A new race area, new crew assignments and new security measures in place for the third GC32 Racing Tour event of the 2016 season.
Spain’s leading sailing event, the well known Copa del Rey, held Palma de Mallorca, has been gathering each year the most beautiful racing boats from around the Mediterranean for over 35 years. Norauto employees who are seeing the brand boom in Spain, are hugely proud to be supporting the team this week. The GC32 foiling catamarans will participate in the event for the first time. A fleet of ten boats will race from Wednesday to Saturday and on the leaderboard front, Norauto and Team Tilt lead neck and neck overall on the Tour following two grand prix events. Franck Cammas is currently sailing in France preparing for the America’s Cup and entrusts the helm of GC32 Norauto to his ‘sparring partner’ world champion match racer Adam Minoprio from New Zealand.
Change of scenery
Following a test event on Lake Traunsee in Austria (in mid-May) and the first two official events on Lake Garda in Italy (May and June), this is the first time this season that the crews will face each other on the open sea. With open water, currents and waves coming in to play, there is a bit of a change for the sailors competing on these particularly demanding foiling boats.
The Norauto crews have spent the winter in Brittany two-boat sailing in what was often windy conditions. Following a good result in fresh water venues which saw them take a win in Austria (with Adam at the helm) and a second win and then a second place on Lake Garda (Franck helming), the team is set to face racing on the remainder of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour on open sea.
“After Italy where boats were kept on the hard between the two events on the lake, we had to load and move everything to Mallorca. Our practice time before the races is therefore reduced, but this is also the case of our competitors,” explains Adam Minoprio. “I’ve raced many times in Palma as have other Norauto team members. The race area has its tricky areas and how best to deal with them will depend on where the race course is set. The wind was fairly steady in strength and direction on the lakes. We we are going to have to show how well we are able to adapt.”
Forecasts show for light conditions around the Balearics, but then the local effects can see things change.
The GC32 is part of the Groupama Team France America’s Cup team programme, for which Norauto is an official partner. The sailing team has ten sailors which are currently divided between technical sailing in France, aboard the new AC45 Class test boat, christened on 11th July (for more information click here), and the‘GC’ racing competition.
In Palma, Adam Minoprio will be joined by Hervé Cunningham (head sail trimmer) who was in Italy and remains at his post, while Arnaud Jarlegan mainsail, Julien Villion tactics and Louis Viat on the bow.
“Nico and Arnaud and I were together when we won in Austria in May and we have been working hard in Lorient for the America’s Cup. We had not raced together for a while, but all are ready physically, technically and really really look forward to racing! Julien joined us from the Tour de France a la Voile which just finished. He is a great sailor and knows the GC32 well and has been in competition mode every day for a month.”
Among competitors, there are also some changes. Sébastien Schneiter, Team Tilt (Switzerland) skipper and Nathan Outteridge, Gunvor Sailing (Sweden) helmsman have gone to Rio for the Olympics. At the helm of Armin Strom, Flavio Marazzi is replaced by the match-racer Phil Robertson and Japanese skipper Naofumi Kamei will be helming Mama Aiuto for the first time!
Change of rules
Following a collision in Malcesine between a rib and a competitor, the circuit has put in place further security measures. These extremely fast boats, require the utmost care and vigilance, especially when they form part of a larger event such as the Copa Del Rey. The GC32 Racing Tour and the Real Club Nautico de Palma therefore announce a restricted race area, with defined areas marking the limits of the water. The race area is hexagonal, indicated by marker buoys, watched over by ‘race marshalls’ who ensure boats not authorised remain outside the area. Inspired by America’s Cup where there are ‘boundaries’ real ‘race defined areas’, the GC32s will race on a defined area and so this could influence team racing strategy. Racing starts Wednesday.
Norauto crew in the Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Adam Minoprio, skipper
Arnaud Jarlegan, mainsail
Julien Villion, tactical & hauls
Hervé Cunningham, headsail trimmer
Louis Viat, bowman (replacing Nicolas Heintz)
Overall ranking of the GC32 Racing Tour 2016, after Riva Cup and the Malcesine Cup:
1 – Team TILT (SUI) S.Schneiter: 2 + 1 = 3 points
2 – NORAUTO (FRA) F.Cammas: 1 + 2 = 3 points
3 – GUNVOR Sailing (SWE) G.Petterson: 4 + 3 = 7 points
4 – ARMIN STROM Sailing Team (SUI) F.Marazzi: 3 + 6 = 9 points
5 – ARGO (USA) J.Carroll: 7 + 4 = 11 points
6 – MALIZIA – YC Monaco (MON) P.Casiraghi: 8 + 5 = 13 points
7 – Team Engie (FRA) S.Rogues: 5 + 8: 13 points
8 – Spindrift racing (FRA) Y.Guichard: 6 + 11 = 17 points
9 – Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) N.Kamei: 10 + 7 = 17 points
10 – Realteam (SUI) J.Clerc: 10 + 9 = 19 points
11 – ORANGE Racing (NER) Laurent Lenne: 9 + 10 = 19 Points
Season 2016 GC32 Norauto
May 26 to 29: Cup Riva, Lake Garda (Italy)
July 7 to 10 Malcesine Cup / The Foiling Week, Lake Garda (Italy)
August 3 to 6: Copa del Rey Mapfre, Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands (Spain)
September 22 to 25: Sotogrande (Spain)
October 6 to 8: Act 7 of the Extreme Sailing Series, Lisbon (Portugal)
13 to 16 October: Marseille One Design, Roucas Blanc (France)