The Extreme Sailing Series has combined with the GC32 Racing Tour this season, and the 10 teams contending in the 2019 Villasimius Cup featured not only Olympic and America’s Cup champions, but Match Racing and Volvo Ocean Race winners as well. The next-level lineup produced no-holds-barred action across 16 races at the Sardinian holiday destination.
– “Hans Peter and I are super happy with the start of our campaign,” said Hagara. “The new crew is really getting into it, and we’re working well together already. We see high potential for this season.” On board the Red Bull Sailing GC32 with Hagara and Steinacher were Australians Rhys Mara (trimmer) and Mark Spaermann (board trimmer), as well as Sweden’s Julius Hallström (bowman).
– Two-time America’s Cup winner Jimmy Spithill, now a team member of Luna Rossa’s campaign for the next America’s Cup, joined Red Bull Sailing on Sunday’s rough waters, supporting Hagara, Steinacher and the crew from the coach boat.
– Weather was the 11th opponent on the course: After nearly calm conditions allowed only one completed race on Opening Day, Day Two served up gusts that took the catamarans flying on their foils at speeds up to 50 knots (93 km/h, 58 mph). Boats battled through a chilling rain on Day Three, only to have Mother Nature turn up the difficulty even more with thunder, torrential downpours and 20-knot gusts in Sunday’s closing races.
– On Friday, Red Bull Sailing was involved in one of the regatta’s most dramatic moments: As the 10 boats sped around the course at high speed, Red Bull Sailing and Zoulou (FRA) desperately tried to avoid a collision but couldn’t avert a clash of rigs, with the masthead wind instruments sheared off the Austrian boat. On-the-water umpires gave Zoulou a two-point penalty.
– The GC32 is a 10m long (12m including bowsprit) foiling catamaran built in carbon fiber, and the tour’s course configurations are similar to those used in the America’s Cup, with an emphasis on allowing the boats to reach their maximum speeds. The regatta in Sardinia was the first of five venues on the 2019 calendar, which will conclude, for the first time, outside Europe at a venue to be announced.
– Next up: Red Bull Sailing will go for the GC32 World Championship at the second stop of the GC32 Racing Tour, when Act 2 flies in Lagos, Portugal on 26-30 June 2019.
Results, GC32 Racing Tour 2019 Act 1, Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy:
1. Oman Air (OMA) 44, 2. Alinghi (SUI) 53, 3. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 60, 4. NORAUTO (FRA) 67, 5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 88, 6. Zoulou (FRA) 100, 7. Argo (USA) 104, 8. Código Rojo Racing (ARG) 114, 9. CHINAone NINGBO (CHN) 120, 10. Black Star Sailing Team (SUI) 124.
Overall GC32 Racing Tour standings after one of five acts:
1. Oman Air (OMA), 2. Alinghi (SUI), 3. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR), 4. NORAUTO (FRA), 5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), 6. Zoulou (FRA), 7. Argo (USA), 8. Código Rojo Racing (ARG), 9. CHINAone NINGBO (CHN), 10. Black Star Sailing Team (SUI).
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Images for editorial use only. Credit: Sailing Energy/GC32 Racing Tour for Red Bull Content Pool
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Contact: Mario Schoby / +436646385997 / email@example.com
About Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher
Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher are Austria’s most successful summer sport athletes, having won two Olympic gold medals (Sydney, Athens) and numerous world championships. They are the only Austrians to have competed on the America’s Cup World Series. Determined to see sailing progress to the next level, they groom the next generation of sailors by leading the Red Bull Sailing Team in the GC32 Racing Tour and by serving as sports directors for Red Bull Foiling Generation.
About the GC32 Racing Tour
The GC32 class sets sail into 2019 with a circuit that’s stronger than ever, thanks to its teams consolidating in the GC32 Racing Tour. Course configurations are similar to those used in the America’s Cup, and venues are chosen with the aim of providing the best chance of optimum conditions to get the catamarans flying on their foils. The 2019 tour visits four venues across southern Europe and concludes with a fifth race that, for the first time, will be outside Europe.
22 - 26 May: Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
26 - 30 June: Lagos, Portugal (World Championship)
30 July - 3 August: Palma de Mallorca, Spain
11 - 15 September: Riva del Garda, Italy
6 - 10 November: TBA