Please select your home edition
Edition
Sea Sure 2020 - SHOCK-WBV - LEADERBOARD

America's Cup challenger victorious in big breeze GC32 Lagos Cup finale

by GC32 Racing Tour 26 Jun 12:22 PDT 22-26 June 2022
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - SUI 15 with skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis claimed the GC32 Lagos Cup, the Swiss America's Cup challenger's second victory this season at the GC32 Racing Tour Lagos Cup © Sailing Energy / GC32 Racing Tour

The GC32 Lagos Cup, the pre-Worlds for next month's GC32 World Championship, concluded in big breeze. Despite the flying catamaran fleet heading out an hour early, 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 of the 10 teams, so PRO Stuart Childerley made the welcome decision to abandon racing.

Otherwise the historic maritime port on Portugal's Algarve has laid it on, as Lagos has always done since the GC32 Racing Tour first brought its world class sailors here in 2018. Over four days 16 races were held in flat water across the full wind range.

Once again Alinghi Red Bull Racing won, as they did at last month's GC32 Riva Cup, but on this occasion of their two GC32s it was their development crew on SUI 15 that prevailed, only with a winning margin of 'just' 10 points. For this event the Swiss America's Cup challenger had swapped helms and the common ingredient of their two victories was helmsman Arnaud Psarofaghis.

"The crew sailed really well this week," said Psarofaghis. "We missed a few tactical calls and made a few mistakes, which was frustrating, but overall it was fine because we won by a good margin. We came into this week with no pressure - we just want to do things better and we push ourselves."

In today's race Team Rockwool Racing won as SUI 15 finished fourth. In trying to recover points the second placed Danes had been pushing harder. "We were playing it safe - we needed to sail the boat well and as fast as we could," continued Psarofaghis. "In the end the race committee made a good call to end the day because we saw 27 knots. If three or four boats can't sail safely then there is no point in racing."

Heavy weather specialists Team Rockwool Racing enjoyed today's conditions as they did when they won yesterday's breezy final race. However the race was close with Team Tilt pulling ahead at the final top mark, rounding only for a favourable shift on the last run putting the Danes back in front and Alinghi Red Bull Racing - SUI 8 pipping Team Tilt to second.

"The last race was awesome - the best, most fun racing," said Team Rockwool Racing skipper Nicolai Sehested. "We sailed pretty well - very stable, the boat locked in and everything under control. We decided to stay with the jib to keep it simple and we were plenty fast enough: We were sitting on 35 knots the whole way down the last downwind."

Doing an excellent job in the varied conditions was Erik Maris' Zoulou, not only topping the Owner-Driver Championship but also claiming third overall. "As always on the GC32, and especially here, it was great fun, wonderful conditions, a great fleet," said Maris. "Third is something given how many professional teams we are ahead of. That is testament to what the guys are doing on board. We had our ups and downs, but all-in-all we had good speed and manoeuvres. Where we are missing is on the starts," concluded Maris, who next week swaps foul weather gear for fireproof suit to compete in the Le Mans Classic.

The teams that joined the GC32 Racing Tour for the first time this week remain on a steep learning curve. "For us it was learning, learning, learning - like power school!" said Piotr Harasimowicz, the beaming Polish owner-driver of HRM Racing Team. "We are happy. The wind was strong today but we found a good balance downwind. I have absolutely enjoyed it. We want more!"

Graeme Sutherland, skipper of Team Canada, agreed. "It was great. The whole week we've built really well. It has taken time to adjust to the boat and get used to the racing and making steady improvements. We have had three great days of sailing."

Simon Delzoppo and his.film AUS Racing team showed moments of brilliance this week and enjoyed today's racing. "It was very exciting, with lots of breeze, but everyone handled it well with some fast speeds downwind. We did 34 knots downwind but it was controllable. We went with the gennaker which was a bit daring, but it worked well."

As GC32 Class President, Delzoppo added: "Sailing doesn't get better than this - the sun shining, the venue, good breeze - but not too predictable - and an amazing level of competition which everyone rises up to. When I joined the class in 2017 it was easier to win races. Now you are happy if you can get up near the front! It was an awesome sight to see ten boats at this new dock, with all their country flags up. Out on the water it was amazing on the start line. Everyone enjoyed the great sailing and we got plenty of races in. Lagos delivered..."

This afternoon's a prize-giving was attended by Hugo Pereira - Mayor of Lagos, Joao Fernandes - President of Algarve Tourism Office and Mario Quina - President of Portuguese Sailing Federation.

The GC32 Lagos Cup was supported by the City of Lagos and Tourism Portugal, plus Sopromar, Marina de Lagos and Clube de Vela de Lagos.

The GC32s return to Lagos over 13-17 July for their main event of the season, the GC32 World Championship in which 11 teams are entered.

Overall Results:

PosTeamNatSkipperPts
1Alinghi Red Bull Racing - SUI 15SUIArnaud Psarofaghis40
2Team Rockwool RacingDENNicolai Sehested50
3ZoulouFRAErik Maris71
4Alinghi Red Bull Racing - SUI 8SUIMaxime Bachelin72
5Black Star Sailing TeamSUIChristian Zuerrer79
6Team TiltSUISébastien Schneiter81
7K‑Challenge Team FranceFRAQuentin Delapierre91
8.film AUS RacingAUSSimon Delzoppo112
9Team CanadaCANGraeme Sutherland 140
10HRM Racing TeamPOLPiotr Harasimowicz146
Owner driver results
1ZoulouFRAErik Maris71
2.film AUS RacingAUSSimon Delzoppo112
3HRM Racing TeamPOLPiotr Harasimowicz146

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 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
GC32 Lagos Cup Day 2
High scoring flat water day Lagos demonstrated again on Friday what an excellent 'find' this venue was by the GC32 Racing Tour, which first held an event here for its foiling catamarans back in 2018, followed by its GC32 World Championship in 2019. Posted on 25 Jun
Armstrong-A-Wing-728x90 gif BOTTOMRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERSea Sure 2020 - SHOCK-WBV - FOOTER