Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

Third GC32 World Championship sets sail tomorrow

by GC32 Racing Tour 15 Sep 2021 14:39 PDT 15-19 September 2021
Team Rockwool Racing is firmly on the ascent © Sailing Energy / GC32 Racing Tour

Top international crew, including America's Cup winners and Olympian gold medallists, are descending on Villasimius for one of the pinnacles in foiling catamaran racing, the third GC32 World Championship. Taking place from Thursday until Sunday this event is organised by the Villasimius branch of the Italian Naval League and is taking place thanks to the support of the Sardinia Region, Municipality of Villasimius, Marina of Villasimius, Tourist Consortium and the Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara.

The event sees a welcome return to the GC32 family, post-Covid, of Argo. In 2017, Jason Carroll's US team was the run-away winner of the first GC32 Villasimius Cup, podiuming in every race. "Everything came together for that event," remembers Carroll fondly. "We had a good team and didn't make too many mistakes. The story is similar here, it's just that we haven't practiced much in the last two years. I have missed it a lot. The day racing in these boats is awesome and it was a big part of my life up until two years ago - I am excited to get back into it."

New to the Argo crew is British Olympic Laser gold medallist, America's Cup sailor and three time Moth World Champion, Paul Goodison on mainsheet and tactics. This will be Goodison's first time on a GC32. "I am excited to get into it," says Goodison, who today lives in Italy, by Lake Garda with his young family. "We have had a good couple of days practicing, but we still have some things to work on. The boats are cool, especially when there is a bit of wind and they are up on their foils. It looks like great fun. I am coming in quite green without much in the way of expectations."

Argo will be fighting with Erik Maris' Zoulou for the owner-driver prize at the GC32 World Championship, the French team having made it to the podium at the last event in Lagos.

While Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi team is the favourite to win this event as its defending champion and winner of the first two GC32 Racing Tour events this season, there are several teams showing the potential to upset them. One is Christian Zuerrer's Black Star Sailing Team, which finished two points behind Alinghi at the last event in Lagos. This may only be their second full season on the circuit, but they have a strong crew, including top Italian sailor Pierluigi de Felice. He knows southern Sardinia well having trained here for three years with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, which recently made it to the America's Cup match in Auckland. "We see ourselves as the underdog really," he says. "Alinghi is the legacy of the class. We are just getting our things together and trying to improve all the time."

Another stronger contender from Switzerland will the Sébastien Schneiter-steered Team Tilt, winner of the first GC32 World Championship in 2018.

A further potential threat for immaculate Alinghi is Team Rockwool Racing, which is into its first season GC32 racing while also flying the flag for Denmark in SailGP. At the last event in Lagos, Portugal, the Danish team performed strongly early on. They have arrived in Villasimius straight from the SailGP event in Saint-Tropez where they won the final fleet race.

"We are pretty happy with our first two GC32 events," says Team Rockwool Racing skipper Nicolai Sehested. "We are more competitive than people thought we would be. As a new team, we have a high top level but our bottom level is still quite low. For example I don't know how to sail the GC32 upwind with a gennaker."

Never to be discounted is Red Bull Sailing Team which finished second to Alinghi at this season's first event. Austrian two time Olympic Tornado gold medallist Roman Hagara is back on the helm having been away for the last event, working at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"A World Championship is always special," says Hagara. "We put some more effort in it. We came here a few days earlier than normal. We are known as light wind specialists but I think anyone can win races here."

Still on a steep learning curve is the mixed young and old crew on Julien Monnier and Loïc Forestier's Swiss Foiling Academy, the team that nurtures young Swiss talent. They have the same crew as in Lagos, including two women - Laurane Mettraux (brother of Alinghi's Brian) and Jessica Berthoud "except this time we won't do a rotation," explains Monnier. "We are still learning step by step about the boat and the team." Yesterday the Swiss team hosted a well attended raclette party.

Tonight there will be an opening ceremony for the GC32 World Championship, with Gianluca Dessi, Mayor of Villasimius; Gianni Chessa Region Sardegna's Councilor for Tourism; Fabrizio Atzori from the Cabo Carbonara marine protected area; Amedeo Ferrigno, Director of Marina di Villasimius; Gianni Pusceddu, President of Villasimius' Lego Navale and Sergio Ghiani, from the board of Lego Navale.

Tomorrow racing starts with a first warning signal at 1300 CEST.

GC32 Racing Tour 2021 leaderboard:

Pos Team Helm Owner GC32 Lagos Cup 1 GC32 Lagos Cup 2 Pts
1 Alinghi Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI) 1 1 2
2 Black Star Sailing Team Chris Steele (NZL) Christian Zuerrer (SUI) 4 2 6
3 Red Bull Sailing Team Roman Hagara (AUT) Roman Hagara (AUT) 2 4 6
4 Zoulou Erik Maris (FRA) Erik Maris (FRA) 5 3 8
5 Team Rockwool Racing Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Nicolai Sehested (DEN) 3 5 8
6 Swiss Foiling Academy Loic Forestier (SUI) Julien Monnier/Loic Forestier (SUI) 6 6 12

Quick Links:

Related Articles

Steele helms World GC32 champion to win in Lagos
Top match racer, Chris Steele has helmed the Swiss Black Star team to win the GC32 Worlds Top match racer, Chris Steele (NZL) has helmed the Swiss Black Star team to win the GC32 Worlds sailed in Lagos, Portugal in mid-July 2022. Black Star beat potential America's Cup challenger K-Team (FRA) and AC2024 Challenger Alinghi Red Bull Racing. Posted on 29 Jul
Alinghi Red Bull Racing secure third place
At the GC32 World Championship in Portugal Alinghi Red Bull Racing delivered another impressive performance as they secured a podium place at the GC32 World Championship in Lagos, Portugal, despite missing several experienced crew members. Posted on 18 Jul
Lagos' GC32 World Championship overall
Come from behind win for Black Star K-Challenge Team France was the dominant force for the first half of this GC32 Worlds, held in Lagos, Portugal, but for the second half it was Christian Zuerrer's Black Star Sailing Team which overtook the French after today's third of four races. Posted on 17 Jul
Lagos' GC32 World Championship Day 3
K-Challenge chase championship as Black Star battle back in Lagos, Portugal The two top boats edged further away from the eight other flying catamaran teams on the penultimate day of the GC32 World Championship, being held in Lagos, on Portugal's Algarve coast. Posted on 16 Jul
Lagos' GC32 World Championship Day 2
Black Star shines, K-Challenge leads in Lagos, Portugal At the half way stage of this fourth GC32 World Championship, the full 10 race schedule has been achieved, half of the fleet have won races and there is an unexpected stand-out race leader in K-Challenge Team France. Posted on 15 Jul
Lagos' GC32 World Championship Day 1
K-Challenge Team France shows the way Conditions didn't look promising for day one in Lagos, Portugal. While the prevailing conditions here have made this Algarve venue a favourite since the GC32 Racing Tour first visited in 2018, today the forecast was for a dying easterly. Posted on 14 Jul
All star cast for Lagos' GC32 World Championship
Ten teams from as far afield as Australia and the USA are competing from Thursday Ten teams from as far afield as Australia and the USA are competing from tomorrow until Sunday in the fourth GC32 World Championship, off Lagos on Portugal's Algarve. Posted on 13 Jul
Strong international line-up for GC32 Worlds 2022
The 10 teams comprise the most competitive GC32 fleet ever Following on from mid-June's GC32 Lagos Cup, the GC32 World Championship, annual highlight of the GC32 Racing Tour and the only official World Sailing-endorsed championship for foiling catamaran 'yachts', will take place over 13-17 July in Lagos, Portugal Posted on 7 Jul
GC32 Lagos Cup overall
America's Cup challenger victorious in big breeze finale The GC32 Lagos Cup, the pre-Worlds for next month's GC32 World Championship, concluded in big breeze. By the end of the first race, the sea state was still relatively flat but with the wind averaging 22 knots and gusting to 27 it was 'survival' for some. Posted on 26 Jun
GC32 Lagos Cup Day 3
Lagos lays it on as GC32s hit 35+ knot speeds Lagos, the port on Portugal's Algarve the GC32 Racing Tour has been bringing its world class sailors to since 2018, laid on flat water, despite a 20+ knot offshore northwesterly in the final race. Posted on 25 Jun
Marine Resources 2022 Salary Survey FOOTERCyclops 2022 May FOOTERMcConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 FOOTER