Inaugural GC32 Championship in Oman
Published on January 18th, 2017
Muscat, Oman (January 18, 2017) – A joint gathering of the international fleets of GC32 one design foiling catamarans is to take place at the GC32 Championship in Muscat, Oman over February 27 to March 5, 2017. This will be the first occasion ever that the GC32 Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series™ fleets have combined to lock horns on the race course. The GC32 Championship 2017 will be one of the largest ever gatherings of one design foiling catamarans.
The winning team will be crowned GC32 Champion for 2017 and will receive the GC32 Championship Perpetual Trophy.
The GC32 Championship 2017 will be held out of the Al Mouj Marina (aka The Wave, Muscat; for many years sponsor of a team on the Extreme Sailing Series), on the outskirts of Muscat, where Oman Sail has its headquarters. The event will precede Act 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series which takes place March 8 – 11, 2017.
Run by the GC32 International Class Association, the joint organising authority with Extreme Sailing Series organizers and owners OC Sport, and hosted by Oman Sail, racing at the GC32 Championship 2017 will take place over five days, from Tuesday, 28 February until Sunday, 5 March, with a layday on the Thursday and practice races held on Monday, 27 February. A maximum of five races will be sailed each day, dependent on conditions. Two races areas will be used for the event: ‘Alpha’ – off Al Mouj Marina and ‘Bravo’, further along the coast, off Muttrah, Muscat’s old town.
Flavio Marazzi, President of the GC32 International Class Association commented: “There are a lot of GC32s in the world now and ideally we want them all to join in. It would be nice to get all the different teams at the same event for once. It will be fun to sail together.”
GC32s currently are campaigned by teams from France, Switzerland, Denmark, UK, USA, Japan, New Zealand, China, Oman, Austria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Turkey and Argentina.
The aim for the GC32 Championship is for it to become an annual event.
OC Sport’s Andy Tourell, Event Director of the Extreme Sailing Series, commented: “Each of the two circuits has its own position in the sailing world, but with the GC32 you have a one design platform so getting as many boats as possible on the start line is fantastic, it amplifies it for everyone competing.
“Muscat has been chosen this year because the Extreme Sailing Series has been going there for the last seven years. That time in the year has historically delivered some incredible sailing conditions. Plus we have all of the infrastructure and support from Oman Sail, which will provide the platform for an amazing championship event.”
Christian Scherrer, Class Manager and Manager of the GC32 Racing Tour, said: “I am very much looking forward to the first combined GC32 Championship and seeing the two fleets of the GC32 Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series racing together. It’s a long-awaited step in the development of the GC32 Class. We hope that Oman will live up to expectations and lay on some good weather for us.”
Oman is the perfect venue for yacht racing over the winter months in the Northern hemisphere. Typically off Muscat a sea breeze builds to 10-12 knots and occasionally as much as 15 in the afternoon, developing a slightly choppy sea state – perfect conditions for foil-borne catamaran racing – while the air temperature is in the low 20s, similar to that of summer time in Europe.
In addition to the main GC32 Championship title, there will be a separate ranking and trophy for owner-drivers taking part.
About the GC32 International Class Association
Founded by Laurent Lenne, Flavio Marazzi, Andrew MacPherson and Christian Peer in 2014, GC32 International Class Association’s role is to administer, oversee and promote regattas and the other sailing activities of the GC32 catamaran internationally. Run under World Sailing (ISAF) guidelines, the GC32 International Class Association is mandated with maintaining the one design integrity of the GC32 catamaran via its class rules and regulations.
The GC32 is a strict one design, but occasionally, via its AGM, the Class Association permits reasonable and modest modernisation of the GC32, in order to ensure that its racing remains competitive of the highest quality. Flavio Marazzi is President of the Class and Christian Scherrer, Class Manager.
GC32 International Class Association
About the Extreme Sailing Series
In 2007, OC Sport established the Extreme Sailing Series™, the pioneering Stadium Racing circuit designed for spectators, delivering high-performance action close to shore. Attracting some of the world’s very best sailors racing GC32 hydro-foiling catamarans on short courses around the globe, the Extreme Sailing Series™ also delivers a unique and bespoke VIP experience, with guests racing on board during the races.
Extreme Sailing Series
About the GC32 Racing Tour
Into its third season this year, the GC32 Racing Tour attracts 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. In 2017, the GC32 Racing Tour will visit five venues across southern Europe, including Lake Garda, Copa del Rey in Palma de Majorca concluding with Marseille One Design in mid-October.
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! Team Tilt holds the GC32 record with a peak speed of 39.7 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: Sailing Intelligence