First iQFOiL Youth & Junior titles to be won this July
From July 26-31, a historical event will take place on Lake Garda, Italy. Over 260 young racers will take part in the first ever iQFOiL Youth & Junior World Championships.
The new iQFOiL Youth & Junior class will offer a racing experience for young competitors that is similar to the iQFOiL senior class.
To find out more, we did a Q&A with iQFOiL class manager Gonzalo Costa Hoevel.
Q. When did iQFOiL Youth & Junior become a reality?
A. After a successful first year of races and clinics all around the world last year, the class got official World Sailing status beginning of 2021.
Q. How are the age groups divided?
A. You are youth if you’re under 19 years old and junior if you’re under 17 years old. At events such as the Y&J iQFOiL worlds this month, there will also be a U15 prize although it won’t be an official title.
Q. What gear do U17 and U19 sailors use?
Both age groups share the same board, the iQFOiL 85, so you will have one board for more than at least 4 years.
Most of the foil components are the same as well, just a change of 900 front wing when going from U17 to U19.
The rigs are the 5.0, 6.0,7.0 FGO (very similar to Severne FoilGlide 2) for the U17. You can choose two out of the rigs for competing. This rig is extremely light and easy to handle due to the RDM mast and the GO 170 boom (see details here).
The U19 division uses the HGO 8.0 rig, the same as the women senior fleet, but with an alloy boom; the GO 186.
Q. The iQFOiL junior class uses a Severne FGO rig specifically designed for the class. Could you tell us more about it?
A. The FGO is extremely lightweight and comes with strong reinforcements in vital stress areas. In fact, the whole rig is designed for easy handling and easy entry into the class. The Severne GO 170 boom has a V grip design – perfect for smaller hands. Also the FGO rigs on an RDM mast. All combined, you’ve got an extremely easy-to-use rig that kids can handle without difficulty.
Q. How about the pathway from junior to senior? How easily can young riders transition onto the senior class?
A. The board remains the same throughout U17 and U19, as well as, some parts of the foil and rig. The cost of transition remains pretty low when going from U17 to U19, and then it has a slight increase when getting into the iQFOiL Olympic Class.
Most important is that the transition is really easy and smooth, we have seen many sailors of 18 years old already winning races in the senior fleet, something that was very unlikely in a class like RSX. This is partly possible because the equipment used in transitioning from youth to senior is so similar, that the skills you develop coming up as a junior and youth are the same you need on the iQFOiL senior gear; so the adaptation is really quick. No time wasted keeping the young athletes on full action mode for their Olympic dreams.
Q. How many are registered so far for this year’s worlds?
A. At the moment we have 264 sailors from 23 nations and four different continents. That is pretty impressive for a first time event!
Q. Why is this new class attractive for young riders, as well as, nations around the world?
A. iQFOiL Youth and Junior is a class where young sailors can have their first foiling racing experience, at a super affordable package, and at a very young age. So we are getting a lot of optimist sailors, as well as, other boats on top of the girls and guys that were already windsurfing on other boards.
In sailing it’s all about foiling these days, and the iQFOiL Y&J will give you that adrenaline foiling racing feel at a super early stage on your sailing career.
Q. How can we follow the event?
A. You can visit https://iqfoilyouthjuniorclass.org/worlds2021/ for the most up to date information. Remember the dates are July 26-31 2021.
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