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Written by JHS



By James on 28 Jan. 2016

for 2016, its fourth season, the GC32 Racing Tour is taking a fresh approach with the simple remit of visiting venues that will provide the optimum foiling conditions for the 32ft flying catamarans and the best, most high octane racing for its teams.

To minimise transportation time and cost, while maximising time on the water for competitors, the circuit is also this year located exclusively in southern Europe.

The schedule for the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour is as follows:

26th-29th May: GC32 Riva Cup, Riva del Garda, Italy

7th-10th July: GC32 Malcesine Cup at The Foiling Week, Malcesine, Italy

3rd-6th August: 35 Copa del Rey MAPFRE, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

22th-25th September: TBA

13th-16th October: Marseille One Design, Marseille, France

The 2016 GC32 Racing Tour opens with two regattas on Lake Garda. This Italian lake is considered one of the world’s must-visit regatta venues. Not only is it stunningly beautiful, with its northern end nestled within the Alps, surrounded by giant mountains, but it is renowned for offering exceptional wind conditions and flat water. Thanks to this perfect combination, it was here in 2014, that the SPAX Solutions GC32 set a new class speed record of 37.9 knots (although bettered last year by Alinghi, which managed 39.21 knots on Lake Geneva during training).

The first regatta will be held out of Fraglia Vela Riva located in Riva del Garda, in the lake’s northernmost corner. The club is a favourite championship venue, especially with dinghy and Olympic classes and last year alone hosted World Championships for the Cadet, Topper and Musto Performance Skiff classes.

For the second, the GC32s move to the eastern shore of Lake Garda to Malcesine, where it will join The Foiling Week with racing organised by the Fraglia Vela Malcesine. The Foiling Week is an international gathering for foiling enthusiasts and combines shore-based technical discussions and presentations from leading international foiling experts, including America’s Cup designers, and racing for a mix of popular foiling classes such as the Moths and innovative one-offs as well as the GC32s.

The third event of the GC32 Racing Tour sees the fleet moving from Italy to Spain, where it will compete in one of the Mediterranean’s leading regattas, 35 Copa del Rey MAPFRE. Racing here is held on the Bay of Palma, another of the world’s top regatta venues, renowned for its consistent sea breeze – more than adequate to get the nimble GC32s foiling.

135 boats, ranging from Maxi 72s to one designs such as the popular J/80, competed at Copa del Rey MAPFRE in 2015 and the arrival of the GC32s this season is significant as it will be the first occasion the organisers, the Real Club Náutico de Palma, have allowed multihulls to compete at their premier event. The GC32s will sail on their own dedicated course with the class’ regular umpires and race management team, led as usual by Anne Mallédant.

Javier Sanz, President of the RCNP welcomed the GC32s: “Integrating the GC32 into the 35th Copa del Rey MAPFRE is the big story of this year’s regatta. These ‘flying boats’ represent the cutting edge in sailing and we, as organiser of one of the most important events in the Mediterranean, want to incorporate this very latest style of sailing into our regatta.

“One of Copa del Rey MAPFRE’s goals is to have the best sailors and boats. The GC32 Racing Tour fits perfectly with that philosophy.”

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