Please select your home edition
Marine Resources 2019 - Leaderboard

Strongest ever fleet assembles for GC32 Racing Tour 2019

by GC32 Racing Tour 23 May 01:57 PDT 23-26 May 2019
Practice racing today off Villasimius - 2019 GC32 Racing Tour - Villasimius Cup © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy

The 2019 GC32 Racing Tour sets sail on the 23rd with ten of the one design flying catamarans completing in Sardinia at the GC32 Villasimius Cup.

Villasimius and nearby Capo Carbonara - the southeasternmost tip of Sardinia are a jewel of a venue thanks to their mountainous backdrop and white sandy beaches, plus the azure waters and exotic marine life of Capo Carbonara's protected maritime area and the Notteri pond with its pink flamingos. It comes as little surprise that Villasimius is popular as a destination not just for tourists but increasingly for yachting. This week's GC32 Villasimius Cup represents the third consecutive year that the flying catamaran circuit has visited.

"It is a great pleasure to return to Villasimius, knowing that we've played a part in putting it on the sailing map," says Christian Scherrer, Manager of the GC32 Racing Tour.

With ten teams competing at the GC32 Villasimius Cup, the line-up is the strongest since last year's GC32 World Championship. With the Extreme Sailing Series now not being raced in GC32s, so Alinghi, Red Bull Sailing Team and Team Oman Air supported by EFG Bank Monaco have commuted across to the GC32 Racing Tour.

They are expected to be particularly strong: Alinghi, historically most successful of all the Extreme Sailing Series teams, is here with Ernesto Bertarelli helming. Team Oman Air has recruited one of the most successful GC32 helms of all time former Match Racing World Champion and Volvo Ocean Race sailor Adam Minoprio. Red Bull Sailing Team sees the return of Austrian double Olympic Tornado catamaran gold medallists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher.

They join America's Cup helms such as Sir Ben Ainslie, back after finishing second in last year's GC32 Racing Tour, now helming INEOS Rebels UK and Team France skipper Franck Cammas, a former Volvo Ocean Race and Route du Rhum winning skipper.

Cammas and his NORAUTO team start with the strongest credentials as defending champion of both the GC32 Racing Tour and of the GC32 Villasimius Cup. "It's the second time we've raced in Villasimius," says Cammas. "Last year we won the event. It's going to be tougher this year, but we'll try to sail well."

As to the level of competition, Cammas reckons: "It is much higher than last year, with the two fleets consolidated in one. The teams coming from the Extreme Sailing Series have top professional sailors, very well practiced because they had seven or eight regattas every season. Winning is going to be much harder."

Representing the US, Jason Carroll's Argo is also back, having won the Villasimius Cup when it was first held here in 2017. Argo is defending champion in the GC32 Racing Tour's owner-driver championship. Argo is one of three teams competing here for the owner-driver prize, in addition to Alinghi and Erik Maris' Zoulou. The French Zoulou crew has been putting in solid practice for this season, buoyed by finishing third overall last year.

Sadly, not competing in the owner-driver championship is the 10th and final team to announce its participation at the GC32 Villasimius Cup Codigo Rojo Racing from Argentina. Sadly for personal reasons Federico Ferioli has has to pass the helm over to Guatemalan Nacra 17 sailor Jason Hess, a former a trimmer on board and now usually team coach.

"It's going to be tough because it's the first event now that the GC32s from the Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series are racing together," observes Lucas Gonzalez Smith, Codigo Rojo's Team Manager. "The level has gone up, with teams coming from the America's Cup or SailGP. Everyone has come well prepared. We're looking forward to seeing where we are in the fleet."

A new team to the GC32 for this season is Black Star Sailing Team from Switzerland. Brainchild of former A-Class catamaran sailor Christian Zuerrer, this uses both Flavio Marazzi and his GC32 with a crew of Swiss and British sailors. Like Gonzalez Smith, Zuerrer, who will be on mainsheet, says he is keen to see where they are in this strong fleet. "We have a good crew. It is our first event. We will see how we go. We've had two training sessions in Port Camargue."

With racing running from Thursday until Sunday 23-26 May, PRO Stuart Childerley is anticipating getting in up to 20 windward-leeward races with a mix of upwind and reaching starts, as conditions permit. The wind is forecast to be brisk tomorrow with 15-20 knot southwesterlies forecast before lightening temporarily on Friday.

Of the racing in Villasimius NORAUTO's Franck Cammas observes: "The race area is very interesting, with different conditions. It's nice but never easy, especially with westerly winds that can generate a chop - a delicate situation for foiling catamarans."

The GC32 Villasimius Cup is taking place with support from Comune di Villasimius, Area Marina Protetta Capo Carbonara Villasimius, the Marina di Villasimius and the Lega Navale Italiana Sezione Villasimius and Regione Sardegna.

"I'd like to thank all of the stakeholders in the event, but particularly everyone in Villasimius who helped once again enable the GC32 Racing Tour to visit your beautiful venue," concludes Christian Scherrer.

The GC32 Racing Tour is supported by Marinepool, WIP Forward and GAC Pindar.

Teams competing at GC32 Villasimius Cup

  • Alinghi (SUI) Ernesto Bertarelli
  • Argo (USA) Jason Carroll
  • CHINAone NINGBO (CHN) Phil Robertson
  • Codigo Rojo Racing (ARG) Lucas González Smith
  • INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) Ben Ainslie
  • NORAUTO (FRA) Franck Cammas
  • Team Oman Air (OMA) Adam Minoprio
  • Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara
  • Zoulou (FRA) Erik Maris

2019 GC32 Racing Tour schedule

  • 22.-26 May: GC32 Villasimius Cup / Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
  • 26-30 June: GC32 World Championship / Lagos, Portugal
  • 31 July-4 August: 38 Copa del Rey MAPFRE / Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • 11-15 September: GC32 Riva Cup / Riva del Garda, Italy
  • 6-10 Nov: TBA

More information:

Related Articles

GC32 Riva Cup overall
Alinghi claims GC32 Riva Cup by a whisker While Alinghi has led at the end of every day of racing at the 2019 GC32 Riva Cup, the Swiss team was on the ropes this afternoon when their arch-rivals Oman Air, in seemingly unbeatable form Posted on 15 Sep
GC32 Riva Cup day 3
Alinghi clings to narrow lead going into the final day Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi started the day four points ahead of Oman Air and - after six races on two different courses, during which they lost the lead, then fought back hard to recover it - ended the day four points ahead of Oman Air. Posted on 15 Sep
GC32 Riva Cup day 2
Lago di Garda was not making it easy for race officials The afternoon southerly Ora wind was late materialising and required three changes of race course and a frustrating two hour wait before the wind finally blasted in at 15+ knots some four kilometres south of Riva del Garda. Posted on 13 Sep
GC32 Riva Cup day 1
Early lead for Alinghi Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi team showed some of their GC32 World Championship-winning form when they came out on top after the first of four days of racing at the GC32 Riva Cup, being held out of the Fraglia Vela Riva Posted on 13 Sep
2019 GC32 Riva Cup resumes tomorrow
Seven teams will be on the start line of the GC32 Riva Cup The GC32 Racing Tour resumes tomorrow in what is regarded as the benchmark venue for flying catamaran competition – Riva del Garda at the northern end of Italy's Lake Garda. Posted on 11 Sep
Team Oman Air aims to win GC32 Riva Cup
Heading to Italy aiming for back to back GC32 Racing Tour victories After three closely fought regattas they are tied on points overall with their long-standing Swiss rivals on Alinghi and will be looking for a win at this week's GC32 Riva Cup event on Lake Garda to confirm their advantage. Posted on 10 Sep
Neck and neck going into GC32 Riva Cup
Battle resumes on the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour in a week's time Riva del Garda and its club the Fraglia Vela Riva, is the venue of choice for many top sailing championships because of its famous, usually strong, winds - the morning northerly, the Pelèr and the afternoon southerly, the Ora - combined with flat water. Posted on 5 Sep
Muscat to host 2019 GC32 Racing Tour finale
Oman is to host the deciding event of the series Muscat will extend a warm welcome to the fleet of high-performance foiling catamarans as they race for the Oman Cup over 5-9 November. The teams will be based in and racing on the open waters off Al Mouj Marina in the heart of the city. Posted on 2 Sep
Collinson FX: Aug 7 - NZD weathers the storm
Reality is setting in and the NZD has returned to trade just above 0.6500, while the AUD has settled The RBNZ is expected to cut rates today and offer a dovish bias to monetary policy. The NZ Employment data, released yesterday, was extremely positive and allowed the NZD to weather the international market storm. Posted on 6 Aug
The World Sailing Show: Programme 7
GC32 Worlds sees the fastest flying cats foiling for honours in Lagos The Worlds attracted the best sailing talent from Olympic royalty to America's Cup winners. Sir Ben Ainslie leads INEOS Rebels UK, while Team New Zealand's Glenn Ashby is a late addition to the squad of defending champions Team Tilt. Posted on 6 Aug
Gul 2019 GAMMA FooterNaiad 660x82px_SuperyachtNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer