The Foiling Week 2023 brought together hundreds of sailors from around the globe, perfect conditions at Lake Garda, and, for the first time, Vakaros! Foiling is driving huge growth and interest in sailing, and we were excited to work with an event that has played such a big role in making that happen. Coming in to a new event for the first time, we weren't sure exactly what to expect. Foiling Week is part regatta, part festival, and unlike any other event we've attended.
The 2023 edition brought together Moths, WASZPS, ETF26s, 69Fs, Flying Phantoms, iQ Foils, Wing Foils, suMoths, and more, for 10 epic days on Lake Garda. The core of the event was based out of the amazing Fraglia Vela Malcesine sailing center, just north of Malcesine on the east side of Lake Garda. The iQ class completed its Youth Europeans simultaneously, with its 400 (!!) sailors needing more space and sailing out of Circolo Surf Torbole on the north end of the lake.
Lake Garda lived up to the hype, delivering reliable breeze and near-perfect conditions every day. Two winds define each day: the Pelèr, which fills from the north overnight and blows until mid-morning, and the Ora, which fills from the south around midday, and builds throughout the afternoon. The cadence of these breezes created a natural, relaxed rhythm to each day, racing starting no earlier than 1:00 on most days.
We organized Atlas 2 demos for sailors from every fleet, including the highly popular Vakaros Moth Demo Challenge, which saw 25 sailors demo an Atlas 2 for the duration of the event. Kiwi Moth sailor Seb Menzies won the challenge, finishing an impressive 5th overall and taking home a brand new Atlas 2.
Lake Garda is also known for being a challenging location for GPS, due to the high mountains on either side of the lake. We were eager to put RaceSense to the test to see how the dual-band GNSS in the Atlas 2 handled the environment. We worked with ETF26, Flying Phantom, and 69F classes, equipping each boat and running their racing, and we were thrilled with the performance. Even with starting lines directly below a 1000 m cliff, the OCS calls and system performance were excellent.
One of the other major highlights for our team was spending some time together, in person! Vakaros is a fully remote company, so some of us were meeting for the first time, despite having worked together for months or longer. We also had a chance to chat with a few of our amazing ambassadors and team riders sailing in the event. We had a fantastic time at Foiling Week 2023, and can't wait to be back next year!