GC32 Racing Tour resumes in Italy

Published on June 27th, 2017

Seven teams are about to be unleashed at the GC32 Villasimius Cup, the second stage of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour, with high-speed foiling competition due to kick off on Wednesday June 28 in Sardinia. Having arrived at the spectacular Marina di Villasimius, some of these experienced competitors are wondering why there has never been a major international regatta here before.

Today the crews took full advantage of some practice racing in beautiful sailing conditions with moderate breeze from the south-west, under blues skies and about air temperature of 36 degrees Celsius. It was a preview of what is expected in the coming days, with the wind blowing at 15 knots during the early afternoon but dropping away to 10 knots later on. The challenge here, if the wind is from the south, could be sea state.

Jérôme Clerc and Realteam are the form crew right now, having won the first event of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour a few weeks ago in Riva del Garda. “We’re feeling ready to go, but we know we need to be careful how we sail the boat if the waves are in,” said the Swiss skipper. “There is a forecast for strong wind from the south, so we need to be careful of nosediving downwind in the waves. We might need to back off on the speed a little.”

Iker Martinez and his Movistar-Ventana Group team are looking to step up from what the double Olympic medallist admits was a disappointing performance in Garda. “We have had two good days of training here, we would have liked to do more, but we are improving our manoeuvres which are going to be critical in the racing,” said Martinez, who is pleased to have his tactician, Guatemalan Olympic sailor Juan Ignacio Maegli, back on board after recovering from a back operation.

Martinez’s campaign is being supported in its participation at the GC32 Villasimius Cup by Ventana Group, the Turin-based meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions company with whom the GC32 Racing Tour has partnered for a second season in the organisation of its Italian events.

Principal race officer Stuart Childerley, himself a former Olympic representative for Great Britain in the Finn, is keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast for the week. “There are signs of it being a little on the windy side although we have a few options for how we set up the race course so I’m hoping we’ll be able to give the teams some great racing, whilst keeping safety as a priority. Also the Capo Carbonara is a protected marine area because it’s a beautiful place, although this also means we have to be careful about where we drop the anchor.”

Childerley is working closely with the host club, Lega Navale Italiana Sezione Villasimius, to deliver the best possible competition for the sailors.

The sailing teams are looking forward to opening up the throttle at an incredible venue for some high-speed foil-borne racing. “The air temperature is amazing, but the water is so warm too. We don’t mind getting wet here,” said Clerc, speaking at the GC32 Valtur Tanka Lounge before he set out on the water. “We’re looking forward to a great regatta here.”

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GC32 Villasimius Cup – team line-up
Team Argo (USA) – Jason Carroll
ARMIN STROM Sailing Team (SUI) – Flavio Marazzi
Team ENGIE (FRA) – Sebastien Rogues
Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) – Pierre Casiraghi
Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) – Naofumi Kamei
Movistar – Ventana Group (ESP) – Iker Martinez
Realteam (SUI) – Jérôme Clerc

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2017 GC32 Racing Tour
May 11-14 – GC32 Riva Cup / Riva del Garda, Italy
June 28-July 1 – TBA
August 2-5 – 36 Copa del Rey / Palma de Mallorca, Spain
September 13-16 – TBA
October 12-15 – Marseille One Design / Marseille, France

About the GC32 Racing Tour:
2017 will be the fifth year of the GC32 Racing Tour and its fourth since the GC32 was transformed into a foiler over the winter of 2013-14. 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.

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: Sailing Intelligence

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