The Young Azzurra programme was launched in 2020, with the aim of forming an Italian team to take part in the Youth America's Cup in Auckland, later cancelled due to the pandemic. Despite this cancellation, the project continued throughout 2021, with participation in the alternative Youth Foiling Gold Cup circuit and the Grand Prix Persico 69F, concluding with the Grand Finale in Cagliari, Sardinia, in November 2021.
During the YCCS press conference, the next phase of the Young Azzurra project was presented, no longer focused on the world of foiling. The Young Azzurra project is now taking a course in which the YCCS undertakes to support up to a maximum of four young sailing talents, for the 2021/2024 Olympic period. There will be a particular focus on Sardinian athletes who aim to participate in national, European and World Championships, and in the Olympic Games.
The selection of the athletes is taking place in collaboration with the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV), and in particular Zone III (Sardinia), together with an internal committee at the YCCS. The first athlete to have been selected is Cesare Barabino, a promising Italian sailor, the youngest to be part of the Olympic ILCA 7 team (former Laser class), who the YCCS had decided to support on his path to the Olympics as an up-and-coming Sardinian talent.
Michael Illbruck, YCCS Commodore: "Projects such as Young Azzurra, which invest in young people, allow us to look to the future with hope. Fair winds to everyone.”