After a warm-up day, teams are ready to advance to the GC32 Lagos Cup 1 after being away from the race track for more than 18 months.
The GC32 Racing Tour roars back into life in Lagos, the historic port of Algarve, that has perfect wind conditions for the fleet of high performance foiling catamarans.
This year, the dark horse is likely to be Team Rockwool Racing. The Danish team is being skippered by former Volvo Ocean Race competitor Nicolai Sehested. Despite this being the first time the skipper and his team will be competing at the GC32 Racing Tour, their experience and practice around the track make up for it.
Rasmus Køstner is also back on board this season as Team Rockwool Racing’s flight controller. Last time he raced was in 2018, so he is expecting the crew will be a bit rusty, however, they will be ‘race-fit’ as they finished fifth at the recent SailGP season event.
The crowd's favourite still is Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team. The Swiss team is the 31st and 32nd America’s Cup Winner as well as 7 times Bol D’Or winner, 4 times Extreme Sailing Series Winner and GC32 World Champion in 2019.
However, the Red Bull Sailing team headed by the Austrian Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher are also a big threat to the Swiss team.
During the practice race, Alinghi led the fleet followed closely by the Red Bull Sailing Team and in third Black Star Sailing Team. Team Rockwool Racing was fourth followed by Zoulou and Swiss Foiling Academy.
For the GC32 Lagos Cup 1, six teams will be competing with a 8-knot north-western breeze that looks promising but creates small gusts and long lulls that could trap the foiling GC32s. Staying in the breeze as long as possible is the key to success.
Lagos, Portugal, is a known right-hand race track, so the whole fleet started on port tack to be the first into the right-hand corner for the first leg. However, Childerley could force the teams to alter their tactics for a fairer and more exciting competition.
From the 1st to the 4th of July the six teams will battle on the beautiful Algarve for the start of the 2021 season of the GC32 Racing Tour.
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