Spanish debut for GC32 Racing Tour


Racing resumes this week with the third event of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour at the 35th Copa del Rey MAPFRE. This will be the one design foiling catamarans’ first ever visit to Spain. It will also be the first occasion a multihull class (let alone a foiling one) has competed at Copa del Rey MAPFRE, the Mediterranean’s most prestigious annual regatta.

Run by the Real Club Nautico de Palma, the 35th Copa del Rey MAPFRE takes place July 30-August 6, however, the GC32s will be sticking to their four day regatta format with racing on August 3-6.

During the event, the ten GC32s will moored immediately adjacent to the Real Club Nautico de Palma and during the day will be competing on their own course on the Bay of Palma – one of yacht racing’s most famous venues.

Leading the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour after two regattas is Switzerland’s Team Tilt, with a crew featuring Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby. But she is level on points with Volvo Ocean Race winner Franck Cammas’ NORAUTO.

For Team Tilt helmsman, Arnaud Psarofaghis, racing in Palma represents a personal first. “I have never been there before. I understand it is a very nice place to sail with a good sea breeze.”

Racing on the Bay of Palma will represent a major change from the first two GC32 Racing Tour regattas this season, held on Lake Garda. “It will be very different with the waves coming in,” says Psarofaghis.

2016-08-01_9-58-03It will also be a rare occasion that the GC32 Racing Tour joins a major regatta. Psarofaghis believes this will be good. “It will be interesting for other sailors to see us and to discover the GC32 class.”

Since the GC32 Malcesine Cup four weeks ago, Team Tilt hasn’t trained, but Psarofaghis personally got race ready, helming the Alinghi GC32 in Hamburg last week.

Keen to recover its lead in the GC32 Racing Tour will be the French NORAUTO team, where Adam Minoprio is taking over the helm from Franck Cammas this week. The Kiwi match racing world champion commented: “Our competitors have improved a lot over the first two events on Lake Garda. We won’t get a lot of training in before Copa del Rey so we’ll have to hit the ground running.”

Making his GC32 Racing Tour debut in Palma will be Japanese skipper Naofumi Kamei. His Mamma Aiuto! team competed in Malcesine, but this will be Kamei San’s first time helming his boat in a regatta. He returns to Palma as a defending champion at Copa del Rey MAPFRE having won his class last year aboard a TP52 monohull.

Kamei San commented: “I am very excited to compete at Copa Del Rey again. It is one of my favourite regattas. Also for the class we are sailing in, it will be good fun. It is my first regatta in this class, so we are looking forward to learn and end the week being competitive.”

They will face stiff competition from:

• ARGO of American two time Melges 32 World Champion, Jason Carroll
• Flavio Marazzi’s ARMIN STROM Sailing Team being helmed by leading match racer Phil Robertson and a crew including the circuit’s only female sailor, Sharon Ferris-Choat
• Gunvor Sailing, sailed by a young Swedish team, skippered by Swede Gustav Peterson;
• Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco helmed by Pierre Casiraghi;
• Orange Racing of GC32 Founder Laurent Lenne;
• Leading Swiss multihull team, Realteam skippered by Jerome Clerc
• French former Class 40 champion Sébastien Rogues on Team ENGIE

As usual the GC32s will sail windward-leeward courses with reaching starts and finishes.


Click to enlarge.

GC32 race area
GC32s are ultra-fast foiling catamarans capable of speeds approaching 40 knots (70 km/h). Because of this, a new approach to race course management must be taken.

To study how to run GC32 events as safely as possible, the GC32 Racing Tour has employed Swedish former America’s Cup sailor, Henrik Norberg, a full time fireman and safety specialist as its Safety Officer. Norberg, who also has previous experience of multihull racing, is examining every aspect of safety from best practice on the race course to mandatory equipment that must be fitted to yachts or worn by crew.

Copa del Rel MAFPFE being one of the first occasions the GC32s have raced within a larger regatta, special attention is being paid to the race course. This will feature a restricted area which will have a hexagonal-shaped boundary, indicated by marker buoys (click on image or links below). The GC32 Racing Tour and the Real Club Nautico de Palma are keen to communicate that no other craft other than those officially sanctioned by the GC32 Racing Tour may enter this restricted race area.

To prevent unofficial vessels from entering this restricted area, it will be policed by course marshalls.

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About the GC32 Racing Tour:
2016 is the fourth year of the GC32 Racing Tour and its third since the GC32 was transformed into a foiler over the winter of 2013-4.

The GC32 Racing Tour seeks to attract both private owner-driven boats and commercially-backed teams with a circuit aimed at providing the best foiling catamaran experience for participants. This remit includes choosing venues known to provide optimum wind conditions for foiling and race courses large enough to enable the boats to hit maximum speeds.

2016 GC32 Racing Tour schedule:
26-29 May: GC32 Riva Cup – Riva del Garda, Italy
7-10 July: GC32 Malcesine Cup at The Foiling Week – Malcesine, Italy
3-6 August: 35 Copa del Rey MAPFRE – Palma de Mallorca, Spain
22-25 September: TBA
13-16 October: Marseille One Design – Marseille, France

About the GC32
The GC32 is a 10m long (12m including bowsprit) by 6m wide foiling catamaran conceived by Laurent Lenne and designed by Dr Martin Fischer, now part of the Groupama Team France design team. It is built in carbon fibre by Premier Composite Technologies in Dubai.

The GC32 is fitted with T-foil rudders and J-shaped daggerboards/foils, conceptually similar to those used on the America’s Cup catamarans, with adjustable rake on all appendages. However relative to the boat’s size, the foils are substantially larger, allowing the GC32 to foil even in low wind speeds and with much great stability and ease. Despite having big foils, GC32s are fast! Alinghi holds the record with a peak speed of 39.21 knots.

Unlike the AC catamarans, the GC32 features a more manageable soft-sail rig and has one design sails. It is demountable with a two piece mast for easy transportation.

Source: GC32 Racing Tour

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