Energisa Juntos

Wind in the sails: Energisa boosts young sailing champion duo

Energisa expands its support for sailing athletes and sponsors Joana Gonçalves and Gabriela Vassel, gold medalists at the 2023 Youth World Championships

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Brazil

In various mythologies, the power of the air is the domain of powerful gods. In Yoruba mythology, it was Iansã who blew the winds, warding off evil and providing protection. In ancient Greece, it was Aeolus who stirred the air with the power granted by Zeus. From ancient legends to modern wind turbines, the power of the wind pushes us to go further and further.

It is this same power that a young duo is using to sail into the future. Sponsored by Energisa, the team made up of Joana Gonçalves and Gabriela Vassel, both 18, have just won the women's 420 class at the 2023 Youth World Championships, held in the waters off Búzios, in Rio de Janeiro.

The event brought together more than 400 sailors from 62 countries in the city on the Rio de Janeiro coast, which was also the stage for the first title won by two-time Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze in 2009. This experienced duo, who are also sponsored by Energisa, were the last to win a sailing gold medal for Brazil at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in the 49erFX class.

Future Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze at the Youth World Championships in 2009 Future Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze at the Youth World Championships in 2009

Sailing is the sport that has brought the most gold medals to Brazil at the Olympics, with a total of 19 medals, 8 of them gold. Inspired by the success of this sport, Energisa wants to renew the energy of Brazilian water sports by investing in youth sailing.

A highlight of Brazilian sailing is the grassroots program run by the Brazilian Sailing Confederation - CBVela, together with the Ministry of Sport. The project, also sponsored by the Energisa Group, helps to promote the sport. Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 are received at the Marina da Glória (Rio 2016 headquarters) or at the Clube Naval in Charitas, Niterói, for training with a view to national and international Youth Sailing competitions. The work leads young athletes to improve in the sport, with the aim of taking them to high performance, including participation in Olympic and Pan-American classes.

The hard work is paying off. Made up of 13 athletes, the Brazilian team did well in the competition known for revealing Olympic, Pan-American and world champions such as Robert Scheidt, the aforementioned Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze, as well as Ricardo Winicki. The team went through a CBVela training camp held weeks earlier on the same course as the World Cup, and competed with determination in the more than 140 regattas that make up the circuit. Brazil also won fourth place in the 420 mixed category, with Lucas Freitas and Victoria Back. Check out the full results of the tournament.

Our youth champions Joana and Gabriela were at the front from day one and told us how exciting it was to win gold:

Winning at home is even more special. The championship was beautiful! - celebrated Joana.

It was an important achievement for us, as we trained together throughout the year in the same lane in Búzios. The feeling of winning this title is incredible and now we're off to the South American Championships at the end of the month - continued Gabriela.

Our prodigy girls don't stop. To give you an idea of their busy schedule, in January they won the Brazilian 420 class in Porto Alegre, one of the gateways to the Olympic classes. In July, they stood on the podium of the World Open Championship in Alicante, Spain, with a silver medal. Finally, he was crowned at home with first place at the Youth World Championships, ending the season on a high note.

With the energy of the winds and the sponsorship of Energisa, the strength of youth sailing is renewing Brazil's hopes for new achievements in the future, preparing a new generation of sailors to sail with excellence in any competition.

Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze accompany Joana Gonçalves and Gabriela Vassel at the Youth World Cup 2023Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze accompany Joana Gonçalves and Gabriela Vassel at the Youth World Cup 2023

Sponsorship, Sport, Sailing

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