Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher have won almost everything there is to win on the sea with two Olympic titles and countless world and European champions to their credit. In addition to those accolades come the Austrians’ two-time Team of the Year titles and their distinction as the most successful Austrian summer sports athletes in modern history. But are they done? Far from it. With their participation in the big boat scene the Austrian duo is preparing for their speed machines and the competition with the world’s best sailors. The serial champions will be up against tough competitors and that is why they are meticulously planning their preparation and leaving – as usual - nothing to chance. Since winning Olympic gold in Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) the world class sailors have been putting their focus firmly on their next big challenge since 2009: the big boat scene. The hugely successful pair has been travelling the world, facing off with the world’s best teams across spectacular locations. Apart from Hagara and Steinacher, the five-man crew also comprises three more professional sailors from the big boat scene as well as one guest per race (in the Extreme Sailing Series).
Hagara and Steinacher also competed for the first time in the America’s Cup World Series in 2013. That was a further milestone for the pair which also was installed as sports directors for the Youth America’s Cup.
Catamaran five times faster than the RC44
200 square metres sail area, 20 metres tall, 13 metres wide and reaching speeds of up to 75 km/h, these are the stats for the 40-foot catamaran which was transported from the factory in Amsterdam straight to Asia.
Despite the pair’s vast experience, Steinacher is fully aware that racing in the big boat scene is a notch more challenging in all aspects than anything that has come before. “The huge challenge is the enormous dimensions of the boat,” he said. “We are not racing long distance regattas but rather arrive with our boat in the city and sail in very tight and confined racing courses near the coast and in front of thousands of spectators.”
For Hagara such racing represents the future. “Racing like that is the future of the sport of sailing and we want to be a part of that,” Those who know the Austrians are well aware that these are no empty words.