GC32 Armin Strom Sailing Team emerge victorious.
All in all, it was a week that neither Flavio Marazzi or his Armin Strom Sailing Team will forget in a hurry as their catamaran sponsored by the famous Swiss watch-maker dominated and won the Marseille One Design event. Dedicated to the up-and-coming carbon multis upgraded this year with L-Foils and T-Rudders, the regatta saw the Swiss team finally reaping the benefits of a season of extremely intense, mainly lake-based training that has now successfully made the transition to the sea.
It was a very intense week that not only delivered volatile conditions but also plenty of racing, fun and spectacle. Unfortunately, for technical reasons, one of the boats entered could not compete. This left just three teams competing, each a force to be reckoned with. Aside from ASST, there were two new entries, in fact: GDF Suez (the power group chose two-times America’s Cupper Sebastien Col as skipper) and Magic Marine (skippered by Dutch yachtsman Mischa Heemskerk). The other ‘veteran’ team, SPAX Solutions, however, had to remain ashore.
‘2014 Marseille One Design – Armin Strom Sailing Team in action’ Sander van der Borch ©
A total of 17 races were held over four days – four every day except for day three when five took place. While Magic Marine never quite got into the competition because of fairly predictable teething problems with their boat, Col and his crew quickly settled in with their GC32, delivering performances almost on a par with Armin Strom. Nonetheless, Marazzi and his crew ultimately dominated the finish-lines, particularly towards the end when the races counted most. In fact, the Swiss team’s maturity eventually saw them pull away from their nearest rival by a whole eight points.
‘The conditions were very varied, interesting and real over the four days,’ explained the Bernese skipper. ‘Two days with a Mistral of up to 18 knots, then two much lighter days with a shiftier sea breeze. It was a very satisfying week and certainly exhilarating to win the first GC32 regatta. We can’t wait to do it again next year with many more boats in the mix and regattas on the calendar. We are delighted to see the class growing and we hope the plan for at least eight teams and five regattas in Europe comes to fruition. Upwards of that would be even better!’
2014 Marseille One Design – Armin Strom Sailing Team – Sander van der Borch_©
‘This week we really excelled at the starts. We learned a lot too and we saw that we have to improve on certain aspects of our teamwork. But we are still very pleased we were so tight and quick to realise we had to win as many races as possible.’
by Armin Strom Sailing Team