February 15, 2023
Youth and speed came together for Canadian 69F Team Volaire at the Youth Foiling Gold Cup series event in Miami Florida this past January. The 69F Youth Foiling Gold Cup is a worldwide circuit for sailors under 25 years old. The boat has recently been designated as the training platform for the American Magic youth and women’s programs in order to prepare sailors for the next Americas Cup, so the series attracts some of the best racers from around the world. The boats are rotated for each race.
Proudly flying the Canadian Flag, Team Volaire is comprised of some of the youngest sailors in the series: Canadian skipper Caspar Lenz Anderson; Canadian flight controller Lilly Rainham, and Italian (but honorary Canadian) mainsheet trimmer Federico Colaninno.
The other Canadians in the event were Team We CAN Foil, with the support of Canada SailGP Team with crew with Jackson Macaulay, Rachel Betschart, Andreas Steintz and Andrew Chisholm.
The Persico 69F is a unique one-design full carbon prepreg foiling boat built by the renowned shipyard Persico Marine. The boat is 6.9m long, 3.58m wide rack to rack, with 69m2 of total sail area, and is extremely light (380kg) which allows for some fast speeds. In fact, Team Volaire was thrilled to get their boat flying at over 30 knots while navigating Miami’s Biscayne Bay.
These speeds are not quite what the Canadians are used to. The Volaire team’s seventeen-year-old Caspar Lenz Anderson started his career on i420s and J/70s, but has more recently focused his training on Nacra and Waszp sailing. He had the privilege of attending the SailGP Canada Development Talent Identification Camp in 2022 where he met Lilly and the idea of a Canadian 69F team began to form. Lilly Rainham, also 17, had her first foray into foiling when she was invited to attend the SailGP Inspire Program in Chicago in June 2022 and became “addicted to the speed”. When she is not foiling, she can be found training and competing as an ILCA 6 sailor as a member of the Sail Canada Youth Development Squad and the East Coast ILCA team.
Although quite young, Team Volaire are tenacious and smart competitors diligently reading rule books, watching videos on technique, and training on the water every chance they get! The crew of Volaire are most at ease when on the boat — so many people have that they are always smiling and having a ton of fun. Perhaps their strong sailing foundations, being good sports, and their deep love for being on the water were the perfect combination that allowed Team Volaire to be the first Canadian team to ever make it to the finals of a 69F youth regatta.
Team Volaire will get the chance to compete in the circuit again in France (May), and Italy (August) and are showing real potential to make their mark and qualify for the final regatta in Spain (November). With the vision to be a competitive youth team who are role models and mentors both on and off the water, we think that they are winners already, but we intend to follow their progress anyway throughout the year and she what this formidable Canadian team can do! Follow “volaireracing” on Instagram.
Youth Foiling Gold Cup 2023 – Photo © Alejandro Cruz