Members of the FF Voile Youth team pose for a picture after winning the Dubai Duty Free Sailing League Regatta.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
After ending the third day of racing in second place, the French Sailing Federation’s youth team, FF Voile Youth, sailed ahead to win the second annual Dubai Duty Free Sailing League Regatta at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC).
During the first two days of racing, reduced winds forced participants to navigate difficult weather conditions and fierce competition to finish the racecourse.
By the third day of racing, wind conditions improved, and there was decisive movement on the leaderboard as FF Voile Youth moved from third to second place, closing in on SBW, who had been in the lead since day one. Then, during the race’s last day, the France-based team pulled off a stunning upset by overtaking SBW to emerge as the clear winners.
The team was greeted with cheers as they sailed back to shore before leaping into the water triumphantly.
The FF Voile Youth Team’s skipper, Ange Delerce, reflected on the team’s victory, saying, “It’s very amazing to win this regatta because it’s the first time we go to Dubai. It’s a great city with great people — great competitors, and organisations. I’m very happy to win this regatta with my teammates. Before, I practised sailing with just two crew members, so to win this regatta with four crew members — it’s very important for me.”
DOSC’s racing manager, Alan Ruigrok, noted the excellent conditions on the last day of the regatta, saying, “It was a really nice day sailing on the water. The wind was really stable — possibly one of the best days out of the four. We had probably between 7 – 9 knots of winds.”
Regarding the FF Voile Youth Team’s win, he notes, “They were the first boat to win two races in the final series and the overall Dubai Duty Free Sailing League Regatta. It was amazing; on top of that, it was a youth team. It is absolutely fantastic for such a young team to be the winning team as it is a youth team winning this high-level event.”
The FF Voile Youth Team were honoured during the regatta’s closing ceremony, which capped off four days of festivities at DOSC’s Tentola Racing Village. Participants and spectators enjoyed live entertainment, National Day celebrations and a music festival throughout the event.