GC32 Racing: Team Argo Seizes Early Advantage

Published on June 29th, 2017

Villasimius, Italy (June 29, 2017) – Jason Carroll expertly steered his Argonauts to an early lead at the GC32 Villasimius Cup in Southern Sardinia today. The second stage of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour got underway with four races in breeze ranging from 10 to 20 knots on flat water, and Team Argo from the USA won the second race and always finished in the top three.

“We liked the committee boat end of the start line,” said Carroll, who also leads the standings for the Owner Drivers division. “As always starting was a key moment because you have the best of the choices on the race course for the rest of the race.”

There were a lot of smiles after racing this afternoon. The principal race officer Stuart Childerley had called for an early start at 10am this morning, for fear of the wind and the wave state building up too much for the high-flying, fast-foiling GC32s. As he motored out of the Marina di Villasimius, Childerley was alarmed at the waves rolling into the bay, but he pressed on with his plan to motor round Capo Carbonara and was delighted to find much flatter water in the eastern bay on the other side of the Cape and looking back on to the beautiful beach of the Valtur Tanka resort. It wasn’t just sailable, it was pretty much spot on for GC32 racing.

Iker Martinez was looking to make amends for a disappointing showing at the GC32 Riva Cup at Lake Garda a month ago. The Spanish double Olympic medallist was fast out of the blocks and steered Movistar-Ventana Group to an early lead and won race one. The rest of the day was a good one for the Spanish crew and Martinez said the difference was having his tactician back on board, Guatemalan Olympic representative Juan Ignacio Maegli. “This was my first race since last year’s Olympics,” smiled Maegli. “It’s a nice way to come back to racing again.”

The two other race winners today were Jérôme Clerc’s Realteam, winner of the previous event in Riva, and Mamma Aiuto! skippered by Naofumi Kamei, another Owner Driver who was outperforming the pros today. French crewman on the Japanese boat, Hervé Cunningham, couldn’t quite believe the sailing conditions in Villasimius. “Just beautiful sailing today, the water is so blue, you can see the fish, we’re surrounded by the mountains, the beaches. It was just magical.” Cunningham and his fellow crew weren’t just looking around at the scenery though, they also raced very effectively and sit in third overall, tied for points with the Spanish in second.

Team Engie sailed a consistent day in the middle of the pack, but it was a struggle for Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco and Armin Strom. Flavio Marazzi’s crew were the only team to opt for the smaller jib in anticipation of the strong wind arriving, but it never kicked in as much as the forecast had suggested and the Swiss crew struggled to make an impact today.

Friday’s forecast looks very fluky with the wind looking like it could come from any direction. From 4pm onwards a stronger northerly breeze is expected to arrive, but it’s certainly going to be a different challenge from today’s steadier south-westerly wind.

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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 – GC32 Villasimius Cup / Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
August 2-5 – 36 Copa del Rey / Palma de Mallorca, Spain
September 13-16 – GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup / Calvi, Corsica
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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