A New Season, More Challenging Than Ever!

Published on

Reading time


As the ETF26 Series gears up for its seventh edition, the sailing community is abuzz with anticipation for what promises to be the most thrilling season yet. With a lineup of five events on the horizon, set to challenge sailors and draw talent from around the globe, excitement is palpable.

A season with reinforced competition


Maxime Grimard, secretary of the ETF26 class, is optimistic about the series’ development this year. “The growth we’ve witnessed is promising,” Grimard remarked. “We’ve welcomed an influx of international teams, including the return of the Rockwool Racing team from SailGP Denmark and the addition of an Italian team. This underscores the growing interest in the ETF26 Series, especially following our consistent presence at Foiling Week over the past four years.”


Everyone aims for the top spot


Matthieu Salomon, skipper of the ETF26 series team “Entreprises du Morbihan”, and winner of last year season, echoed Grimard’s sentiments, noting the heightened competition and team preparations for the upcoming season. Salomon explained. “The new ETF26 series competitors that comes from project like the America’s Cup and SailGP demand immediate competitiveness, and we’re ready to rise to the challenge.” During the winter, the skipper who is also sailing on TF35 and Ocean Fifty worked on his project, finding new partners for the season : ” While more sailing miles of training would be preferable, the team aims to clinch victory at the first event in Murcia!



Salomon emphasized the importance of local events like the Raid Quiberon, which enjoy strong support from passionate sponsors and partners. “Our team is backed by a robust network of local partners, and we’re eager to showcase our skills at Quiberon and other events,” he said. “The upcoming season promises to be our most challenging yet, but we’re ready to embrace the excitement and push ourselves to new heights.


Charles Dorange, skipper of the Blue Shift Sailing Team, also shared his perspective on the season ahead. “Being at the helm of the Blue Shift Sailing Team for the past 4 years has been quite a journey, and I’m thrilled to relaunch the project for another season,” he remarked. “This season looks exceptionally promising with numerous regattas abroad, and the competition lineup is fantastic, featuring teams with remarkable track records. We’ve invested significantly in the project this year, acquiring new sails, a trampoline, and undertaking various improvements over the winter. Our goal is to clinch victory on the circuit for the 2024 season.”



Innovation in Rudder systems 


Mark Rijkse, skipper of the Toroa Racing Team and ETF26 Class President, shed light on the evolution of the ETF26 rudder systems. “The ETF26 is always evolving to stay at the forefront of sailing technology,” Rijkse explained. “In 2023, we introduced rudder rake adjustment to enhance stability on the foils and lower take-off speeds.”

Looking ahead, Rijkse revealed exciting plans for the 2024 season. “We’re currently trialing re-designed main foils with the aim of introducing them fleet-wide for the 2025 season,” he added. “These new foils will enable the ETF26 to foil all the way around the racecourse, a significant development for the class.”

Despite these advancements, Rijkse emphasized the importance of maintaining manual flight and sail controls. “This hands-on approach ensures that victory is earned through talent and dedication,” he noted.

An additional team for the start of the season 


Charles Dorange added “Additionally, I’m involved in the Orient Express Racing Team’s Youth and Women on the America’s Cup,where my role involves setting up the project, selecting athletes, and supporting the athletes in their preparation by providing all available resources to achieve peak performance. We’ll be sailing on the AC40, a cutting-edge foiling monohull. Ahead of this championship, the goal is to sail on as many foiling boats as possible and gain maximum experience. That’s why we turned to the ETF26 series, which offers top-tier competition against international teams—exactly what we’re looking for, a competitive environment akin to the AC40, filled with advanced technology. Therefore, we’ll be participating in the first two races with the women’s team this year.



With a mix of seasoned competitors and rising stars, the ETF26 Series is poised for a season filled with exhilarating races and fierce competition. As sailors from around the world prepare to test their skills on the water, fans can look forward to witnessing unforgettable moments and thrilling battles unfold throughout the season.

Stay tuned as the ETF26 Series embarks on this new journey, promising a spectacle of sailing excellence like never before.


Pin It on Pinterest