member of the MAPFRE team during the last edition of the Ocean Race, and Paula Barcelo (ESP) – Tamara’s 49erFX teammate.
(Equal Sailing, the new project of world champions Clapcich and Conti – barchemgazine.com – October 2021)