Barcelona, the protagonist of the year of sailing

During 2024, never better said, Barcelona sails at full sail. It is a unique event that the Barcelona Nautical Capital Foundation and the Catalan Sailing Federation are taking advantage of to present several joint projects to promote sailing.

The projects are focused on four axes: inclusive sailing, support for Mini class sailors and training and promotion of foiling among the new generations.

On February 24, the Catalan sailing community gathered at the BISC to announce the collaboration agreement between the Barcelona Nautical Capital Foundation (FBCN) and the Catalan Sailing Federation (FCV). The event was attended, among others, by the Vice President of the Government of Catalonia, Laura Vilagrà, the Councillor for Sports of the Barcelona City Council, David Escudé, the general director of the Barcelona Nautical Capital Foundation, Ignasi Armengol and the president of the Catalan Sailing Federation, Xavier Torres.

The aim of both entities is to grow the practice of sailing in our country making it more inclusive, training new generations and supporting and promoting athletes and competitions with the support of the network of clubs throughout Catalonia.

In a key year for sailing in Catalonia, which is preparing for the celebration of the 37th America’s Cup, the FBCN and the FCV want the passion for this sport and for the sea to reach the whole world, but above all they want this link to continue growing beyond 2024, and the legacy left by the America’s Cup to be of a country undoubtedly of the sea, where the practice of sailing is much more widespread.

The year of sailing

During her speech, the Vice President of the Government, Laura Vilagrà Pons, pointed out that this “will be the great year of sailing in Catalonia with the participation of Catalan athletes in the Olympic Games in Paris and the organization of the America’s Cup”.

For Councilman David Escudé “this agreement will allow sailing to grow in a key year in which we have the goal of making this sport reach the whole world. Above all, we want this link between Barcelona and Catalonia with sailing and nautical sports to continue to grow and the legacy left by the America’s Cup to reach all the citizens.”

The general director of the Barcelona Nautical Capital Foundation, Ignasi Armengol said: “these projects are the confirmation of a shared purpose between the Barcelona Nautical Capital Foundation -and its patrons- with the Catalan Sailing Federation and the nautical community to take the sector and the sport of sailing further and reach the maximum number of people throughout the territory”.

The president of the Catalan Sailing Federation, Xavier Torres stressed that “this agreement should help the America’s Cup leave a sporting and promotional legacy not only in the city of Barcelona, but throughout Catalonia. We already have the structure and infrastructure: the clubs and sailing schools of Catalan sailing.”

The collaboration between the FBCN and the FCV focuses on four areas of work: inclusive sailing, promotion of sailing in the Mini class, promotion of foiling and training of new generations in this class.

A sea open to everyone with more inclusive sailing

Inclusive Sea is an inclusive sailing program that aims to help clubs, trainers and athletes to ensure that the sport of sailing reaches everyone, without exception, and to guarantee that athletes can practice sailing with accessibility and autonomy. In order to achieve this, a series of actions have been defined, ranging from the promotion of sailing; the attraction of new users through a greater and better offer of courses and sailing activities for people with any level of functional diversity; technical staff will be trained in this field and will offer greater support, in addition to updating the good practice guides. In the competitive field, practical training clinics will be held and new competitions will be created to attract new participants. In addition, support will be given to the promotion of athletes already established in this field and in the organization of the Spanish Open Championship of Hansa and the first Catalan Cup of adapted sailing in L’Escala. This project is carried out together with My Alex Foundation and all the necessary support will be given to the Catalan clubs so that they can include inclusive sailing in their activities.

Support for the Mini Barcelona class sailors.

The agreement between the FBCN and the FCV also wants to give continuity to the offshore sailing of the Mini class sailors based in the Catalan territory, which has achieved so much this year. The goal is to professionalize this class and attract more sailors. This will be helped by the greater connection with the programs carried out by the FCV in collaboration with the Catalan clubs, thanks to the fact that the Mini Base is now located at the BISC.

Foil with denomination of origin.

The foil is one of the most important design innovations to have emerged in the sport of sailing. The use of these hydrofoils allows boats to fly above the water and sailors to enjoy new sensations. In fact, thanks to the growing interest in competitions such as the America’s Cup or SailGP, more and more clubs and athletes are becoming interested in foiling. In this context, the FoilCat project was born, with the aim of bringing foiling closer to Catalan sailors and creating a new generation of sailors. To this end, the project includes training for those who have basic knowledge of sailing to learn to “foil” through training sessions in different clubs in Catalonia. In addition, we want to support professionals who can represent Catalonia in foiling events so that Catalan sailing continues to be a reference in all its aspects.

First Catalan women’s foiling team

In this edition of the America’s Cup, where for the first time there will be a women’s category, the FBCN and the FCV, with the support of the clubs of Catalonia, present the first Catalan women’s foiling team. After a selection process among all the clubs of Catalonia in which about 30 women chose to be part of this team, finally 6 women have been selected and will be part of this pioneer team: Montse Solé (Club Náutico Vilassar de Mar), Iset Segura (Club Náutico Vilassar de Mar), Laura Pedraza (Club Náutico Arenys de Mar), Marina Giralt (Club Náutico Vilassar de Mar), Emma Cabré (Club Náutico el Masnou) and Mònica Veenhoven (Club Náutico el Baliz). With the support of Club Náutico Vilassar, this team has already started the first training sessions.

A sailing league between schools

This is a children’s sailing project that is being worked on and is expected to be active in the coming months and will be key to raising awareness of sailing to new generations. With a format that will popularize in a plural, accessible and egalitarian way the sport of sailing among the schools of the Catalan coast.

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