Italian Red Bull Youth AC contender

Enrico Zennaro and Alessandro Rombelli set up a powerful challenger

Saturday January 12th 2013, Author: Mauro Melandri, Location: Italy

Team-Italy powered by Stig comprises Italy's Under 25 sailing elite aiming to take part in the Selection Series of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, being held in San Francisco over 18-24 February. Already the team has been training on an Extreme 40 catamaran at the Marina di Loano.

Following the conclusion of the first training session held over 5-15 January, Team-Italy powered by Stig will be in Milan on 4 February to officially present itself to the press. From there, it will move back to the Marina di Loano where, from 5-15 February, the young sailors will fine tune their skills prior to heading for San Francisco.

Central to the project is Enrico Zennaro who, in a race against time, has organised a solid and well structured challenge: “Despite the current economic climate, working with Lorenzo Zanotto of Wave On, we managed to gather a pool of sponsors that guaranteed Team-Italy powered by Stig the necessary resources to be on the start line of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup,” explains Zennaro, winner of four world, three European and four Italian titles.

Zennaro stresses that “a decisive factor was the support from Luna Rossa, that provided the Extreme 40 necessary for our training, and Alessandro Rombelli, who as an owner embraced the idea of backing a young team which will face one of the most competitive challenges. From that point, it was a rapid succession of events, culminating in the entry of Gagà Milano as main sponsor and the participation in our project of Yacht Club Marina di Loano, from whom we received unparalleled hospitality and whose burgee we will be flying on the waters of San Francisco.”

Once the project was on track, Enrico Zennaro called Lorenzo Mazza to pick the crew that, according to the rules, has to strictly consist of Under 25 sailors. Mazza, a seven America's Cup veteran and winner of the 32nd with Alinghi, is the coach of this group of some of the most talented Italian young sailors.

Mazza summoned to the Marina di Loano Giovanni Coccoluto, Jas Farneti, Matteo Ferraglia, Simon Sivitz Kosuta, Filippo La Mantia, Francesco Marrai, Alessandro Siviero and Martino Tortarolo: "I think it's an initiative with unique values and it will be a pleasure to try and give the talented young sailors the possibility to achieve their potential in the best way possible. The enthusiasm and desire that marks this group is palpable. From the very outset we have been able to train without any distractions thanks to the support and facilities provided by the Yacht Club Marina di Loano.”

Alessandro Rombelli, Melges 20 world champion and owner of the Stig Mini Maxi, explains what drove him to support the project: “I immediately decided to back the young sailors and their talent within a competition unique in its kind. It's a fascinating challenge and an opportunity not to be missed by the youngsters that were called to be part of the crew. For them it will undoubtedly be a learning experience that will help them grow and prepare them to face even the most competitive racing. In addition, this project allows team Stig to be indirectly exposed to the world of multihulls and technologies that revolve around the America's Cup.”


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