Inaugural GC32 World Champs in Italy
Published on December 15th, 2017
With the GC32 officially receiving World Sailing recognition in November, the GC32 International Class Association has organized its first World Championship next year to be on on May 23-27 in Riva del Garda, Italy. This will see the fleets of the GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series competing on the same race track.
“The World Championship will be the pinnacle event in the GC32 season,”said GC32 class president Simon Delzoppo. “It is a great endorsement for the GC32 class and will help attract a record number of foiling catamarans to compete on the same start line.”
Delzoppo, who comes from Australia, will be helming his GC32 .film Racing at the event, having joined the GC32 Racing Tour in 2017 as an owner-driver.
Also returning is defending champion Oman Air, winner of the first GC32 Championship held in Muscat, Oman in March. The Omani team recently finished a close third overall in the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series following its final event in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Oman Air’s mainsheet trimmer Peter Greenhalgh commented: “I think it is a great step for the Class to have an official World Championship. Last year we won the ‘Class Championship’ with Oman Air and it was a fantastic event. The GC32 is a great boat and extremely fun to race on. Put more than 12 on a start line and you could have some of the best racing in the world.”
Greenhalgh is also looking forward to competing on Lake Garda. “Riva will be an amazing venue to showcase these foiling boats in their first World Championships.”
Returning to Garda for the first time since winning the GC32 Riva Cup and the overall GC32 Racing Tour in 2016 is French America’s Cup skipper Franck Cammas with NORAUTO powered by Team France. “This class is very nice because it is the only international foiling catamaran ‘big boat’ class and it is good to have all of the people who like to fly on it here.”
Having finished second to Oman Air at the GC32 Championship in Oman, Alinghi, of two time America’s Cup winner Ernesto Bertarelli, is returning with the aim of going one better in 2018. The Swiss team recently concluded the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series in second overall.
“First of all – the Class has done a fantastic job class to get the ‘World’ label from World Sailing – the GC32 is the most recognised foiling catamaran class above 30ft,” says Alinghi Team Leader, Pierre-Yves Jorand. “It is a great achievement to have finally done that. We are all looking forward to a great World Championship on beautiful Lake Garda. Holding a championship in the middle of Europe is a good idea since it will ensure as many participants as possible take part. Hopefully we will get some good breeze and high boat speeds.”
The GC32 Riva Cup held out of Riva del Garda has been the opening event of the last two seasons of the GC32 Racing Tour and for GC32 Racing Tour participants the World Championship will double as the first event of their 2018 season.
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Source: GC32 class