Jul 05, 2021
Alinghi won the GC32 Lagos Cup 1 and Red Bull Sailing Team came in second despite capsizing during the last day of competition.
The last day came with strong winds and dramatic conditions. The wind gusted to 25 knots and sometimes arrived with little warning. This caused the Red Bull Sailing Team to be caught out of guard. They dramatically capsized on the race course however there was no real damage to the vessel.
Roman Hagara and the Austrian crew aboard the Red Bull boat scored a 3rd and 2nd in the last two races of the competition in Lagos. This was enough for them to hold on to the second position. Third place was awarded to the dark horse Team Rockwool Racing.
“What a day! After the capsize we still finished the event in second, full on! Capsizing - it’s part of racing, we’ve had this before in other events. As soon as it happened we checked that everyone was OK [...] and we were ready for the next race.” -Hagara, skipper of the Red Bull Sailing Team.
Over the past four days the breeze had been very unpredictable in Lagos, Portugal. Sailors loved this unpredictability as it created many opportunities and meant things were not secure for anyone. The first race of the day took place with light winds.
Alinghi started strong and managed to win the first race of the day. They were followed by Zoulou, steered by Erik Maris. Team Rockwool Racing started with a fifth place but as the breeze built they grew stronger. They finished off the day with a 2nd and 3rd place.
Also in the Black Star Sailing Team Christian Zuerrer and his crew put all their efforts in the final race. They finished in the first position, but were disappointed to miss the podium by a few points difference.
“It was an absolutely great day, such amazing racing, and the level in this class is so high. Everyone is competitive, we were a little unlucky and didn’t sail well enough to beat the other guys.” - Zuerrer, skipper of the Black Star Sailing Team.
Skippered by Ernesto Bertarelli, the Swiss team is now leading the GC32 Racing Tour after this first win in Lagos. The team were the clear favourites as they also won the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour and are also the Swiss former America’s Cup champions.
After a long exposure to the Extreme Sailing Series, Ernesto Bertarelli joined the GC32 Racing Tour in 2019. That season was very close between his team and Oman Air, but in the end the Swiss dominated and won the GC32 World Championship title. They are looking forward to reciprocating the same success in this year’s edition.
The team was able to make up for their expectations as they shined throughout the entire competition in Lagos. However, all other competitors have proved to be more than ready as they have battled it out in the uncertain conditions of Lagos.
The next event of the competition is the GC32 Lagos Cup 2, taking place from the 28th of July to 1st of August. All teams are looking forward to the second leg of the competition.
Why is the GC32 Racing Tour such a big competition? The event was set up in 2014 and is the circuit for the one design foiling catamarans designed by Dr Martin Fischer, now Design Coordinator for Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s 36th America’s Cup.
The boats allow sailors to taste the fastest style of sailing with simpler logistics and hydraulics. Reaching speeds of up to 40 knots, it provides the opportunity for guests and VIPs to experience extreme ocean racing at a fraction of a cost of the America’s Cup.
From the second leg in Lagos, contested from the 28th of July to the 1st of August, competition continues to Villasimius, Sardinia from the 15th to the 19th of September. Then, From the 3rd to the 7th of November the final leg will take place in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain.