The final pieces of the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour jigsaw are now firmly in place, with the ultra-high speed one design flying catamaran circuit again visiting five venues across southern Europe this season.
Each venue has been picked with the aim of providing optimum foiling conditions to maximise the time the owner-driver and pro teams will spend racing in fully-airborne mode. Of the venues chosen for this fourth season of the GC32 Racing Tour, two are brand new to the circuit.
The final venue to be announced is Lagos in southern Portugal. Just 10km away from Cape St Vincent, the southwesternmost tip of Europe, Lagos has a maritime tradition going back millennia.
The Algarve port was once home to Henry the Navigator and during Portugal’s ‘Age of Discovery’ in the 15th and 16th centuries was the favoured setting-off port for Portugese sailors such as Vasco de Gama to explore the African continent and beyond. Located so close to Cape St Vincent, the waters of Lagos have also seen numerous sea battles.
A sea battle of a different nature will be taking place off Lagos over 27 June-1 July when the flying catamaran fleet will lock horns in the GC32 Lagos Cup. Come the end of June, temperatures will be high enough to cause the local thermal breeze, the Nortada, to pipe up in the afternoons providing offshore wind and flat water – perfect foiling conditions. This will enable PRO Stuart Childerley to run his full schedule of windward-leewards with reaching or upwind starts.
The GC32 Racing Tour is visiting Portugal for the first time thanks to the efforts of the town of Lagos, and with the support of Hugo Henriques from the local shipyard Sopromar and Martinho Fortunato from Marina de Lagos, where the GC32 fleet will be moored.
José Manuel Oliveira Dias, President of the Clube de Vela de Lagos said: “For the Clube de Vela de Lagos, the GC32 Racing Tour is the opportunity to bring a unique event to Lagos and to become one of the most important sailing destinations in Europe. With this event we will continue to bring the Club and the city closer together, involving the whole community.”
Returning to the GC32 Racing Tour this season, Franck Cammas, skipper of NORAUTO, commented: “We are very happy to go to Portugal with my partner Norauto for this second event of the GC32 Racing Tour, the welcome and atmosphere are always excellent. I sailed out of Portimao in the Algarve in 2006 on the ORMA 60s but that’s some while ago! The conditions in this area can vary but the sea state usually flat so for flying GC32 catamarans.”
The GC32 Lagos Cup will be the second event of the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour, following on from the first ever GC32 World Championship, being held out of Riva del Garda at the end of May when the GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series fleets will unite.
In early August the GC32 Racing Tour gets sociable, for a third year joining the Mediterranean’s leading multi-class regatta at Copa del Rey MAPFRE. Here the GC32s will have the opportunity to showcase their high speed airborne racing to the cream of the yacht racing establishment. The winners can look forward to being presented with their trophies by King Felipe VI of Spain.
From Palma, the GC32 Racing Tour heads east to Villasimius for a second consecutive season. Taking place later in the year, in mid-September, the GC32 Villasimius Cup is expected to see improved conditions off the southeast Sardinia venue.
Once again the GC32 Racing Tour will wrap up its season in the south of France, only on this occasion in Toulon, continuing the foiling catamaran tradition of the Var department’s capital, following its hosting of the America’s Cup World Series in 2016.
Christian Scherrer said: “For a while I was hoping to organise an event in Portugal. In Lagos we have a wonderful venue, with the right conditions as well as partners and people to make this happen. I’m pleased we are bringing the GC32 Racing Tour to Lagos.”
Teams for 2018 GC32 Racing Tour will be announced over the coming weeks. Those looking to join the Tour, can contact Christian Scherrer on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the GC32 Racing Tour and boats that are available for sale and charter.
by GC32 Racing Tour