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GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup - Preview

by GC32 Racing Tour 10 Sep 2017 13:17 BST 13-16 September 2017
The GC32 Racing Tour fleet flies down the first reach © Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour

The GC32 Racing Tour visits the second 'new' venue of its 2017 season next week when competition between the ultra-high speed foiling catamarans takes place off Calvi in northwest Corsica. The GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup will be held over 13-16 September off the picturesque town, famous for its medieval citadel overlooking the crescent-shaped bay on which the flying catamarans will be competing.

Among the GC32 Racing Tour fleet at this French event are two French boats: Team ENGIE, skippered by former Class 40 champion Sébastien Rogues, and Zoulou of Erik Maris, who returned to the circuit last month at Copa del Rey MAPFRE for the first time since 2015.

For Sébastien Rogues, this will be his first time to Calvi for racing, having never previously visited even on holiday. "I have never sailed there before, but I think it is a very, very beautiful spot with good conditions and probably sea breeze every day. Our coach said it is a very nice tactical area. For me it will be a surprise! I will listen to our coach for his opinion."

For Rogues and especially ENGIE (his multinational electric utility company sponsor, which operates in the fields of electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy) having the final two events of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour in France represents a big bonus. "It is great to have the next two events in France. For Team ENGIE it is very important to get good results in these events. We hope that the French public will come and support our team." The GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup will be followed by the season finale, Marseille One Design over 12-15th October.

While Team ENGIE hasn't trained since Copa del Rey MAPFRE last month, Rogues and his crew are heading to Calvi this week to get up to speed, ready for the start of racing on Wednesday.

Calvi is the second new venue for the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour, following on from Villasimius in southern Sardinia at the end of June. Thanks to its strategic position, the town has a rich maritime history. It was allegedly the birthplace of Christophe Columbus and was also where Britain's most famous naval officer, Lord Nelson, lost his eye. As a yacht racing venue, it has hosted grand prix for the ORMA 60 trimaran class and was a stopover on the 2000 Tour de France à la Voile.

That latter event was organised by Manfred Ramspacher and it is again his company Sirius Events that is running the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup in conjunction with the GC32 Racing Tour. This follows a long association between the GC32 Racing Tour and Sirius Events, which annually organises Marseille One Design, an event which has featured on the GC32 Racing Tour since 2014.

Ramspacher said: "The GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup is taking place with the support of Corsican mineral water company, Orezza and its CEO Madame Marie-Laurence Mora. I'd also like to thank the city of Calvi and its Mayor Ange Santini and the Collectivité Territoriale de Corse (CTC) and its chairman Gilles Simeoni, who is backing the event through CTC subsidiaries such as Tourism Corse Agency."

Christian Scherrer, Manager of the GC32 Racing Tour said: "We are happy to have found in Calvi, Corsica, another venue in the Mediterranean that exactly fits with the DNA of the GC32 Racing Tour. With Manfred Ramspacher and Sirius Events we have a long term relationship and a partner we can trust in. I'm very much looking forward to have our fleet of flying catamarans sailing in the Bay of Calvi."

Racing at the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup will run over 13-16th September. As usual there will be both overall and owner-driver rankings and the daily ANONIMO Speed Challenge, in which teams will attempt to record the highest average speed over two reaching legs.

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