Lead Tie At GC32 Racing Tour Villasimius
Published on September 14th, 2018
Villasimius, Italy (September 14, 2018) – Tough conditions on the water for day two of the GC32 Villasimius Cup resulted in a long wait before the wind filled in and built to 10+ knots albeit from a non-forecast easterly/southeasterly direction. Against expectations this held, enabling four races to be sailed laterally across the Bay immediately off Marina di Villasimius, here in Sardinia’s southeastern most tip
While the two America’s Cup teams have been touted as favorites for this penultimate event of the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour – and indeed they share equal points in the top spots at the end of today – they have by no means had it all their own way. In the first race NORAUTO powered by Team France was called OCS, leaving Franck Cammas and his crew unable to finish better than sixth.
Nonetheless the Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper subsequently went on to win today’s second and fourth races. Their first victory came after a little contretemps just short of the windward gate with their British America’s Cup counterparts, INEOS Team UK, skippered by Ben Ainslie.
“We were to leeward and pushed them. He didn’t answer enough so he was in a tricky position,” recounted Cammas. The British team picked up a penalty, but was still able to finish second. This followed their win in today’s first race.
NORAUTO’s second victory was in the final race, as the wind dipped below 10 knots and became patchy across the race course. In that Cammas said their pre-race strategy had paid off… to start with at least. “We wanted to start on port and sail one quarter on port and then do the rest on starboard because there had been a light spot on the left in the previous race.
“It worked well the first time but not on the second upwind leg,” Cammas added. Nonetheless the French team had already pulled out a sufficiently big lead for this not to matter. After day two the French team leads overall, only on count-back from INEOS Team UK.
Of his day, Ben Ainslie said: “We had a good first race. The second was good, but we got wrapped up with Franck – they luffed us, because they were trying to break the overlap, but we got a penalty… The last two we just lost a couple of places not finding the breeze – it was a bit frustrating in the end.
“I’m still learning to sail with this new group and getting the communication going.” This is only Ainslie’s second ever event on the GC32 Racing Tour.
The owners of INEOS, the company backing the British America’s Cup campaign, are in Villasimius this week, enjoying the GC32 Racing Tour’s guest program and offering their support to the British team. “They are enjoying the event and the boats. Let’s hope we get a couple of good days of foiling with some more breeze,” concluded Ainslie.
As if to stand up for their own nation’s America’s Cup effort, today’s third race went to Simon Hull and his crew of young New Zealanders on board Frank Racing. Hull was delighted but slightly mystified by the result. “I don’t get to look around much – I have to keep my head down!” he said of his win. “We had one good one today and a couple of okays. It was very variable. The right way paid – but which was the right way?”
The race the Kiwis won was also the most difficult of the day, compounded by the fleet all being some 30 seconds early for the start line, which resulted in two OCS’s and two penalties. Then at the finish, as Frank Racing crossed the line, almost simultaneously Erik Maris’ Zoulou came screaming across the opposite end of the line. “They were honking and we were struggling, but it was nice to get a gun,” said Hull.
While NORAUTO won the final race, also delighted by their result in this was Federico Ferioli’s Codigo Rojo Racing from Argentina, having finished third with all their crew to leeward, after overtaking INEOS Team UK just metres from the line.
Today’s round of the ANONIMO Speed Challenge was claimed by the Swiss crew on Realteam.
Racing continues tomorrow (September 15) starting at 1300 with five races scheduled. Racing at the GC32 Villasimius Cup is scheduled for September 13 to 16.
2018 GC32 Racing Tour schedule
23-27 May: GC32 World Championship / Riva del Garda, Italy
27 June-1 July: GC32 Lagos Cup / Lagos, Portugal
31 July – 4 August: 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE/ Palma de Mallorca, Spain
12-16 September: GC32 Villasimius Cup / Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
10-14 October: GC32 TPM Med Cup / Toulon, France
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, has one design sails and no hydraulics. It is demountable with a two piece mast for easy transportation.
Source: Event Media