After six years of Laser Radial sailing, Italy's Francesca Clapcich has swapped the one-person dinghy for the adrenaline fuelled women's skiff, the 49erFX.
sailed at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition where she finished 19th, and after years of dedicating her life to the dinghy the time was right to step away, "I had always sailed alone so I wanted to change my view point of view,"
said Clapcich. "I love the sport in general and the skiff is a very hard boat, where fitness is as important as the training. I haven't got the motivation to follow Laser sailing anymore and now I feel re-born with this new project."
Joining Clapcich as helm of the boat is Giulia Conti, who sailed the Women's 470 at London 2012 and for Clapcich the choice of who to sail the two-person skiff with was an easy one, "We know other very well and we always said that it would be great to sail together. After London 2012 we decided to start sailing together. We have a very good friendship; we have fun sailing and enjoy what we do."
Sailing alongside Giulia Conti, Clapcich has been training hard in the boat throughout the winter on Lake Garda and at their first regatta together, the 49erFX North Americans, they finished second overall. On the new partnership Clapcich added, "She [Conti] is very professional when we sail and she always wants to improve. The first thing that we said to each other was, 'We have to be professional in what we do but always have fun'."
With the 49erFX there is fun in abundance and Clapcich is have a blast in the boat, "It's very fast, very hard and very funny. It's a really good boat because we can sail with the men in the 49er and improve with them. The difference in speed is not very big and it is always a good test with the men. Also the fact that we use the same boat with only a different rig is very good for travel, we can charter a boat and use a personal rig."
Conti and Clapcich will be action at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami starting on Monday.
View the full entry list here.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Website