Please select your home edition
Edition
GJW 2018 728x90
Product Feature
NeilPryde Sailing Mens Elite Firewire 3mm Long John
NeilPryde Sailing Mens Elite Firewire 3mm Long John

GAC Pindar edges ahead as M32 newbies Inga Racing Team claim their first bullet

by M32 Series 22 Mar 21:40 GMT 22-24 March 2019
Light wind first race on the opening day of the M32 European Series' Sanremo Warm-up. © Drew Malcolm

The nimble M32s came into their own on the first day of the San Remo warm-up event for the 2019 M32 European Series, when the featherweight one design catamarans were able to pick themselves up and provide fair, even exciting racing in just four to seven knots of wind.

Forecasts for today varied from two to 22 knots all from the east or northeast. In the event, following an hour's delay, the wind began to fill in from the southwest, racing getting under way in a marginal four knots. In fact, with crew perched on the leeward bows to minimise drag, this was more than enough to provide good racing.

Defending M32 European Series champion Ian Williams' GAC Pindar nosed ahead off the line and led around the reaching mark as the five M32s set off on the windward-leeward course with reaching starts and finishes. The wind coming good on different parts of the course saw GAC Pindar's lead threatened initially by the Daniel Bjørnholt-helmed Youth Vikings Denmark, but they were subsequently relegated to third by Håkan Svensson's Cape Crow Vikings, on which young Swedish match racer Nicklas Dackhammar is standing in on the helm as the Aston Harald boss recovers from a hand injury.

For race two the wind picked up by a couple of knots and evened out across the course. This transformed the racing with boats suddenly flying hulls, even downwind. In this, GAC Pindar once again got the best start, followed down the run and into the leeward gate by Youth Vikings Denmark, but for the British six-time Match Racing World Champion and his crew, their victory was never particularly threatened. Last in the first race Shark Team, skippered here by Italian Andrea Vacchino, made a better start to hold second place to the finish.

With Cape Crow Vikings being helmed by the present World Match Racing Tour leader, Nicklas Dackhammar, it was only a matter of time before the rising Swedish sailing star would show his true colours. This occurred in race three, the windiest of the day with 9-10 knots, in which the crews were furling gennakers upwind. A start on the button to leeward allowed Dackhammar and his Cape Crow Vikings to lead down the reach and on to the run. Despite GAC Pindar keeping it close, they managed to hang on from there. Thus the boat that was last in race two won race three.

"It was really tight," said Dackhammar afterwards. "We had a good start gaining some metres on the other boats and then a good first downwind and the first upwind was pretty close. We ducked Shark Team and Ian got really close to leeward at the last upwind mark, but then we got ahead again and held the lead from there to the finish.

"Today there were position changes in every race. There are only five boats, but it was really tight and up and down for everyone apart from Ian [Williams]."

Trying their hand at catamaran racing for the first time at this event is Richard Göransson's Inga Racing Team, best known for competing in the Melges 32 and 40 classes. They had already experienced highs and lows during the day, including their young Olympic Nacra 17 catamaran sailor crewman Emil Järudd falling off the slippery bow into the water while hardening up after a leeward gate rounding in race three. They finished last in that race, but like the Cape Crow Vikings in race three, turned this around to score their first race win in the fourth and last race, on their first ever day of multihull racing.

"You couldn't have asked for better conditions for our first time than this," commented a delighted Göransson. "It was light, but you could still sail around on one hull. It is pretty similar to sailing a monohull or at least the kind of quick boats I usually sail - you sail on the heel angle a lot. But it is so much fun! The M32 is well made and simple, with just a main and a gennaker, but it is really responsive."

At the end of day one, a 1-1-2-2 for GAC Pindar sees the defending M32 European Series champion leading from Inga from Sweden. "We were super pleased to get some racing in, because it looked dicey for a while," commented Williams. "It was a great start to the season for GAC Pindar - it was nice to be consistent, near the front. We are really happy about that. We are lucky with these boats because they are so light and powerful that we can have a great day with good racing in 4-7 knots when we were flying a hull upwind with the gennaker and marginal popping downwind. It was tricky to decide whether to go high and get the hull up downwind, or go low with two hulls in, but that decision is something we are traditionally pretty strong at."

Racing on day two of the M32 European Series warm-up event here in Sanremo, Italy will start at 1300, an hour earlier than today.

Results after day one:

PosTeamSkipperR1R2R3R4Total
1GAC PindarIan Williams11226
2Inga from SwedenRichard Goransson343111
3VikingsHakan Svensson251412
4Team SharkAndrea Vacchino524314
5Youth VikingsDaniel Bjornholt435517

For more information visit m32world.com/europe.

Related Articles

Sperry Charleston Race Week: Day 2 action-shots
Sperry Charleston Race Week day 2 images Jude Robertson was on water at Sperry Charleston Race Week 2019 and provided these action-shots from Day 2 Posted on 15 Apr
Sperry Charleston Race Week day 1 images
M32 tune up racing at Sperry Charleston Race Week M32 fleet images from Day 1 of Sperry Charleston Race Week Posted on 14 Apr
Feather duster
As in knock me down… Like this wasn't going to happen As in knock me down... Like this wasn't going to happen. No semaphore was required here. Intrigue in the AC is nothing new. It is a shame, for sure, but we commented at the time of the late arrivals that the cash pool simply was not big enough. Posted on 7 Apr
M32s coming to Sperry Charleston Race Week
High-performance catamarans will be racing around Charleston Harbor Spectacular high-performance catamarans will be racing around Charleston Harbor next month – blasting past Patriot's Point Marina at speeds approaching 30 knots. Posted on 1 Apr
Ian Williams claims M32 European Series warm-up
GAC Pindar team led from day one The British six time Match Racing World Champion and defending M32 European Series champion and his crew of Richard Sydenham, Pete Nicholas and Will Alloway led from day one of this three day event. Posted on 24 Mar
Vikings on the ascent
M32 European Series Sanremo warm-up day 2 Once again Sanremo defied the forecasters for day two of the warm-up event for the 2019 M32 European Series. While zero wind was predicted, a southwesterly filled in, perfectly timed for today's guest racing and had built to 9-10 knots for the start. Posted on 23 Mar
M32 European Series: GAC Pindar to be pace setter
Five teams are set to battle it out at the warm-up event The form boat is expected to be Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar team. The British six time Match Racing World Champion is at the top of his game in the M32 at present. Posted on 21 Mar
M32 European Series: Fast cat warm-up
A chance to blow away the winter cobwebs for the teams This will be a chance to blow away the winter cobwebs for the high performance one design catamaran teams and while it may not count towards the 2019 M32 European Series, all the teams taking part will be just as focussed and keen to win. Posted on 19 Mar
North Sails Weekly Debrief
North Sails at Newport Shipyard, Star R&D, The Ocean Race, M32: Get Onboard This new sales office headed up by Superyacht Sales Expert Mike Toppa is located in the heart of the vibrant Newport Shipyard. Posted on 16 Mar
M32 European Series: Opportunity for sailing teams
M32 racing resumes in Europe this month Throughout the 2019 M32 European Series, the M32's manufacturer Aston Harald will be making two circuit boats available. The first of these will be lent to a 'development team', following in the tradition of the M32 Academy. Posted on 11 Mar