Zell am See (AUSTRIA) – “It feels so good to be training on the water again!” said an elated Hagara, the skipper and helmsman for Red Bull Sailing. Usually at this point in the season, Red Bull Sailing would have already opened the GC32 Racing Tour, where last year they took third in their debut campaign. But with a different global situation in 2020, the opening stop in Oman was cancelled and their cutting-edge GC32 is now on its way back to Europe. So instead of their 32-footer, they’re training on “half-size” versions: two 18-foot Flying Phantoms that have them flying past each other on foils at Steinacher´s hometown of Zell am See.
“We competed against each other on the Tornado in 1995, but ever since then we’ve been working together against others in Olympic classes and on the global big boat scene. So going head-to-head is a fun way to train,” said Hagara, who won his Olympic Golds with Steinacher in 2000 and 2004. “But it’s serious, too. There’s a lot to get ready for.”
The pair will continue training on the Flying Phantoms until the GC32 – which can reach speeds up to 75 km per hour – has arrived and is ready for training. Then, Hagara and Steinacher will decide where in Austria to set up a training camp for the entire five-person team. With opponents like two-time America’s Cup winners Alinghi, they need to be ready for any announcements of a resumption of the GC32 Racing Tour in 2020. And even if the series should get postponed until 2021, one or two races may even take place in 2020.
“Depending on how things go, we might also setup training camps on different lakes, to showcase the GC32 to people all over the country. So any way you look at it, training at home is very important to us right now,” commented Steinacher, who is the tactician for Red Bull Sailing.
Hagara and Steinacher revise their competitive retirement plans
Sailing fans who have been worrying about being able to see Hagara and Steinacher in their last competitive season can breathe a sigh of relief: “Yes, this is our 24th competitive season together, and we had decided that it would be the last, but we’ve revised that plan,” Hagara shared. “We want to end our career with the full series victory in the GC32 Racing Tour. Since the tour, like every sporting event, is affected this year, we’re already planning to stay on the boat through 2021, and we’re preparing right now.”
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
GC32 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.