Tag Archives: gc32

Foiling Week expands in 2016

The Foiling Weektm is the first and only series of global events dedicated to the amazingly fast foiling boats, their sailors, designers and builders.

After two successful editions in 2014 and 2015 held at Fraglia Vela Malcesine on Lake Garda in Italy, Foiling Weektm is happy to announce that in 2016 the Foiling Week will also hold an additional event in the USA.

In its third year Foiling Week Association has decided to follow up on the numerous overseas requests to hold a Foiling Week event and as a result, Sail Newport, in Newport R.I. will co-organize the second act of the Foiling Week Series 2016.

The first event in Malcesine on Lake Garda from July 7th to 10th is the ‘classic’ Foiling Week organized by Foiling Week Association together with Fraglia Vela Malcesine.

The second event of Foiling Weektm in 2016 takes place in Newport, Rhode Island, USA from September 8th to 11th.

The program will include the Forums to be held in the morning and the on water activities mainly in the afternoon with a Foiling Expo and Foiling Boat Trials available throughout the week. There will be races for the one-design classes, long distance races along with prototypes, a speed contest and a permanent training area for those not racing at that time.

Foiling Week – Malcesine, Lake Garda

At Malcesine the Moth class will have an excellent opportunity to test the waters of the venue that will host the 2017 International Moth World Championship.

TFW-One-Design-races---Moths

The Flying Phantoms will hold a regatta as part of the 2016 Flying Phantom Series and the GC32 foiling catamarans return for a leg of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour. The Waszp, S9, kitefoils and prototypes will also race over two race courses during Foiling Week in Lake Garda.

TFW-One-Design-races---Flying-Phantom

Nicolas Felix from Phantom International: “For the second year in a row, the Flying Phantom Series will join the Foiling Week event in early July. Lake Garda is one of the favourite sailing venues for European sailors and a perfect place to organize Flying Phantom races. With its unique dedication to foiling boats with new foiling classes this year, The Foiling Week is definitely one of the key events of the season and also a great opportunity to enjoy this fantastic area.

0_GC32_MOD_Marseille-1280x853_credit-Sander-Vand-Der-Borch

About their participation at Foiling Week 2016, Christian Scherrer, the GC32 Class Manager, declared: “The GC32 Racing Tour is looking forward to coming to Malcesine on Lake Garda for the second event in our season. Having the GC32 Malcesine Cup as part of The Foiling Week gives this event a very special status. The Fraglia Vela Malcesine will become the hot spot for the foiling community for the first week of July. We are counting on a great event and interesting meetings ashore.

TFW-Long-Distance-race---Kitefoil

The President of Fraglia Vela Malcesine, Gianni Testa, says: “We’re enthusiastic to be part of such a successful project that this year will also expand to Newport, USA. The Foiling Week has gained a very special status within the foiling community and in the 2016 we welcome as new member of our foiling family the GC32 catamarans with their Racing Tour. Lake Garda is one of the best spot for sailing and we’re happy to organize for the third year in a row this exciting event together with the The Foiling Week Association. We look forward to the first week of July and to lots of exciting days with foiling boats!

Foiling Week – Newport R.I.

Newport will hold races including the Moth North-American Championship and the A Class Catamaran Pre-Nationals. The C Class multihulls and a lot of prototypes will fly during the week from 8th to 11th September.

SailNewport

Brad Read, who heads Sail Newport, which masterminded the last Volvo Ocean Race stopover, declared “We are very excited to bring this international event to Newport. High-performance sailing has a home here and has for generations. Sail Newport Sailing Centre is the home of one of the nations largest foiling Moth classes. Narragansett Bay is popular for kite boarders which are now equipped with lifting foils as well as the foiling A Class catamaran fleet in Bristol.
Boats that literally fly out of the water are not a new development. The technology is becoming more ‘mainstream’. We look forward to the sharing of technology and showcasing ideas among sailors from around the world in Newport Rhode Island in September.

TFW-Long-Distance-race---Windfoil

In the past editions a lot of flying boats including foiling mono hulls, multi hulls, kite-surf boards, windsurfers, and a wide variety of prototypes have been sailed by sailors including professionals such as Sebastian Col, Francois Gabart, Josh McKnight, Stefano Rizzi, to name just a few.

In both venues the Forums will be scheduled during the week with presentations in the morning and a round table with Q and A’s to close the sessions on these days.

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Around 40 influential speakers will join in the most relevant Foiling Forum subjects worldwide for three days. In previous editions, designers, sailors and builders including Tom Speer, Martin Fischer, Kevin Hall, Davide Tagliapietra, Doug Schickler, Guillaume Verdier and Andrew ‘Amac’ McDougal have provided detailed analysis, explained projects and shared informative discussion on the art of foiling and ideas for future developments.

Forum Workshops will be scheduled during the mornings and at the end of racing in the afternoons from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th July in Malcesine and from Thursday 8th to Saturday 10th in Newport. Special forum sessions are open to those who have innovative ideas and projects to propose.

An Exhibition of foiling crafts and test trials on board some of the boats, provides a rare opportunity to try the ‘third mode of sailing’.

Nominations are now open for Boat Show exhibitors and sponsors who would like to support the events.

Foiling! – Fast, Furious and Fun

The foiling week is pleased to invite applications to the Malcesine and Newport Forums. We are also pleased to invite local and international companies to sponsor and/or exhibit at the Foiling Week events 2016. Please write to contact@foilingweek.com

EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND ANNOUNCES A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH SWISS TEAM TILT

by Emirates Team New Zealand

© Loris von Siebenthal

© Loris von Siebenthal

Emirates Team New Zealand today announces a new partnership with Swiss GC32 and youth sailing team, Team Tilt.

The cooperation between Emirates Team New Zealand and Team Tilt provides mutual benefit for both teams and will be focused around the 2016 GC32 Racing tour and on towards the next Youth America’s Cup.

“This is an exciting partnership for both teams,” said skipper Glenn Ashby,

“Emirates Team New Zealand has always placed an emphasis on developing new talent in the sport and it will be a great opportunity for me personally to coach and sail with Team Tilt. ”

Despite its youth focus, Team Tilt already has a proven track record in major sailing events with its biggest success to date in 2015 not only winning Switzerland’s most prized event- the Bol d’Or Mirabaud on its D35 catamaran, but also the taking out the overall 2015 D35 Championship against far more established competitors Alinghi and Spindrift racing who also compete on the GC32. Team Tilt also successfully competed in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2013, finishing 4th. Some of its members have obtained world class results in the Moth Class, Extreme Sailing Series and sailed America’s Cup pre-events onboard AC 45’s.

© Loris von Siebenthal/Team Tilt

© Loris von Siebenthal/Team Tilt

Team Tilt is looking to build on its recent success and transition into foiling on the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour.

Team tilt manager Alex Schneiter explains: “Team Tilt is above all a team of talented Swiss youth promoting youth sailing at international level. The support from highly experienced Emirates Team New Zealand sailors will be huge for our guys. To have Glenn Ashby- one of the best, most highly regarded multi hull sailors in the world- sailing with and coaching our guys is amazing.”

“On a technical level, Emirates Team New Zealand were the innovators that lead the world in terms of bringing foiling to mainstream grand prix yachting, which is clearly key for Team Tilt. Even though we have been sailing high tech multihulls for over a decade, the foiling world is rather new to us and we are in the middle of a transition time into foiling”, said Schneiter

The partnership signals Emirates Team New Zealand’s continued emphasis and leadership amongst the America’s Cup community of supporting youth sailing and the next generation of the sport, highlighted by the promotion of three previous Red Bull Youth America’s Cup sailors, Peter Burling, Blair Tuke & Guy Endean into its sailing team.

Emirates Team New Zealand also plans to support a New Zealand entry into the Red Bull Youth America’s cup in 2017 in partnership with Yachting New Zealand.

For more information on Team Tilt: teamtiltsailing.ch

GC32 comes sailing down under

by LiveSailDie.com

© Team Vodafone Sailing

© Team Vodafone Sailing

It looks like Team Vodafone Sailing will have some competition on their hands!!!

Keri Keri, New Zealand – MARWIN RACING TEAM are bringing their GC32 foiling catamaran to sail in Bay of Islands and Auckland, New Zealand from December 2015 until March 2016. This new dynamic MARWIN RACING TEAM is an exciting collaboration between the four times Swiss Star Class Olympian and local New Zealand multiclass sailor and two time Olympian Sharon Ferris-Choat.

The GC32 ranks as the most exciting one desig n, America’s Cup style, foiling catamaran on the market – attracting worldwide media attention. Shipped directly from the inaugural GC32 European Racing Tour, the boat is ready for an action packed summer in New Zealand with race training, youth crew development and regattas.

Co-helm and Team Manager Sharon Ferris-Choat announced that team and crew trials will start in January for crew positions in the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, the MARWIN Youth America’s Cup Academy and the Women’s Speed Challenge. “This is an amazing opportunity for local sailors to break into a European tour, on a world-class boat and as part of a professional team that successfully competed in the 2015 GC32 tour” said Sharon.

Racing in the GC32 tour round in Marseille, France, the boat reached a top speed of 37.1 knots (68 km/ph) and the team hope to bring this spectacle of speed to New Zealand waters racing in the Bay of Islands Race week and other regattas. The foiling catamaran is currently on a ship to New Zealand and is due by Christmas, giving the team time for selection trials, training and local racing through to March before the boat heads back to Europe.

Contact information: Sharon Ferris-Choat, MARWIN RACING TEAM, Team Manager
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nzgc32
Website: www.marwin.com

GC32 designer Martin Fischer talks foiling

by  Extreme Sailing Series

© Sander van der Borch / Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

© Sander van der Borch / Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

With the Extreme Sailing Series™ moving to the hydro-foiling GC32 catamaran in 2016, German naval architect and GC32 designer Martin Fischer talks through the technicalities of how these unbelievably fast rocketships rise up out of the water and fly across the surface.

Dr Fischer, who is at the forefront of the revolution in sailing brought about by the invention of foils, has got used to simplifying the complex design features and theories that underline a step-change in sailing that has already turned the leading edge of the sport into a hybrid between yachting as we thought we knew it and flying.

The key innovation is the foils, the slender carbon-fibre winglets or arms that are deployed under both hulls of the GC32 and provide the magical ingredient – lift. This is what enables the GC32s to rise up above the surface and fly in the air above the waves, travelling at speeds that would be unimaginable on conventional “displacement” boats.

“The foils work like wings on an aeroplane,” explained Dr Fischer, a physicist and specialist in fluid dynamics who has worked on America’s Cup yachts, Volvo Ocean Race yachts and maxi-multihulls for solo sailors. “The foils do two things at once on the GC32. They provide lateral resistance to counteract the sideforce created by the sails but, in addition, they also create a vertical force that pushes the boat up.”

And here’s the critical bit: “The faster you go, the more powerful this upwards force is and, at a certain speed, the vertical lift is big enough to carry the whole weight of the boat out of the water, just as a wing on a plane lifts the fuselage off the ground.”

One big difference between a racing catamaran and a plane is that a plane needs to keep rising to reach an altitude at which it can fly safely. By contrast a boat can only rise a relatively small amount before its foils lose contact with the water. If that happens the foils stall and the boat suddenly crashes into the weaves and stops. Not good.

To stop the GC32 rising too high, Dr Fisher worked out a profile for the foils so that the height of the boat stabilises automatically. “We opted for a V-shaped foil,” he said. “The specificity of this shape is such that it stabilises the foiling height automatically without any interaction from the crew. That makes it pretty easy for an inexperienced crew to sail this boat.”

In comparison to the foils that we saw being used at the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco, the foils on the GC32s are quite big. This is because you need bigger foils to generate lift in light airs and, unlike the big cats on San Francisco Bay where there was plenty of wind, the GC32s need to work in a broad range of conditions and often very light winds. The critical element is the take-off speed. At what point will the boat come up and start to fly? After running a series of simulations Dr Fischer arrived at a take-off speed of around 16 knots of boatspeed. This is achieved in about 14 or 15 knots of wind when the boats are going to windward and about eight knots of wind when the boats are going downwind under spinnaker.

Fischer knows perhaps better than anyone what it will take to race them at optimum performance. He says that with so many control points to adjust – rudders, sails, foils – trimming the boat and understanding where to deploy crew in terms of weight and balance will be critical. He predicts that subtle variations across the Extreme Sailing Series fleet will make all the difference in any given set of conditions.

Overall, however, the key will be managing the transition between displacement mode and foiling, especially at the turning points on the course. “Tacking and gybing are not so easy because on a foiling boat the speed is really high and during a gybe, for example, you lose a lot if you get back to displacement mode,” said Dr Fischer. “In order to reduce that loss, the crew have to be able to perform foiling gybes and that requires quite a bit of training, especially on a boat like the GC32 that does not have hydraulic systems to control the foils like on the America’s Cup boats.”

For everyone this is going to be an exciting season in the Extreme Sailing Series. For Dr Fischer, the adoption of the GC32 class is a special moment. “It is very exciting to have the GC32 in the Extreme Sailing Series. I am very proud of it.” he said.

 

Bullit GC32 Marseille Pre Event

from Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

By Freek on 26 Apr. 2015

With 25+ knot winds blowing, the final day of the Marseille Test Event for the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour, racing was cancelled. However over the previous three days, 15 races had been held in conditions ranging from 3-20 knots, providing the four teams with the most valuable learning experience prior to the Tour’s first event on Lake Traunsee, Austria over 27th-31st May.

The Test Event provided a great indication of the racing we can look forward to: The spectacle of the gravity-defying foiling boats, particularly as they simultaneously scream off away on their reaching starts at speeds exceeding 30 knots. The quality of the racing already seems good with regular position changes and different winners – after 15 races, ARMIN STROM Sailing Team claimed honours, but was just four points ahead of Alinghi.

For this regatta America’s Cup helmsman and expert foiler Chris Draper was standing in for Flavio Marazzi on ARMIN STROM: “It has been really good fun and there have been some great sailors to sail against – it has been good watching them picking up foiling so quickly.”

Draper believes the GC32 has a great future: “If you think about the money people are spending on their other boats and campaigns, and you think about how much fun they could have here… It is really a viable boat for someone to drive who isn’t a pro. You probably aren’t going to win a lot, but you are going to have some serious fun. And it is not that expensive. We had four boats here, but the boat is so accessible, you could see it going nuts.”

Of the four teams in Marseille two – Alinghi and Spindrift racing – were complete novices in the GC32, but are of such high calibre that they were soon winning races.

Alinghi overtook Spindrift racing overall on Saturday with Team Principal Ernesto Bertarelli helming for three races and promptly scoring 2-1-2, despite it only being his fifth time out on the GC32.

“I enjoy it immensely,” said Bertarelli. “I find the boat exciting, but safe at the same time. It is a huge learning curve compared to other multihulls I’ve raced, but one that is approachable and affordable. I think it is a good owner’s boat.”

According to Alinghi stand-in helmsman Morgan Larson, this is the most enthusiastic he has ever seen Bertarelli. “It was probably a little daunting for him – it was daunting for me! But once you get behind the tiller and get a few races under your belt, you realise it is achievable and that you are not just surviving out there on the track, but you are racing. There were moments it felt like a wild beast out of control, but 80% of the time he was thinking ‘I can race this thing and with a little practice I’ll get better’.”

As for Alinghi, this was also the cat foiling debut for the highly experienced Spindrift racing crew and skipper Yann Guichard: “This event was good for us, because the GC32 is completely new for me and my team and the feeling at the helm is a bit different. It was really important for us to be here. I’m surprised how fast and stable the GC32 is – although I could be more stable! We have to spend time on the fine tuning – the right rake on the rudder and the T-foil, etc.”

2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing TourAfter years campaigning multihulls, Guichard is relishing being at the sharp end of the ‘foiling revolution’, one of the most significant developments ever in sailing. However he is also looking forward to the competition on the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour. “The level of the guys is very high, which is good for the circuit and good to make improvements.”

On the steepest learning curve, coming from a completely different avenue of sailing, is Sebastian Rogues and GDF Suez. “This was the first event with some of the teams who want to race the season on the GC32,” said the former Class40 champion. “Now we know what we have to do to get better in the next event and for all season – that is why we came here.”

Teams will now return to their bases to continue training prior to the first event of the Tour proper, in just one month’s time.

Alinghi is “foiling in love” and joins the BULLITT GC32 RACING TOUR

By James Boyd on 24 Mar. 2015

Alinghi GC32

After winning both the Vulcain Trophy (Lake Geneva) on its Decision 35 and the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series (global), Alinghi is proud to announce that it will compete in the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour. The team will also again race on Lake Geneva on the D35 circuit.

Alinghi is also delighted to announce a number of new official partnerships with some of the very best Swiss companies and brands, including SWISS airlines, HYT Watches, Planzer and MarinePool, while it is similarly delighted to confirm the renewal of its partnership with the Manotel Hotel Group.

The Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

Alinghi, created by Ernesto Bertarelli, won the America’s Cup in 2003 in Auckland under the colours of the Société Nautique de Genève. In doing so, it set a double precedent in the history of the world’s oldest sports’ trophy: A first victory on its first attempt; and the first ‘European’ team to bring the ‘Auld Mug’ back to the continent since the first competition in 1851.
On behalf of the Société Nautique de Genève, Alinghi then organised the 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, fondly remembered as the best ever and at which Alinghi successfully defended its title in an epic battle on the water against Emirates Team New Zealand.

However, despite Alinghi’s many successes in monohull racing (Maxi One Design, Farr 40, 12mJI, Corel 45, ACC), Ernesto Bertarelli has also been more than present on the multihull stage since 1993. It should come as no surprise then, that, with the creation of a new ‘flying’ one-design catamaran class, Alinghi jumps at the opportunity to join this ‘foiling adventure’ on the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour.

For its size, the GC32 one-design catamaran has unprecedented performance of a boat of its size, able to ‘fly’ in just eight knots of True Wind Speed and capable of speeds well in excess of 30 knots. This carbon dragonfly has already demonstrated to top-class sailors from across the sport of its pace, power and ability to ratchet up excitement levels.

Ernesto Bertarelli comments: “I have been enormously privileged to sail with some of my crew for more than 20 years. During the course of our adventures, our passion for the sport and for cutting-edge technology has been undimmed. It is therefore only natural that we would be eager to be involved with this evolution of our sport. Sailing in three dimensions will of course be a new challenge for all of us, but it is an exciting one and the opportunity to learn and then master a new type of boat is one that we couldn’t miss. The GC32, as with the D35 and the X40, is a strict one-design class. That’s very important to me, because it means that the racing is not about the equipment we use, but about how the crew works together on the water. It is true competition.”

The Alinghi 2015 GC32 crew will be: Ernesto Bertarelli (Helm), sharing the duties with Morgan Larson, who led Alinghi to the victory in the Extreme Sailing Series in 2014, Nicolas Charbonnier (Tactician), Pierre-Yves Jorand (Mainsail), Nils Frei (Trim) and Yves Detrey (Bow).

The same crew will compete on the Decision 35 circuit, albeit with the addition of Coraline Jonet (Trim), who will bring her many talents to the team of six that sail the D35.

New Partnerships Announced

Just before the team takes off for this new competition, Alinghi is delighted to announce an Official Air Carrier partnership with SWISS airlines. After all, what better source of inspiration for the team that is learning how to fly on the water in all four corners of Europe?

Lorenzo Stoll, Head of Western Switzerland for SWISS comments: “This partnership was an obvious one for us and we are delighted to team-up with Alinghi. So many parallels can be drawn between sailing – particularly foil sailing – and aviation. Dedication to giving our best performance,, the precision we demand of ourselves and a competitive a passion to be the best are all values that unite Alinghi and SWISS”.

While the team will be flying through the air, its brand new GC32 will hit the road in the expert hands of PLANZER, who Alinghi is thrilled to announce as Official Logistic Transport Supplier for 2015.

The GC32s are pushing the boundaries in sailing and so it is with great pleasure that Alinghi can also announce a new sponsor in HYT Watches, a Swiss company that is breaking new ground with its innovative, stylish and beautiful creations.

Patrick Berdoz, HYT’s Chairman said: “first and foremost, this partnership is a fantastic union of two high-tech universes and two leading teams. Alinghi challenges the elements and flies over the water, while HYT challenges the traditional watch making industry and masters the measurement of time through the use of fluid. We are very proud to associate ourselves with the next chapter of Alighni’s journey and to be aligned with this epic team”

Alinghi can also count on another important partner in MarinePool, who have created an Alinghi 2015 collection.

Last, but in no means least, Alinghi is extremely proud to be able to continue to count on the support of its loyal partner, the Manotel Hotel Group, preferred sanctuary of the Alinghi team when in Geneva – and this since 2001.

The tour welcomes a top team

Alinghi’s participation on the circuit is a great endorsement for the new foiling catamaran class. As GC32 Class Association President Flavio Marazzi said: “On behalf of the GC32 ICA, I would like to welcome the only European America’s Cup Winner, Team Alinghi, to the GC32 family. Ernesto Bertarelli and his team have a two decade-long history in catamaran racing on Lake Geneva as well as on the 90ft catamaran they sailed in the 33rd America’s Cup in Valencia. I believe that all other GC32 teams will highly profit from witnessing their skill and level of preparation, pushing the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour to the next level.

“I always believed that this design has huge potentials to attract teams from right across the yacht racing world. With Alinghi’s arrival we have come closer to our goal of creating a class providing the highest level racing.

“Let’s be prepared for more top teams to enter the GC32 Tour soon.”

Dave Floyd, co-CEO of Bullitt Group commented: “It’s great news to see one of the best multihull teams in the world – Alinghi – join the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour. They are the current Extreme Sailing Series champions and I’m sure will make a formidable team in the GC32 Class.”

GC 32 Racing Key West Race Week 2015

Video credits: Nick Bowers / Kettle Cinema www.kettlecinema.com

Quantum Key West Race Week provided the opportunity for the GC32s to make a spectacular debut in the USA.

During the five days of racing held in balmy temperatures off the southernmost tip of Florida, crews experienced a range of conditions. The beginning of the week saw lighter winds in which the foiling catamarans could sail at almost twice wind speed and the 20 knots on the final day enabled them to foil not only downwind, but upwind too.
Four GC32s took part: Flavio Marazzi’s ARMIN STROM Sailing Team and Erik Maris’ ZouLou made the trip from Europe to line up against two US teams – two time Melges 32 World Champion Jason Carroll on ARGO and fellow Melges 32 sailor Alex Jackson racing Leenabarca.
ARGO set the pace at the regatta. Despite Quantum Key West Race Week being its first competitive GC32 outing, Carroll’s team benefitted from training time in Key West prior to the start and familiarity with the race course and seemed to relish the light to moderate winds early on. ARGO led up until the penultimate day, but was not dominant, with all but Leenabarca claiming bullets in races along the way.
By Thursday the ARMIN STROM Sailing Team and ZouLou crews were getting into their stride, and two races in stronger winds left the top three boats impressively tied, but with ZouLou ahead on countback, going into the final day.
Former Olympic Star sailor Flavio Marazzi’s team won the first race on the last day, the Swiss crew demonstrating their experience in the brisk conditions. They led around the top mark and then extended away.
Sadly while lying in second, one point off the lead, ARGO was forced to retire after this race when one of the fittings broke holding her transom-hung rudder to her hull – a race course littered with lobster pots providing an additional hazard for the crews.
“We thought about whether or not we could repair it or lash it in place, but given how rough it was out there it was going to be a recipe for further damage if we continued to race,” explained Jason Carroll.
With ZouLou claiming the final race, a second was enough for ARMIN STROM Sailing Team to win the GC32’s inaugural prize at Quantum Key West Race Week.
While the GC32 can easily handle 20 knot winds, Friday’s short sharp chop meant crews had to throttle back. Marazzi explained: “The problem was that if you went too fast on the downwind, you jumped out of the waves and that was a risk. Since we just had to finish the race, it was a balance between holding back and going fast enough to win the regatta.”
Despite three crews making their GC32 race debuts at Key West, Marazzi was pleased with the high level of racing and there being no stand-out crews. “It was great that everyone was on the same points going into the final day and that it doesn’t come down to the boats or materials or different sails, but boat handling and team work.”
Despite his disappointment, Jason Carroll enjoyed his week: “It was awesome – I had a great time. Clearly this was the boat to be on at this event.”
ZouLou skipper Erik Maris has previous experience on Extreme 40 and D35 catamarans, but had only spent one week training in October aboard the GC32 prior to Key West. America’s Cup multihull sailor Thierry Fouchier, the jib and the genniker trimmer on board and who has sailed most top racing multihulls, commented: “I am pretty impressed with the boat and all the systems work pretty nicely. It is still early days for the class, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t attract more and more owners and get some very good racing. The boats are easy to sail and you can learn foiling fast. And they are pretty safe which is good.”
Former Team New Zealand helmsman Cameron Appleton was calling tactics on Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca, which suffered some technical set-backs. “I’ve never come last in a regatta before and had so much fun! Alex walked away with a huge smile on his face. These boats have made multihull foiling accessible to less experienced guys. You can get into them and steer them well, then it is about refining your skills. The learning curve is huge, but it is not on a level you can never achieve.”
During the latter part of the week Appleton said they had been hitting speeds into the high 20s, but it was the GC32’s handling that was impressive: “Once you get up on the foils and you are used to the sensation, the boats are actually a lot more comfortable than you’d think. We were doing stuff that you couldn’t do on other multihulls – bearing away and so forth – you would have flipped over. After racing we power reached at an angle that you would never usually consider on a multihull, but the sense of power and control was right there.”
Flavio Marazzi is also President of the GC32 Class Association and says that he hopes GC32 racing in Florida will become a regular feature over future northern hemisphere winters.
In the meantime the GC32s are gearing up for the start of the Europe circuit, the GC32 Racing Tour, kicking off with the GC32 Austria Cup, to be held on Lake Traunsee, Austria over 27th-31st May. The participation of more teams will be announced over the next few weeks.