Before racing proper starts on the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour later this month on Lake Garda, a special event will take place in Austria this week. Teams are using this as warm-up, as well as an opportunity to visit one of sailing’s most picturesque settings.
Organised by Austrian sports marketing company, PROFS Consulting GmbH, in association with the GC32 Racing Tour, the GC32 Alps Challenge Traunsee will take place over Thursday 12th May until Sunday 15th May on Lake Traunsee. The event will feature a modern match racing format, with the added bonus of 30,000 Euros in prize money.
Nestled among the snow-capped mountains of Austria’s Salzkammergut, the host town of Gmunden on Lake Traunsee, holds a special place in GC32 history: It was here, back in 2013, before the GC32s were flying, that the class held its first ever regatta. The 32ft long catamarans returned in 2014 with their Mk2 appendages for their first regatta as full foilers, when it was a Chris Draper-helmed Luna Rossa that came out on top. The venue also hosted the first event of the 2015 GC32 Racing Tour, won by Leigh McMillan’s Sultanate of Oman team, the Omani team sailing its first ever regatta on a flying boat.
“We have a good relationship with Traunsee and it is nice to be going back there with a new boat,” says Flavio Marazzi, President of the GC32 Class Association and skipper of the ARMIN STROM Sailing Team GC32. “This will be the fourth time we’ve raced there since we started with a new boat and a new team back in 2013. This year it will be a ‘special ‘event’ with a new format. We hope this format will provide the teams taking part with an enjoyable few days of racing on the lake.”
Marazzi will be joined on the race course by Norauto Racing with New Zealand former Match Racing World Champion and Volvo Ocean Race sailor Adam Minoprio helming. Minoprio won the first ever GC32 event on Lake Traunsee in 2013 as well as the first event aboard the GC32 as a foiler with the America’s Cup team Luna Rossa the following year. Local representatives will be PROFS I Youth America’s Cup – Team Austria, skippered by Max Trippolt, who also skippered a boat at this event in 2013.
The fourth team is also from France in Team ENGIE. Skipper Sébastien Rogues is looking forward to competing once again on his GC32 after his first full season in the class last year: ‘We’re really impatient to meet up with our flying friends again! This event with the other GC32s will help us to further refine our settings and to confirm some of the things we’ve been trying during our training and to get back into the thick of the action! I can’t wait for it.’
Christian Feichtinger, Founder and CEO of PROFS welcomes the teams: “Lake Traunsee is a beautiful venue. We are used to it being like a small Lake Garda, but there is always a bit of luck needed for it all to work out. We look forward to seeing the foiling GC32s and their crews for a fourth time.”
New for 2016 is the event’s modern-day match racing format. This will comprise two days of fleet racing to determine which pairs will go head-to-head for the final two days of match racing.
To lend added focus and an incentive for the teams to perform well, prize money is on offer and will see the winner of the GC32 Alps Challenge Traunsee walk away with €15,000, while the second placed finisher will receive €10,000 and third place €5,000.
Racing takes place over 12-15th May daily from 1100-1700, but finishing an hour early in time for the prizegiving on the final day.
by GC32 Racing