After a GC32 World Champion title at the end of June in Lagos and an 8th D35 Trophy in 16 seasons at the end of September on Lake Geneva, Alinghi finished its sporting season in style by securing the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour in the Gulf of Oman with a win in the final event.
From the 6th to the 9th of November, the city of Muscat, located on the Arabian Peninsula, hosted the fifth and final round of the GC32 Racing Tour 2019. The six teams in contention raced in varied conditions, with light air at first changing to stronger breezes and waves, helping to diversify the competition.
At the start of this final stage of the Tour, the two rivals, Oman Air and Alinghi, had one and the same goal: to finish in front of the other, whatever their place in the fleet because no other competitor could join them at the top of the ranking.
At the end of the 17 races that were completed over four days (including nine won by the team), Alinghi won the event and added a first "GC32 Racing Tour" title to its record, in the wake of the Championship Extreme Sailing Series won in 2018 , also on the GC32.
Zoulou and Red Bull Sailing Team completed the podium of this fifth and final round of the season.
Overall, Oman Air finished second, followed by Red Bull. Zoulou finished fourth and first in the owner-driver classification.
Ernesto Bertarelli, skipper of the D35 and GC32:
"I warmly congratulate the team for the work they have done throughout this season, especially at key moments, of which there have been many in recent days. I also congratulate Zoulou, Erik Maris's team, who recorded a nice second place in Oman.
"The GC32 Racing Tour is the world's most demanding one-design multihull racing circuit, resulting in intense racing. Every micro-detail counts towards achieving victory and that's what our team is doing every day.
"We have won the GC32 Racing Tour 2019, we are the reigning world champions of the discipline and we won our 8th D35 Trophy in 16 seasons on the lake. We've achieved the treble this year and to fulfil our goals...it's fantastic."
Arnaud Psarofaghis, co-skipper of the GC32:
"To see the final score, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this victory was easy, but everything was still up for grabs this morning. Even being 10 points ahead, you never know what could happen in a regatta, the proof this morning being the contact between Oman Air and Zoulou, with the latter returning to port to be out of the water quickly before their boat took on water. We had to stay attentive and race every moment as if the scoring was tight.
"For me, it's the team that makes us win throughout the year. Everybody on the team is important, like David who managed to fix our boat two days ago during the night."
Nils Frei, coach:
"We have a great team spirit in our group and we have been able to stay focused on key moments. The team is strong technically and mentally, it's essential to go for wins and keep winning."
Pierre-Yves Jorand, Team Director:
"When the conditions are difficult and the pressure rises, the guys deliver their best game. During the World's at the end of June, or here in Oman, they had no room for error and they sailed superbly. Congratulations to the sailors, the technical team and thank you to all those who support us every day; friends, families, partners, the team that remains at the office and of course a big thank you to Ernesto who makes all this possible. I am already looking forward to the challenges ahead in 2020!"
While hoping to go on and achieve even more on the GC32 Racing Tour 2020, to perfect our technique in foiling, the team will be busy these next months preparing for the arrival of its brand new foiler, the TF35, before the launch of the class in the spring of 2020 on Lake Geneva.
Click here for all the 2019 rankings.
To find out more
To find out more about how to follow the racing, the team composition and the circuit in general, find the event recap by clicking here.
©Sailing Energy/GC32 Racing Tour & ©Lloyd Images