The 2022 International WASZP Games – 9 to 16 July – is an event three years in the making, a lot has changed since the last International Games were held in Perth 2019.
More than eight hundred new boats have been sold in that time and the standard of racing has accelerated faster than any of us could have imagined.
Currently there is 170 entries from twenty-six nations with the expectation of a few more before the Games kick off on 11 July at Fraglia Vela Malcesine on Lake Garda.
Ross Banham from the UK claimed the number 1 rank with his tight win at the UK Nationals over current world number 2 Nick Zeltner from Switzerland and Sam Whaley also from the UK is at the top of his game and will be hard to beat.
Francesco Bertone from Italy is the current European Champion having defeated Banham in Spain over Easter. Speaking of Spain, Jaime Framis Harguindey is currently sitting 3rd in the global rankings and has run a very strong campaign in 2022.
Outside of the UK and Europe, 2x Australian National Champion Jack Ferguson will hit the water looking to prove himself in international waters, while Sam Street from New Zealand has a strong track record as well.
We can expect a few upsets over the course of the week, with starting critical in the WASZP class, being able to get off the line will be the number 1 priority for most.
Some of our women sailors are proving that they can really mix it right at the top of the fleet. Mathilde Robertstad finished her Foiling Week campaign with third place in the final race, while Hattie Rogers from the UK and Elise Beavis from New Zealand have proven on numerous occasions, that they can win big races.
It is only a matter of time before they string together a consistent event and claim a podium spot at a tier-one event. We currently have thirty-five women sailors entered in the event, creating a really strong competition within the competition.
The 12 July is allocated purely for SLALOM racing with the International SLALOM Champion to be crowned.
The 13 to 16 July will be championship racing with the fleet split into two racing fleets and one on-water coaching fleet, a new initiative by the class to help upskill sailors new to foiling.