Hello and welcome to the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour. For its sixth season, the ultra-high performance one design catamarans, will once again visit five top venues over the next few months. Each location selected especially for its conditions - stable winds and flat waters - ideal for the nimble GC32s to fly across the water at 30+ knots. For a third year, the Tour starts in Italy, but this time in Villasimius on the southeastern-most tip of Sardinia. This is the third time that the GC32 Racing Tour will have visited this popular holiday destination, renowned for its azure waters, exotic marine life and pink flamingos. Racing at the GC32 Villasimius Cup takes place off the Marina di Villasimius near the protected maritime area of Capo Carbonara.
Olympic heroes, America’s Cup winners, Volvo Ocean Race champions and some of sailing’s most capped World Champions gathered in Lagos, in Portugal’s Algarve for the 2019 GC32 World Championship.Taking place with the support of the City of Lagos, Marina de Lagos and Sopromar, this year’s GC32 World Championship was the second event of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour, following on from last month’s GC32 Villasimius Cup. Racing off Lagos takes place in the Atlantic ocean, but the waters here are protected by Cape St Vincent, the most southwestern tip of Europe, which is just 10km away. With sea breeze conditions and flat waters, the GC32 World Championships offered perfect foiling conditions. And with the local organisers familiar with the GC32’s it was set to be one of the best events of 2019.
For its third event, the Tour was once again invited to visit Palma to be part of the 38th Copa del Rey MAPFRE, the Mediterranean’s most prestigious multi-class regatta. While the other Tour events are usually stand-alone, for GC32s exclusively, in Palma the state of the art foiling catamarans get to showcase themselves to the cream of international monohull racing fleets. What is more, some of the world’s top sailors chose to sail the GC32 foiling catamarans due to the great speeds that they achieve. Ideal foiling conditions for exciting racing on the Bay of Palma helped the teams give their best. Run by the Real Club Náutico de Palma from it’s magnificent clubhouse and with its welcoming hospitality plus many of the Spanish royal family competing, this is one of the most popular events with the GC32 teams.
The race course of Riva del Garda is well-known for its dramatic cliff face and 1000m mountain peaks on its west shore as well as the typically strong wind and flat-water conditions. It’s the 5th time Lake Garda has hosted the foiling catamarans as part of the GC32 Racing Tour. Seven teams were on the starting line for the GC32 Riva Cup. The heavyweight battle at the top of the leaderboard was between the Adam Minoprio-skippered Oman Air and Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi, helmed this week by Swiss ace Arnaud Psarofaghis. These two teams sit on the top of the leaderboard on equal points after 3 of the 5 events this season. Heading into the Riva del Garda event, holding third were the Austrian Olympic Tornado double gold medallists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher and their Red Bull Sailing Team. In this episode, we explore how those high boat speeds are achieved. The GC32 foiling catamaran is suitable for high octane flight in almost all conditions, and different sized sails ensure that the teams have the right amount of power to keep flying in various wind strengths.
For its fifth event of the sixth season, the ultra-high performance one-design catamarans were invited to visit Muscat for the final event of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour, the GC32 Oman Cup. The event, held in Muscat, has been jointly organized by Oman Sail and the host venue partners EFG Private Banking as well as fragrance brand Amouj and the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism. The Oman Cup was the final of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour and will decide this year’s overall podium places. Unquestionably the big fight was for top spot between the local heroes Oman Air and Ernesto Bertarelli’s World Champions Alinghi
With so many teams close on the leader board, there was the potential for some crucial match races amongst the fleet.
For its sixth season, the ultra-high performance one design catamarans, once again visited five top venues across the world. Each location selected particularly for its ideal weather conditions - stable winds and flat waters - perfect for the nimble GC32s to fly across the water at speeds of over 30 knots. Earlier in 2019, intensive discussions and decisions took place within the teams with many deciding to focus their efforts for the upcoming season, on the GC32 Racing Tour. This season the tour welcomed some new teams as well as many familiar regular GC32 crews. In total 12 teams from 9 different counties came together to take part in the 6th GC32 Racing Tour. Amongst them, some of the most well-known professional sailors in the world.