1 week to GC32 World Championship

Date
Fri, 18/05/2018

One week from today the fleets of the GC32 Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series will be locking horns in the initial races of the first ever GC32 World Championship. Held over 23-27 May, this event takes place in one of the world’s best venues for foiling catamaran racing – Riva del Garda on Lake Garda, renowned for its strong winds and flat water, ideal for the flying boats to achieve maximum 30+ knot speeds.

The line-up for the GC32 World Championship is one of the most international in big boat sailing. Competing teams herald from European countries, such as France, Britain, Austria and Switzerland, and from further afield – the USA, Oman, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

Among the mix of fully professional and accomplished owner-driver campaigns are some of the best teams and best sailors in the world, all attracted by the opportunity to race state of the art, ultra-high speed flying race boats against other like-minded crews.

In highest demand are crew with past experience on the flying catamarans of the last two America’s Cups. For example sailing with Team Tilt is Glenn Ashby, who skippered Emirates Team New Zealand to victory in the last America’s Cup. Then there’s Chris Draper who steered the Luna Rossa AC72 in San Francisco and now helms Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher’s Red Bull Sailing Team. Numerous crew competing at the GC32 World Championship sailed with America’s Cup teams in Bermuda and San Francisco.

Top of the pile is certainly Ernesto Bertarelli whose Alinghi team won the America’s Cup in 2003 and brought it back to Europe (for the first time since 1851) where they successfully defended it in 2007. While this event was in monohulls, Bertarelli personally has more than 25 years’ worth of experience helming racing catamarans on Lake Geneva where he is a multiple winner of Switzerland’s top annual sailing event, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud.

Bertarelli will be helming his Alinghi GC32 in Riva next week surrounded by his regular team, including Arnaud Psarofaghis, one of the most talented foiling sailors of his generation. 

"We are looking forward to the strong competition,” says Alinghi's coach Pierre-Yves Jorand, congratulating the GC32 International Class Association on getting the World Sailing recognition that has enabled it to hold its first official World Championship. “It will be great to see the two circuits sailing together. On both sides there is lots of experience – we know the Extreme Sailing Series teams very well and looking at the GC32 Racing Tour teams we know the level there is very high as well. The GC32 Racing Tour teams have been in Riva twice before, which we haven’t done. There are maybe ten teams that are really strong and will be fighting for the top spots.”

Alinghi has already been putting in time in Riva del Garda to acclimatise. “We’ve been practicing with other teams in great sailing conditions in Riva - a fantastic venue," continues Jorand. "There was a northerly breeze of 15-18 knots and flat water so we were hitting amazing top speeds.”

Elenco iscritti provvisorio

  Team         Owner/skipper          Nazione       Timoniere
1 Alinghi        Ernesto Bertarelli   SUI               Ernesto Bertarelli
2 Argo          Jason Carroll          USA              Jason Carroll
3 .film Racing Simon Delzoppo  AUS              Simon Delzoppo
4 Frank Racing Simon Hull         NZL              Simon Hull
5 TBA 
6 NORAUTO Franck Cammas  FRA              Franck Cammas
7 Oman Air Oman Sail              OMA             Phil Robertson
8 Realteam Esteban Garcia      SUI              Jérôme Clerc
9 Red Bull Sailing Team  Hans-Peter Steinacher/Roman Hagara AUT Chris Draper
10 SAP Extreme Sailing Team Jes Gram-Hansen/Rasmus Køstner DEN Adam Minoprio
11 Team México  Erik Brockmann MEX Chris Taylor
12 Team Tilt Alex Schneiter SUI Sebastien Schneiter
13 Zoulou Erik Maris FRA Erik Maris
14 TBA      
15 TBA