The Norwegian company, Helly Hansen has been renowned throughout the maritime world for its technical apparel for more than 130 years. Today it remains at the cutting edge. Since 2014, the SPAX Solution Team has relied on Helly Hansen when racing on its foiling GC32 catamaran and now, the sailing brand is to be the new Official Clothing Partner of the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour 2015.
The Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour in 2015 will take place in five different European venues: Gmunden, Lake Traunsee/Austria, followed by Cowes, Isle of Wight/UK, Kiel/Germany, Rome Fiumicino/Italy and Marseille/France.
After signing the contract, Michael Uhl, Marketing Manager Central Europe for Helly Hansen, commented: “In previous years, we have been the official clothing partner of the event in Traunsee. We are really enthusiastic about the ambiance, the dynamic sailing boats and the spectacular races. We are absolutely delighted to be a partner of the whole Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour for 2015. We have supported sailors for more than 130 years – sailing is in our DNA and Helly Hansen continues to develop the latest technologies, just like the GC32 boat – making the partnership a great fit for us.”
The GC32 is a state of the art foiling catamaran; similar to a smaller, one design version of the AC72 catamarans used in the last America’s Cup. The 10m racing boats with their L-foils fly over the water and are able to reach speeds of more than 30 knots. The Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour promises spectacular sailing events for both spectators and crews, with races ranging from the famous Round the Island Race, around the Isle of Wight, to the tiny course on Kiel’s Inner Fjord.
The GC32 catamarans are campaigned by many of the top professional sailing teams, but as they are smaller than the boats used in the America’s Cup, they are also perfect for experienced amateurs and young, ambitious sailing professionals to use as a springboard for their careers.
Seven teams have announced their participation in the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour: Alinghi, Spindrift racing, Armin Strom Sailing Team, GDF Suez, Team Argo, Team SPAX Solution and Team Zoulou.
Among the sailors competing are Olympic Star boat sailor Flavio Marazzi, two time America’s Cup winner Ernesto Bertarelli, reigning Extreme Sailing Series champion Morgan Larson, Class 40 champion Sebastien Rogues, maxi-trimaran sailors Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli and Melges 32 World Champion Jason Carroll.
Flavio Marazzi, President of the GC32 International Class Association commented: “On behalf of the GC32 International Class Association, I am pleased to welcome Helly Hansen as clothing partner for this year’s inaugural Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour.
“Foiling on a GC32 is fast and exciting, but can also be very wet as a deluge of water and spray comes shooting at you at 30 knots! So it is great that the Class has such a prestigious manufacturer of foul weather gear on board. We will certainly be testing it to the limit!””
About the GC32 Racing Tour
The GC32 is a 10m long (12m including bowsprit) by 6m wide foiling catamaran designed by Dr Martin Fischer.
Fischer has previously been behind the leading Capricorn, Hobie Wildcat and Phantom F18 catamaran designs and was part of the design teams behind the Groupama ORMA 60, maxi-trimaran, VO70s and Groupama C C-Class catamaran. He is a designer for the Luna Rossa Challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.
With structural engineering carried out by Brett Ellis (ex-Alinghi/Luna Rossa), the boat is built in carbon fibre throughout by Premier Composite Technology in Dubai, builder of the Carkeek 40HP, 47HP and 60 and the Farr 400.
The foils are manufactured by Heol Composites in France: The GC32 features T-foil rudders and J-shaped daggerboards/foils, similar in concept to those used on the AC72 America’s Cup catamarans. However relative to the size of the boat, the foils are substantially larger, allowing the GC32 to foil even in low wind speeds and with much great stability and ease. Despite having big foils, the GC32 has already recorded a top speed of 37.9 knots.
Unlike the AC catamarans the boat features a more manageable soft-sail rig with one design sails from North Sails France, carbon fibre spars from Southern Spars and composite standing rigging from Easyrigging.
The boat is demountable with a two piece mast for easy transportation.
GC32 Racing Tour 2015
27-31 May: Austria Cup – Lake Traunsee, Austria
24-27 June: Cowes Cup – Cowes, UK
29 July-2 August: Kiel, Germany
27-30 August: Rome Cup – Fiumicino, Rome, Italy
30 September-3 October: Marseille One Design – Marseille, France
Read more about the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour at: gc32racing.com