Please select your home edition
SW newsletters (top)

GC32 foiling catamaran due in Auckland, sponsored by Zhik

by on 8 Oct 2015
Spindrift - Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour 2015 Eloi Stichelbaut/Spindrift Racing
Team Vodafonesailing has confirmed that a GC32 foiling catamaran will be arriving in Auckland in early November and is expected to be racing a few weeks later.

Designed by Dr Martin Fischer, the GC32 is similar to the foiling catamarans used in the America's Cup - but with a conventional soft sailed rig. The main lifting foils are large, allowing the boat to get foil-borne in the widest range of conditions from 7 knots of windspeed.

The large foils also make for a relatively stable ride, reducing pitching. Contrary to expectation, the large foils seem to have little effect on top end speed – a GC32 has been clocked at 39.2 knots. The large foils also enable the GC32 to foil upwind, although this requires 18-20 knots of windspeed.

Owner and skipper of Team Vodafone Sailing, Simon Hull said in a media release that having raced the team's ORMA60 trimaran for over six years, it was time to take on a new challenge.

“We have a great bunch of dedicated crew, and the whole team are pretty excited to take on this new adventure,” Hull explained.

“Foiling is the direction that sailing is heading, and we feel that to remain at the forefront of high performance sailing we have to start foiling.'

The team will continue to race the ORMA 60. However, the GC32 will enable the team to sharpen their claws on Auckland's established foiling fleet, which regularly competes in club racing.

TeamVodafoneSailing has also announced that its boats will be fully branded with Zhik, the clothing apparel brand favoured by top Olympic sailors. The Australian developed range is fast making inroads into off shore and other forms of high-performance sailing including America's Cup.

Earlier it was announced by Zhik's Australian founding company that Simon Hull and Multihull Ventures will be trading as Zhik NZ and representing the Zhik range in New Zealand.

“The brand is very well known for its dinghy products, and also its brilliant new range of yachting gear,' said Hull in the announcement. 'The apparel is “made for water”, and we are looking forward to getting out and spreading the word into new areas geographically, and into new water sports.

'It is great to be involved with products we use, know and love in the sailing world, and we look forward to growing our New Zealand presence, working with our established network of stockists, and also through developing new areas.”

Both the ORMA 60 and GC32 will carry substantial Zhik branding, further lifting its profile in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific.

The Zhik GC32 is expected to become a familiar sight on the Waitemata Harbour and beyond. The 32ft foiling catamaran is a similar size to the 33ft SL33's that have been racing in Auckland. However, the GC32 uses a more refined version AC72 first generation foiling technology.

The GC32 is fitted with a conventional catamaran rig with rotating mast and three sails (main, jib and gennaker). Compared to an AC72’s wingsail, the GC32’s rig configuration is easier for regular sailors to adapt to and makes the logistics of running the boat far simpler, in particular, docking and transportation.

The GC32 also has a better all-round foil package, than the AC72, and is easier to helm and get foil-borne,

The GC32 class is a strict one-design and limits the sail inventory that can be used by a team during the season. Currently, it is sailed on the Bullitt GC32 circuit in Europe.

Unlike the AC72, hydraulics are not used by the GC32. The pitch of the rudder T-foil and J foil daggerboard is altered during racing using a line-driven worm drive.

In August, the Extreme Sailing Series have announced that they too will use the GC32 in their racing, replacing the Extreme 40 displacement catamaran for the 2016 season.


Length (overall): 12.00m
Length (hull): 10.00m
Beam: 6.00m
Weight: 950 kg (Including sails)
Draft (upwind): 2.10m
Draft (downwind): 1.60m
Mast height (above deck): 16.50m
Bowsprit length: 6.60m
Mainsail: 60.00m²
Jib: 23.50m²
Genniker: 90.00m²

About the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

The GC32 is a 10m long (12m including bowsprit) by 6m wide foiling catamaran conceived by Laurent Lenne.

Her hulls and foils were designed by Dr Martin Fischer, previously a leading F18 catamaran designer with his Capricorn, Hobie Wildcat and Phantom F18 designs and who was part of the design teams behind the Groupama ORMA 60, maxi-trimaran, VO70s and Groupama C C-Class catamaran. Until recently he was a designer with the Italian Luna Rossa America's Cup Challenge.

With structural engineering carried out by Brett Ellis (ex-Alinghi/Luna Rossa), the boat is built in carbon fibre throughout by Premier Composite Technology in Dubai, builder of the Carkeek 40HP, 47HP and 60 and the Farr 400.

The foils are manufactured by Heol Composites in France: The GC32 features T-foil rudders and J-shaped daggerboards/foils, similar in concept to those used on the AC72 America’s Cup catamarans.

The boat is demountable with a two piece mast for easy transportation.

Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour 2015

27-31 May: Austria Cup - Lake Traunsee, Austria
24-27 June: Cowes Cup - Cowes, UK
29 July-2 August: Kiel, Germany
27-30 August: Rome Cup - Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy
30 September-3 October: Marseille One Design - Marseille, France

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]

MBW newsletters (top)

Related Articles

Follow @zhiknz on Instagram and win
Follow @zhiknz on Instagram and win one of five great prizes Facebook fans! If you don't follow us yet on our Instagram then now is the time! We are nudging our way towards Spring and to celebrate, we have a Zhik Dinghy Gear prize pack to give away!
Posted on 6 Jul
Zhik News: June - Supergrip boot, Scholarships
Zhik News for June 1: New SuperGrip Split Toe boot..Introducing Hydromerino.. ANZ Scholarships Zhik News for June 1: New SuperGrip Split Toe boot...Introducing Hydromerino...ANZ Scholarships on offer...See what's new at the Zhik Retail store
Posted on 31 May
Catch up with the 2016 Olympic Silver medalists
Zhik News - Lawson's Dry Hills regatta.. What is Aroshell.. Who is Zhik's newest store The inspiring Molly Meech and Alex Maloney walk us through what gear they rely on to help them perform when training and competing as 49erFX sailors for the NZL Sailing Team aiming at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Posted on 17 Jan
Zhik: More exciting news on the America's Cup
This month Zhik talks to Sam Meech, who is doing great things in his Laser - Olympics and more. This month Zhik talks to Sam Meech, who is doing great things in his Laser. Sailing has been in Sam's blood since his family upped sticks at a young age and went sailing around the world. You can see where he gets his passion from!
Posted on 12 Dec 2018
Zhik:Get your Xmas shopping done online or instore
Late night Christmas Shopping + NEW NZL Sailing Team Supporter Range from Zhik Zhik NZ's Auckland showroom will be open late for TWO late nights in December with key staff on hand to answer any enquiry, so you can get all your Christmas shopping done with ease. Plus some great in-store discount deals and more.
Posted on 29 Nov 2018
Win a ride on a top 49er with Zhik NZ
Entrants at the Sir Peter Blake Regatta have a chance to sail with NZ's top 49er crew Zhik NZ are giving a lucky Sir Peter Blake Regatta entrant, who buys a Zhik product, the awesome chance to go sailing with NZ's current TOP 49er crew - Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn!!
Posted on 22 Nov 2018
Some great discounts and products from Zhik
Your Christmas is sorted with these gift choices from Zhik for the sailor in your life! With Christmas just around the corner, Zhik have got a massive $500 voucher to give away to one lucky person to stock up for the season! Or you can sort your Christmas shopping in a few minutes with some great gifts from Zhik's online store
Posted on 22 Nov 2018
Make sure your crew is kitted out with Zhik
Get Zhiked for the PIC Coastal Classic - enter the draw to win up to $1000 of Zhik gear Get Zhiked for the PIC Coastal Classic - enter the draw to win up to $1000 of Zhik gear.
Posted on 3 Oct 2018
Aroshell wet weather gear from Zhik
Latest from Zhik - Product of the week... Womens Match Racing...Wellington outlet for Zhik Latest from Zhik - Aroshell is the featured product of the week... Womens Match Racing update ...Announcing new Wellington outlet for Zhik
Posted on 13 Sep 2018
Zhik News - Sailors Corner now stocking Zhik
Latest news from Zhik, with some new product videos showing the latest products from Zhik. Latest news from Zhik, with some new product videos showing the latest products from Zhik. Make sure you enter the PIC Coastal Classic - only two months to go. Sailors Corner are now stocking a big range of Zhik gear and more...
Posted on 12 Sep 2018