Alinghi joins Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

Published on March 24th, 2015

Ernesto Bertarelli has done it with keels, he has done it on multihulls, and now he is ready to do it on foils as his Alinghi team enters the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour.

In his first attempt, Bertarelli’s Alinghi team won the America’s Cup in 2003 in Auckland under the colours of the Société Nautique de Genève. On behalf of the club, Alinghi then organised the 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, considered by many to be the best ever edition, and at which Alinghi successfully defended its title in an epic battle against Emirates Team New Zealand.

However, despite Alinghi’s many successes in monohull racing (Maxi One Design, Farr 40, 12mJI, Corel 45, ACC), Bertarelli has also been more than present on the multihull stage since 1993.

Bertarelli may have soured on the new multihull America’s Cup due to his legal battles with current defense owner Larry Ellison, but his team competes successfully in the Decision 35 class on Lake Geneva, and in 2014 his team won the international multihull global tour, the Extreme Sailing Series. And now in 2015, they will be setting their sights on the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour, which uses the one design foiling GC32.

For its size, the GC32 one-design catamaran has unprecedented performance for a boat of its size, able to ‘fly’ in just eight knots of true wind speed and capable of speeds well in excess of 30 knots. This carbon dragonfly has already demonstrated to top-class sailors across the sport its pace, power and ability to ratchet up excitement levels.

“During the course of our adventures, our passion for the sport and for cutting-edge technology has been undimmed,” explained Bertarelli. “Sailing in three dimensions will of course be a new challenge for all of us, but it is an exciting one and the opportunity to learn and then master a new type of boat is one that we couldn’t miss. The GC32, as with the D35 and the X40, is a strict one-design class. That’s very important to me, because it means that the racing is not about the equipment we use, but about how the crew works together on the water. It is true competition.”

The Alinghi 2015 GC32 crew will be: Ernesto Bertarelli (Helm), sharing the duties with Morgan Larson, who led Alinghi to the victory in the Extreme Sailing Series in 2014, Nicolas Charbonnier (Tactician), Pierre-Yves Jorand (Mainsail), Nils Frei (Trim) and Yves Detrey (Bow).

GC32 Class Association President Flavio Marazzi believes the GC32 design has huge potentials to attract teams from right across the yacht racing world. “Ernesto Bertarelli and his team have a two decade-long history in catamaran racing on Lake Geneva as well as on the 90ft catamaran they sailed in the 33rd America’s Cup in Valencia. I believe that all other GC32 teams will highly profit from witnessing their skill and level of preparation, pushing the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour to the next level.”

Source: Tour media

GC32 Racing Tour 2015
27-31 May: Austria Cup – Lake Traunsee, Austria
24-27 June: Cowes Cup – Cowes, UK
29 July-2 August: Kiel, Germany
27-30 August: Rome Cup – Fiumicino, Rome, Italy
30 September-3 October: Marseille One Design – Marseille, France
Event Website: www.gc32racing.com

Background: The GC32 is a 10m long (12m including bowsprit) by 6m wide foiling catamaran designed by Dr. Martin Fischer. Fischer has previously been behind the leading Capricorn, Hobie Wildcat and Phantom F18 catamaran designs and was part of the design teams behind the Groupama ORMA 60, maxi-trimaran, VO70s and Groupama C C-Class catamaran. He is a designer for the Luna Rossa Challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.

With structural engineering carried out by Brett Ellis (ex-Alinghi/Luna Rossa), the boat is built in carbon fibre throughout by Premier Composite Technology in Dubai, builder of the Carkeek 40HP, 47HP and 60 and the Farr 400.

The foils are manufactured by Heol Composites in France: The GC32 features T-foil rudders and J-shaped daggerboards/foils, similar in concept to those used on the AC72 America’s Cup catamarans. However relative to the size of the boat, the foils are substantially larger, allowing the GC32 to foil even in low wind speeds and with much great stability and ease. Despite having big foils, the GC32 has already recorded a top speed of 37.9 knots.

Unlike the AC catamarans the boat features a more manageable soft-sail rig with one design sails from North Sails France, carbon fiber spars from Southern Spars and composite standing rigging from Easyrigging. The boat is demountable with a two-piece mast for easy transportation.

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