Please select your home edition
Edition
Gul 2018 October - Code Zero 728x90

Kiwi multihull veterans join the GC32 Racing Tour

by GC32 Racing Tour 13 Apr 22:16 PDT
Simon Hull and his crew practice their GC32 flying. © Suellen Hurling / livesaildie.com

Despite the long commute, a second owner-driver team from 'down under' will be joining the GC32 Racing Tour when it gets underway at the end of May on Lake Garda, Italy.

New Zealander Simon Hull and his Frank Racing are no strangers to high performance multihulls, nor even the GC32 flying catamaran. For the last nine years they have been enthusiastically campaigning what was originally a top French ORMA 60 trimaran – Michel Desjoyeaux' Route du Rhum and The Transat winner, Géant. Since acquiring his three float flier, the Hull trophy cabinet expended rapidly, as he snapped up repeated line honours in events such as New Zealand's Coastal Classic, set records in races to Fiji and Noumea and even competed in Australia's 'glamour' regattas at Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island.

Hull says he closely followed the transformation of the America's Cup catamarans into full foilers and, as someone enthusiastic about pioneering boat technology, was keen to experience airborne sailing for himself: "I enjoy speed and I saw foiling at the next way forward; a good discipline to learn."

Designed by Martin Fischer, now Design Co-ordinator of the 36th America's Cup Challenger of Record Luna Rossa, the GC32 fitted the bill perfectly: Tailored for owner-drivers, with a conventional softsail rig instead of a wing, no hydraulics, no Cyclors, the ability for the boat to be packed up and road trailed and yet capable of 30+ knot speeds and flying in less than 10 knots of wind. "These little boats are wonderful – you get back to seat of the pants sailing," enthuses Hull. "I hadn't done anything apart from keelboats and big multis for a long time - they're not dry, but for this you have to put a wet suit on..."

For Hull and Frank Racing, the GC32 Racing Tour starts strongly with the first ever GC32 World Championship over 23-27th May. With a fleet size in the mid-teens, the biggest ever gathering of the one design foiling catamarans, Hull admits he is uneasy about the challenge: "The Worlds will be fairly daunting given the number of foilers and the reaching starts..."

Hull is also joining the GC32 Racing Tour as it will allow him to compete on some bucket-list sailing venues. The World Championship for example is being held in renowned Italian sailing mecca, Lake Garda. "It sounds like a wonderful venue with lots of wind and flat water - it is going to be fun," he says.

Given that New Zealand won the America's Cup last year in foiling catamarans, there is no shortage of talented crew to join Frank Racing. One is his son Harry who trims, plus Guy Endean, Stu Dodson and Josh Salthouse, all by coincidence from New Zealand's most famous sailing dynasties.

Dodson will not be with them at the Worlds as he is already competing aboard Oman Air. He is being replaced by Kiwi match racing skipper, Will Tiller.

Frank Racing should hit the ground running as, despite being new to the GC32 Racing Tour, they have an experienced crew and two years in the GC32 already. Early on Hull took his GC32 across to Queensland, Australia where he survived racing at Airlie Beach in 30 knot winds against 4-5 knots of current, in which he admits they broke themselves and the boat. Undeterred, they followed this up soon after with 'perfect' foiling conditions at Hamilton Island Race Week where they scooped up the Australian Multihull National Championship title.

In joining the GC32 Racing Tour, Hull is hoping that it will improve his sailing and his learning about foiling catamaran racing. "Just reviewing all of the practices and how we do everything is really good. We are forever refining and improving, finding new and better ways of doing things. And there are some regattas in some pretty nice places, so it is good excuse to get up to Europe over our winter and sail some regattas in nice parts of the world. Plus I've never raced in Europe before..."

In 2018, the GC32 Racing Tour moves on from Riva del Garda to visit Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal for the first time, followed by Palma and the Mediterranean's most famous multi-class regatta, Copa del Rey MAFPRE; Villasimius in southern Sardinia, not far from Luna Rossa's headquarters in Cagliari and concludes in Toulon in the south of France.

Further teams will be announced in due course.

Related Articles

Extreme Sailing Series™ Los Cabos overall
Swiss foiling masters Alinghi crowned victors For the fourth time in their eight-year history of competing in the Extreme Sailing Series™, Swiss team Alinghi took the coveted championship title after a remarkable final in Los Cabos, Mexico. Posted on 3 Dec
Extreme Sailing Series™ Los Cabos day 3
Alinghi rises through the ranks on penultimate day >With eyes on the prize, the Swiss sailed a superb day on the water on the penultimate day of the Extreme Sailing Series™ 2018 season finale in Los Cabos, climbing one position from their unsafe third place finish on Friday Posted on 2 Dec
Extreme Sailing Series™ Los Cabos day 2
High fliers: Team Oman Air takes the lead Following their second place finish in yesterday's racing, Team Oman Air reached new heights on the second day of Extreme Sailing Series™ Los Cabos, closing the racing at the front of the seven-strong international fleet. Posted on 1 Dec
Extreme Sailing Series™ Los Cabos day 1
Hat-trick for Hagara and Steinacher Having saved their best moves for the final Act of the season, Red Bull Sailing Team stole the show on the first day of Extreme Sailing Series™ Los Cabos, scoring a pole position hat-trick in the event's opening races. Posted on 30 Nov
Oman Air team aims to keep that winning feeling
Team Oman Air head to the final event of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series in Mexico A further regatta win in Los Cabos would move Oman Air up the season leaderboard, ensuring at least a second place overall and opening up the possibility of taking the 2018 title. Posted on 27 Nov
Extreme Sailing Series all set for season finale
Less than a week to go, the stage is set Following a hard fought nine months of global touring and tough competition, the highly anticipated end of season showdown promises to deliver an edge of your seat, nail-biting finish, with the teams hell bent on going out with a bang. Posted on 26 Nov
2018 Martinique Flying Regatta overall
Perfect scoreline for Mazella Martinique Flying Regatta, the Caribbean's first event solely for foiling boats, concluded today with the two fastest from each of the six classes – GC32, KiteFoil, Windfoil, Moth, Flying Phantom and Onefly – lining up in the final Posted on 25 Nov
2018 Martinique Flying Regatta day 4
Leader change in three classes going into final day of Martinique Flying Regatta Friday was a big day on the water at Martinique Flying Regatta, the first Caribbean event for foiling boats. It kicked off with a dramatic, simultaneous start for all five classes from under the shadow of Fort de France's Fort Saint Louis Posted on 24 Nov
2018 Martinique Flying Regatta day 3
All change in the Moths as the full fleet gets afloat Baie de Fort de France is proving itself to be a more consistent, Caribbean version of Lake Garda with day three of Martinique Flying Regatta providing yet another day of winds gusting into the low 20s, combined with relatively flat water. Posted on 23 Nov
2018 Martinique Flying Regatta day 2
Big wind board day at Martinique Flying Regatta With winds regularly gusting to 25 knots and above, racing could only be held for the KiteFoil and Windfoil classes on day two of Martinique Flying Regatta, the Caribbean's first regatta exclusively for foiling boats. Posted on 22 Nov
P&B Autumn Sale 2018 - FooterRS Sailing BOTTOM1DSailing Footer