Storms Abate for GC32 Racing Tour

Published on October 14th, 2016

Marseille, France (October 14, 2016) – After a day and a half of France’s second city being battered by gale force winds, Marseille One Design, the last event of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, got going this afternoon with three races successfully sailed.

Following this morning’s thunder and lightning, as the last weather front associated with this system edged inland, so the wind dropped to a more modest 10-15 knots and the first race got away at 1541 after one general recall.

Despite the conditions being more reasonable, the race course on Marseille’s Rade Sud was still a minefield with some giant clouds nearby playing havoc with the wind. As Australian match racer Keith Swinton, here in Marseille helming the Japanese GC32 Mamma Aiuto!, observed: “It was shifty and there were some pretty big holes – 6-7 knots in the big ones and up to 18 knots in the puffs. It was challenging…”

This is Swinton’s first time helming a GC32. Nonetheless the Japanese team won today’s second race, finding a favourable shift on the final beat that propelled Mamma Aiuto! out in front. Swinton may be new to the GC32 helm, but up until the beginning of 2015 he called tactics on ARMIN STROM Sailing Team. Compared to then, he observes that there are now: “a lot more boats and everyone is stepping it up, so it makes it all the more pleasing that we seem to be competitive.”

For Marseille One Design, all but one of Mamma Aiuto!’s crew is standing in for regular hands, but this has provided Japanese sailor Federico Sampei (named after Italian film director Federico Fellini) with a chance to compete on the GC32 Racing Tour. Part of the Japanese Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team, Sampei’s only sailing to date has been on a GC32, starting in Japan last December. Today was his first ever yacht race and he was thrilled: “Everyone tells me it is a big step – I am very much enjoying it.”

At the end of day one, 2016 GC32 Racing Tour leader NORAUTO powered by Groupama Team France holds first place at Marseille One Design, after scoring a trio of second place finishes today. The French team’s rival for the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour title, Team Tilt from Switzerland, won the first race, but lacked NORAUTO’s consistency.

“We sailed pretty well in that race,” conceded Team Tilt’s skipper Sebastien Schneiter. “The other two races were a bit more complicated – in the second we got a penalty on the last reach: We were battling with NORAUTO and they did a few match racing moves on us. And in the last race we were over early at the start.” Schneiter acknowledged that it hadn’t been their best day, but Team Tilt’s speed was good and they had manoeuvred well. Nonetheless they currently lie third overall, a point astern of Mamma Aiuto!

Today’s final race was claimed by Team ENGIE, skippered by Sébastien Rogues. Like Team Tilt, Rogues admitted that their performance today lacked consistency with a 8-9 in the first two races. “We didn’t start well and after, when you are behind, it is difficult to recover. We started better in the third race when we won the pin end.”

With the sun getting low in the sky and the wind starting to misbehave, proceedings were halted after three races. Marseille One Design continues tomorrow, when it is likely there will be a wait until the afternoon for the wind to fill in.

Racing is scheduled for October 13 to 16.


Teams competing in the GC32 Racing Tour at Marseille One Design
ARGO (USA) skipper Jason Carroll
ARMIN STROM Sailing Team (SUI) skipper Flavio Marazzi
GUNVOR Sailing (SWE) skipper Gustav Petterson
Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) skipper Pierre Casiraghi
Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) skipper Naofumi Kamei
NORAUTO (FRA) skipper Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Orange Racing (NED) skipper Laurent Lenne (FRA)
Realteam (SUI) skipper Jérôme Clerc
Team ENGIE (FRA) skipper Sébastien Rogues
Team Tilt (SUI) skipper Sébastien Schneiter

2016 GC32 Racing Tour – overall results after four events
2016 GC32 Racing Tour – owner-driver results after four events

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About the GC32 Racing Tour:
2016 is the fourth year of the GC32 Racing Tour and its third since the GC32 was transformed into a foiler over the winter of 2013-4. The GC32 Racing Tour seeks to attract both private owner-driven boats and commercially-backed teams with a circuit aimed at providing the best foiling catamaran experience for participants. This remit includes choosing venues known to provide optimum wind conditions for foiling and race courses large enough to enable the boats to hit maximum speeds.

2016 GC32 Racing Tour schedule
26-29 May: GC32 Riva Cup – Riva del Garda, Italy
7-10 July: GC32 Malcesine Cup at The Foiling Week – Malcesine, Italy
3-6 August: 35 Copa del Rey MAPFRE – Palma de Mallorca, Spain
22-25 September: GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup 2016 – Sotogrande, Spain
13-16 October: Marseille One Design – Marseille, France
Special event: 12-15 May – GC32 Alps Challenge Traunsee match racing – Gmunden, Lake Traunsee, Austria.

Teams for 2016:
ARGO – Jason Carroll (USA)
ARMIN STROM Sailing Team – Flavio Marazzi (SUI)
Gunvor Sailing – Gustav Petterson (SWE)
Malizia – Yacht Club Monaco – Pierre Casiraghi (MON)
Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) – Naofumi Kamei
NORAUTO – Franck Cammas (FRA)
Realteam – Jérôme Clerc (SUI)
Spindrift racing – Yann Guichard (FRA)
Team ENGIE – Sébastien Rogues (FRA)
Team Orange – Laurent Lenne (FRA)
Team Tilt – Sébastien Schneiter (SUI)

About the GC32
The GC32 is a 10m long (12m including bowsprit) by 6m wide foiling catamaran conceived by Laurent Lenne and designed by Dr Martin Fischer, now part of the Groupama Team France design team. It is built in carbon fibre by Premier Composite Technologies in Dubai.

The GC32 is fitted with T-foil rudders and J-shaped daggerboards/foils, conceptually similar to those used on the America’s Cup catamarans, with adjustable rake on all appendages. However relative to the boat’s size, 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, GC32s are fast! Alinghi holds the record with a peak speed of 39.21 knots. Unlike the AC catamarans, the GC32 features a more manageable soft-sail rig and has one design sails. It is demountable with a two piece mast for easy transportation.

Source: Event Media

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