Please select your home edition
Allen Brothers

GC32 Oman Cup, Overall - Alinghi claims the title

by GC32 Racing Tour Media 9 Nov 2019 11:15 PST 6-10 November 2019
Alinghi claims the title - GC32 Oman Cup, Day 4 © Sailing Energy / GC32 Racing Tour

In yet another flawless display by the world's top catamaran sailing team, Alinghi today won the GC32 Oman Cup and the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour. This Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss team adds to their GC32 World Championship title and victory in their own domestic D35 catamaran circuit.

Coming into the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour's final event, Alinghi was tied on points with the Adam Minoprio-skippered Oman Air. This made for a simple battle: Whichever team won here in Oman would claim the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour.

Ultimately Alinghi never missed a beat, leading from the outset, although surprisingly her main competition here was Erik Maris' Zoulou.

The final day of the GC32 Oman Cup was strange. With big winds (and seas) forecast, PRO Stuart Childerley brought forward the start time from 1300 to 1000 but at 1000 conditions were light and racing only began at 1100.

Sadly coming up the first beat in the first race Adam Minoprio misjudged ducking Zoulou and his boat's port bow impaled itself in Zoulou's port topside. It took some minutes and a gybe before the two boats unlocked. Zoulou just stayed afloat long enough to get back into the Al Mouj Marina and be craned out. Meanwhile Minoprio's team missed one race but was back on the water for today's third. Bouncing back, they won this, then with the wind and sea state rapidly building, the day's final two races were cancelled and everyone was sent ashore. In fact after today's second race Alinghi had already won.

"I am really happy to end the season like this - it is very nice to win," said Alinghi's helmsman Arnaud Psarofaghis. "We have had a great battle with Oman Air all year and the mid-field was improving too. We tried to keep ahead of everyone, but they are all very intelligence and caught up quickly. It is going to be a really interesting season next year."

Alinghi Team Director Pierre-Yves Jorand added: "We managed to achieve our goals this year. This wasn't down to luck, but because we have a fantastic sailing team and an amazing shore team which, after a collision, managed to get us back sailing the next day. It is a team effort plus we also have huge support in Switzerland, most of all from Ernesto [Bertarelli] who has supported us for many years. We enjoy working together, fighting and achieving new goals."

One key to Alinghi's success is their experience together, the core crew having raced multihulls for more than two decades although some younger sailors have since joined like Psarofaghis, tactician Nicolas Charbonnier, Bryan Mettraux and Timothé Lapauw. "The old guys with wisdom and the youth bringing energy and strength - that mix works really nicely," concludes Jorand.

Minoprio was suitably apologetic to Erik Maris and the Zoulou crew. "I went to go behind them and we were just too close and it ruined their day and ours. It was silly - there was never enough space. I should never have even considered it. This week the rub of the green hasn't gone go our way. As per usual Alinghi sailed faultlessly, they are the benchmark team and deserved to win. Congratulations to them."

Nonetheless Oman Air finished the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour in second overall and Minoprio hopes to return to do better in 2020. "It is the best circuit out there. The boats are extremely fast and very enjoyable to race on as a team."

Zoulou's Erik Maris came ashore philosophical but intact even though the impact was immediate below where he was sitting. He has sailed many different high performance yachts and race cars over the years and incidents, although rare, are inevitable in high performance sport. "Even Adam makes mistakes, so next time I make one we'll be even!"

Zoulou was awarded average points for today's races leaving them second overall 9.1 points astern of Alinghi and 7.9 ahead Red Bull Sailing Team. There is some consolation in Zoulou winning the top prize in the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour owner-driver championship.

Finishing third secured Austrians Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher's Red Bull Sailing Team the final spot on the season's podium. "We made progress through this year which was good after we began with a new team and were initially struggling around the course," said Hagara. "But we've been catching up Alinghi and Oman Air."

GC32 Racing Tour newbies, Black Star Sailing Team finished fifth in Oman but Christian Zuerrer was pleased with their results. In 2020 he hopes to keep the same crew as here with Kiwi match racer Chris Steele helming. "We've made big improvements because we are now racing with the other and not just trailing behind them."

GC32 Racing Tour Manager Christian Scherrer commented: "I would like to thank all of the teams who have participated in the GC32 Racing Tour 2019, our Tour team and all our partners and venues. We look forward to a successful 2020 season with both new and familiar teams and venues which we'll be announcing shortly."

Related Articles

GC32 Racing Tour resumes in 2021
Set to bounce back in 2021 with another five event circuit and a new French venue After this season sadly had to be written off due the COVID-19 pandemic, the GC32 Racing Tour will bounce back in 2021 with another five event circuit, including a World Championship, for its ultra-high performance one design foiling catamarans. Posted on 10 Dec 2020
Kieler Woche day 1
The date is different, the spectacle on the water remains The date is different, the spectacle on the water remains. Even after the Corona-related transfer from June to September, Kiel Week is not short of exciting sailing moments. Posted on 5 Sep 2020
GC32 Racing Tour focuses on Riva del Garda
Holding a single event for 2020 out of the popular sailing mecca Riva del Garda is located in the province of Trentino which suffered only 5% of the number of COVID-19 cases compared to its neighbour Lombardy, the Italian epicentre for the pandemic. Posted on 10 Aug 2020
Denmark SailGP Team: Episode 2
Focusing on resilience with grinder Martin Kirketerp The second episode of 'Inside the Denmark SailGP Team' focuses on resilience, and no one embodies this quality more than grinder Martin Kirketerp. Posted on 4 Aug 2020
The inside story of the Denmark SailGP Team
Episode 1 of a a new, behind-the-scenes mini documentary series SailGP and Team ROCKWOOL Racing have launched a new, behind-the-scenes mini documentary series covering the inside story of the Denmark SailGP Team as it prepares for Season 2 of SailGP in 2021. Posted on 22 Jul 2020
Team ROCKWOOL Racing hits the water
Eyes historic record-attempts Team ROCKWOOL Racing has officially hit the water, kick-starting a unique collaboration between the Denmark SailGP Team athletes and ROCKWOOL that will see a range of activities – including historic record-breaking attempts. Posted on 19 Jun 2020
Team ROCKWOOL Racing to hit Danish waters
An action-packed summer of training, racing and record attempts ROCKWOOL announces a unique collaboration with the Denmark SailGP Team athletes, kicking off with an action-packed summer of training, racing and record attempts in preparation for SailGP Season 2 in April 2021. Posted on 27 May 2020
GC32 Racing Tour makes the most of 2020
A fresh plan for the 2020 GC32 Racing Tour During a recent multi-nation video conference between the Tour's organisers and ten of the foiling catamaran teams, a fresh plan for the 2020 GC32 Racing Tour was agreed upon. Posted on 18 May 2020
GC32 Oman Cup cancelled due to coronavirus
Following recommendations from Oman's Ministry of Health Due to ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and following recommendations from Oman's Ministry of Health, the opening event of the 2020 GC32 Racing Tour in Muscat has been cancelled. Posted on 12 Mar 2020
Red Bull Sailing launch GC32 Racing Tour Campaign
Last season of competition for double Olympic Champions Hagara and Steinacher Red Bull Sailing's second season in the GC32 Racing Tour will be momentous. After taking third place on the championship podium in their debut 2019 campaign, the team from Austria is back with a seasoned crew and a determination to push to the top. Posted on 9 Mar 2020
SOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 BottomC-Tech 2020 Battens 728x90 BOTTOMUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER