They are there. After months of waiting, punctuated by long training periods, debriefings and fitness sessions, Team ENGIE will finally take part in the first big event of the GC32 Racing Tour season. Sébastien Rogues and his crew are now settled in Riva on Lake Garda in Italy.
From Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th of May, nine teams that make up the GC32 elite get to race on the first stage of this exciting circuit. The season is spread over five events across European waters.
Starting on Thursday, nine teams will race against each other over four days of intense fleet racing. The teams entering this year represent five nations (France, Switzerland, United States, Netherlands and Sweden) and come from all different backgrounds: America’s Cup, One Design, Olympic Sailing and many other sailing disciplines, and are even more skilled than those competing in 2015.
This makes the competition even fiercer for Team ENGIE. Sébastien Rogues, with crew members Gurvan Bontemps, Carbonnières Christophe, Jean Baptiste Lorrain and Antoine Joubert, remains calm prior to the competition after having already had a years experience racing on the circuit. Team ENGIE’s bar has been raised but finally the team is now ready to measure themselves up against the competition and are keen to get racing.
Sébastien Rogues ‘We are really happy to be in Italy on Lake Garda flying the ENGIE colours and seeing the new GC32 season finally get underway. After the Test Event on Lake Traunsee in Austria we showed we can do well but the Riva Cup will be another adventure. The level will be very high looking at the other teams who have entered. I am not familiar with Lake Garda but my crew have sailed here and know this beautiful lake well. We are expecting consistent temperatures and flat waters, which are great conditions to get the catamaran flying.”
Whilst it may look picture perfect, the circuit is very demanding and there will be no room for error. “We will have to perform well right from the outset because if not any ground lost will be very hard to make up. We have a long road ahead of us and we’ll now see if our hard work over the winter is going to pay off. There are always things that can be tweaked at every position on board but we are finally ready for this first event.”
Whilst eager to come and do their best at the events this season, Sébastien Rogues has said that he hopes to finish somewhere in the middle of the leaderboard on this first event. The GC32 Riva Cup results will be announced on Sunday afternoon, but before then it’s showtime and the flying catamarans are set to race in Lake Garda’s idyllic surroundings.
by Sébastien Rogues