Please select your home edition
Craftinsure 2012

GC32 Racing Tour at Marseille One Design - Day 1

by GC32 Racing Tour 12 Oct 2017 20:17 BST 12-15 October 2017

Despite the onshore sea breeze filling in to provide more than enough wind to get foiling, conditions remained extremely tricky on the Rade Sud for the opening day of racing at Marseille One Design, the final event of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour. The result was high scores throughout the seven boat fleet of one design flying catamarans.

At the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup in Calvi last month, Erik Maris' Zoulou had capsized, putting her out of the event before racing had even started. Making up for this in part, the French team got off to a strong start, winning the first two races. These were both held in light conditions, for which Principal Race Office Stuart Childerley set conventional upwind starts.

Standing in for Erik Maris is Swiss foiling and catamaran expert Arnaud Psarofaghis, usually stand-in helmsman for Ernesto Bertarelli on Alinghi. Fortunately most of the Zoulou crew know and sailed with Psarofaghis while they were with Franck Cammas' Groupama Team France, winner of Marseille One Design last year on NORAUTO.

"But this is the first time we have sailed in this configuration with me helming, so we are trying to keep things simple," admitted Psarofaghis. "Today Thomas [le Breton] did really good tactics to send us to the right side and getting us into clear air. From there was easy, plus our boat is really quick upwind. We struggling in the last two races where we made some wrong decisions. We should have just trusted our first call and gone for it."

Today, competitors enjoyed a full day out on the waters of the sailing venue for Paris 2024 and four races were completed plus one round of the ANONIMO Speed Challenge. This latter event was claimed today by Naofumi Kamei's Mamma Aiuto! from Japan, which recorded an average speed for the two reaches and gybe between, of 14.33 knots.

Of this success, project manager and tactician on Mamma Aiuto!, Manu Weiller said: "Today the forecast was for the windiest day of the week - let's hope it stays like that and we are the fastest boat this week and we win the watch!"

Unfortunately in the fleet racing the Japanese team had a mixed day and finished last in today's fourth race. "It was a bit of everything. Our emotions were up and down, but it was a very nice day of sailing and we enjoyed it," continued Weiller. "It was more of a tactician's day but as the conditions increased and there were more waves, the manoeuvres and boat handling became more important."

While the wind for the first race was in conditions that just enabled the GC32s to foil, by the last race, the wind was up to 16 knots. Unfortunately as the boats were approaching the gate in today's fifth and final race, the wind shut down and the race was abandoned.

"We were second, but by the time we got to the gate we were almost last and the wind completely disappeared. We were at the wrong mark. Everyone went around the other mark and started sailing away," explained Psarofaghis, admitting relief that the race was swiftly cancelled.

As to returning to the GC32 Racing Tour following a two year absence, Psarofaghis said: "It is good to be back. All the teams are stronger and the race course is big which is good to get these boats up on the foils and to experience their speed."

Today's other two winners were 2017 GC32 Racing Tour leader Realteam, skippered by Jérôme Clerc, which claimed race three and Pierre Casiraghi's Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco, winner of the final race.

Apart from their bullet, the Monaco team, which dominated most of last month's GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup, found the going tough. "In the first race, we were a bit out of phase and a bit everywhere boat speed wise and shift-wise, but we got better," admitted today's helmsman Sébastien Col. "Today was a proper Marseille day with the sea breeze coming in, but not 100% in, so there were big shifts and each side paid."

Racing resumes tomorrow at 1300 CET.

Results after Day 1:

2Malizia ‑ Yacht Club de Monaco533112
4Mamma Aiuto!442717
6Team ENGIE726520 Racing657321

Get the very latest news on the GC32 Racing Tour from

Related Articles

SAP extends Extreme Sailing Series™ sponsorship
Renewal will see the partnership reach a decade OC Sport, owner and organiser of the Extreme Sailing Series™, is thrilled to announce an extension of their technology sponsorship with German software giant SAP, for a further four years. Posted on 23 Feb
Flying Phantom Series set for take-off in 2018
The Phantoms are smaller and lighter than the GC32s that race in the Extreme Sailing Series. Following a highly successful first year, the Flying Phantom Series is set to lift-off alongside the Extreme Sailing Series™ once again in 2018, providing even more high-speed racing for fans around the world. Posted on 22 Feb
The Extreme Sailing Series returns to Barcelona
Fleet to sail from the state of the art Port Marina Vela in June After the success of the last edition, Barcelona will host the June 14 to 17 Act of the Extreme Sailing Series. Posted on 13 Feb
Muscat to lead the Extreme Sailing Series season
Muscat will once again provide the perfect setting for the opening event The Sultanate of Oman's capital city is set to serve up superb sailing conditions alongside Oman's legendary hospitality for racing crews and spectators alike. Posted on 13 Feb
Extreme Sailing Series confirms 2018 global tour
Ready to fly for the 12th consecutive year The Middle East, Europe and the Americas are all on the line up for what promises to be another year of foiling action, as the Series continues to provide a guaranteed annual proposition to teams and partners on a global scale. Posted on 12 Feb
Toulon chosen for GC32 Racing Tour showdown
Traditionally the GC32 Racing Tour always concludes in the south of France While nearby Hyères is the better known sailing venue thanks to its annual Olympic classes events, Toulon is fast gaining notoriety in yacht racing circles having hosted the high profile French stop of the America's Cup World Series in September 2016. Posted on 7 Feb
Merry Christmas from the Extreme Sailing Series™
A poem for the night before Christmas! 'Twas the night before Christmas, and those with sea legs,
Were dreaming of waves as high as mastheads;
The stockings were shackled to the transom with glee,
In hopes that St Nick would find them at sea;
Posted on 24 Dec 2017
Casiraghi wins YCM Awards - Trophée Credit Suisse
Tribute to the best sailors at Yacht Club de Monaco At the end of a busy year, with YCM sailors competing all over the world, the Yacht Club de Monaco, under the aegis of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, paid tribute to the Club's best sailors at the annual YCM Awards - Trophée Credit Suisse. Posted on 23 Dec 2017
GC32 World Championship preview
Greenhalgh is also looking forward to competing on Lake Garda. Also returning is defending champion Oman Air, winner of the first GC32 Championship held in Muscat, Oman in March. The Omani team recently finished a close third overall in the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series following its final event in Los Cabos, Mexico. Posted on 16 Dec 2017
2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ TV Series
Episode 8 brings us the racing from Los Cabos, Mexico Settle in for 26 minutes of Stadium Racing from the grand finale of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ in Los Cabos, Mexico, with the eighth episode of the official TV Series. Posted on 16 Dec 2017