As previously announced, Alinghi took to the start line in Villasimius (South Sardegna) in a new GC32 circuit this year. Exit the Extreme Sailing Series, welcome to the GC32 Racing Tour.
Looking from a distance, it'd be easy to be mistaken that not that much has changed, from the boats to the sailor faces at the dock, and it is still a matter of racing around marks.
But, dig a little further, and the differences between this year and last become clear...the races are longer (lasting more), there are more boats involved and the composition of the teams has changed too. A rule change, too – the last race does not count for double points any more. Also do not discount the fact that it's also never rained so much before in two days in the previous Championship, not even in Cardiff!
In short, all these little details added a degree of change, which, taken together, had to be factored in planning debriefing and onboard sessions in order to win.
Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician:
"With longer courses, we had more time to play with the wind shifts and pressures. There were fewer manoeuvres and you have to take care of the speed of the boat. We all think we could have done a little better, avoiding some of our mistakes. That said, our rivals will be saying the same and we all know that we have to limit these things in order to win."
Arnaud Psarofaghis, Co-Helmsman:
"The ranking feels logical given that we were competing chiefly with Oman and Ineos all week. We know how to win stages and have the means to do so by continuing to make good starts and going fast."
Pierre-Yves Jorand, Team Director:
"To compensate for the absence of Tim, who was injured, the team had to adapt. We are of course aware of the importance of the specificities of each position, as well as the fact that we wouldn't have enough training time in our new set-up.
We also had to deal with some small technical problems, the impact of which will take some time for us to analyse properly so that we don't repeat the mistakes. Some of those are probably related to the longer racing format on the GC32 Racing Tour...
"Oman sailed very well. Congratulations to them. They were consistent and found solutions to come back and pass boats when they were at the rear. A bit like us, but a little step above."
Today the GC32 will take its place in its container to travel to Lagos, Portugal, for the World Championship of the series, held from the 27th to the 30th of June, with the event also counting as the second leg of the annual circuit.
In the meantime, the team will be back on Saturday, June the 8th, on Lake Léman for the Genève-Rolle-Genève aboard the D35.
Click here for the GC32 Villasimius Cup general ranking after 16 races.
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