Waiheke sailor Serena Woodall gets ready to fly in the 2022 Youth Foiling Gold Cup. Photo Adam Mustil

Waiheke sailing star Serena Woodall will join the world’s best youth foiling athletes in Florida in February to compete in the Youth Gold Foil Cup (YFGC) 2022.

Serena, who was selected to represent New Zealand in this year’s cancelled Youth America’s Cup, has continued to train hard through lockdowns despite a string of event cancellations.

And that focus is paying off: 2022 is shaping up to be busier than ever, with a jam-packed schedule which will see Serena and her team compete in the latest generation fast-foiling monohull boats in locations across Europe and the Unites States.

“We have been invited to race in the whole series next year,” Serena told Gulf News. “The first event is in Miami at the beginning of February, so we’ll be flying out there at the end of January. Then the next event in the series is two months after that so we are going to fly to Palma in Spain where we will find a flat and set ourselves up for a year.

“Hopefully we will get some work to support ourselves through the campaign while we are over there and then the next event is still to be confirmed for the location, but it’s probably going to be Italy.”

The YFGC is an international youth circuit dedicated to mixed/female teams of three or four sailors aged between 18 and 25, all competing in the Persico 69F in an arena for the world’s best youth foiling sailors to test themselves. It’s a welcome challenge says Serena, who became more focused on foiling during training leading to the cancelled Youth America’s Cup.

“We were doing heaps of training still, but obviously lockdown happened and then during lockdown we formed a new team and applied for some competitions overseas,” said Serena. “It [YFGC] is a new world series. They are racing foiling monohulls which are similar to the America’s Cup boats. The Youth America’s Cup boat was designed off the 69F, so the series is kind of like a pathway into America’s Cup sailing or professional sailing careers.
Liza Hamilton

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