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GC32 Lagos Cup 1 - Day 1: Black Star level with Red Bull on points

by GC32 Racing Tour 1 Jul 18:09 PDT 30 June - 4 July 2021

Four challenging races on day one of the GC32 Lagos Cup 1 brought sailors back to the marina with happy, smiling faces. OK, so a lack of wind on the Algarve coast meant racing was pushed back by a few hours. But what's a few hours after you've been waiting 18 long months for racing to resume!

Christian Zuerrer's Black Star Sailing Team have been putting in the training while racing has been off the agenda, and it's clearly been time well spent with the Swiss crew sitting on equal points with second-placed Red Bull Sailing Team from Austria. "We're very happy to be back racing after 18 months, a good feeling to be back on the water against all the guys," said Zuerrer. "Today was a little bit of a rollercoaster, but on average we are happy with our performance." And so they should, with respectably consistent scores of 2-4-2-3.

The Red Bull boat took Roman Hagara on a rodeo ride across the results table with up and down scores of 3-1-6-1, the double Olympic Champion smiling at their mix of fortunes: "At the end it was a good day for us, but one race not so good. A penalty at the start, and four gybes on the downwind meant the other boats were gone. Then we hooked the mark like Toro Rosso! Not the best race, but we're ready for tomorrow. Let's go again!"

But for that penalty, the Austrians might well have been challenging for the overall lead. 1-2-1-2 was Alinghi's metronomically consistent drumbeat of race scores today, skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis demonstrating that he has lost none of his foiling mastery during the team's enforced absence from competition.

French owner-driver Erik Maris sailed Zoulou to a solid day, the high point being a 3rd place in Race 2, while Swiss Foiling Academy with Julien Monnier and helmsman Loic Forestier as co-skippers started slowly but made incremental improvements by the early evening as the warm sun started to set over the glittering Algarve.

This was Team Rockwool Racing's first competitive outing in the GC32, a demanding lady for even those that know her well. Danish skipper Nicolai Sehested was satisfied with his day, especially with a 3rd place in Race 3. "It's been a fun day," said the 31-year-old. "No doubt there's a lot for us to learn, and always the first event means a big learning curve, but we were mixing it up in some of the races, and definitely going the right way."

Five races are planned for Friday, with the regatta concluding on Sunday 4 July in beautiful, sun-kissed Lagos.

Full results available here.

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