A textbook start to the GC32 season
5 July, 2021
Wind, foilers and competition during the 18 races launched in the four days of this first event of the GC32 Racing Tour. For all those who returned to the marina in Lagos (South Portugal), it made for a beautiful sailing event.
Alinghi was not to be outdone and set the bar high at the season's start, winning 11 of the 17 races run and thereby allowing themselves to return to port before the 18th. In fact, the overall win was even sealed four races before the final run!
The objectives of the GC32 season are clear: to defend the 2019 World Champion title and also the annual ranking. The tone is set!
Red Bull Sailing Team and Team Rockwool Racing completed the podium.
"We had thought that we might have been a little rusty after an 18-month break from the GC32, but we are happy to see that it is not the case! The conditions were mostly tough this week, but that's how we like it. With our manoeuvres, our speed or our tactics, we were able to find the keys to get back into the game when it was necessary. Frankly, we sailed really well in all areas.
"To win a four-day regatta, the key is to be consistent at the front and to avoid bad heats, and that's what we did."
Within the fleet of six boats, one team is remodelled (Black Star) and two are new to the circuit (Rockwool and Swiss Foiling Academy). What is the level like?
"Each has had their ups and downs, but with training and with the experience gained race after race, their level will go up. I imagine they will watch videos of this event, in addition to the experience accumulated over these 18 rounds. Then you must work, practise your lines and avoid repeating previous mistakes."
"By attacking this last day with a good lead, we expected not to have to run all the races to win the event. While chatting during our daily briefing, we thought there was always an opportunity to try some different things. We sailed without pressure and even achieved our best speed of the week, 37,73 knots."
How do you stay efficient from one year to the next?
"We are fortunate to sail together very often and to have had a stable crew for several years. We have friends among us and the atmosphere is great. Individually everyone is good and collectively our team works. The preparation of the boat is methodical, we have been sailing in GC32 since 2015 now and we also practice foiling with the TF35. The helm and the trimmers make the boat go fast, the tactician takes us to the right place around the race course, the coordination of the crew is precise during the starting phases and in the manoeuvres. The combination of all these factors is ideal, and we push ourselves to innovate to continue to progress."
"Don't just look at the final score, which might make it look like it was easy for us. We fought in each of the races and on each leg to get there. It was sometimes thanks to a manoeuvre, a layline, a few metres gap to mark rounding. Our opponents generally have fewer hours on the clock than us, but each gave us a hard time at different moments. This is exactly what we are looking for on the GC32 Racing Tour, to push us to always be better. We missed this circuit last year and it really complements the TF35 Trophy.
"At the end of this first event, we are happy with the work accomplished to regain our 2019 level. We think we have reached it, and even exceeded in certain phases. In any case the GC32 is really a great boat for racing – more teams should join us!"
An exceptional sanitary context, an exceptional programme this year. The team will be back in Lagos at the end of this month for the second leg of the GC32 Racing Tour (July, 29 to August 1st). The 2021 championship will consist of four events, including the GC32 World Championship from 16th to 19th September in Villasimius (Italy).
Extracts from the general classification after 18 races - GC32 Lagos Cup N ° 1:
1st – Alinghi: 33 points
2nd – Red Bull Sailing Team: 58 points
3rd – Team Rockwool Racing: 61 points
4th – Black Star Sailing Team: 62 points
Click here for the full rankings, including all boats.
Options to review the racing modeled in 2D thanks to the gps tracker placed on each boat from the first to the fourth days of competition: Tractrac website, or via these free apps (click here for an Iphone, or here for an Android).
To find out more
To learn more about the race monitoring system, the team composition and the GC32 Racing Tour in general, a summary of the event is here.
#GoAlinghiGo // GC32racingtour
Credit for photos
© Sailing Energy / GC32 Lagos Cup 1-2021