Please select your home edition
PandB 2019 Autumn Sale - Leaderboard
Product Feature
Rooster Poly Pro Top
Rooster Poly Pro Top
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine

Full racing risks
New for old cover

Neck and neck going into GC32 Riva Cup

by GC32 Racing Tour 5 Sep 2019 19:47 BST 11-15 September 2019
Last year's GC32 World Championship showing Lake Garda's magnificent backdrop. © Pedro Martinez / GC32 World Championship

Battle resumes on the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour in a week's time with the penultimate event of the season, taking place in one of the world's best locations for ultra-high speed one design foiling catamaran racing.

Riva del Garda and its club the Fraglia Vela Riva, is the venue of choice for many top sailing championships because of its famous, usually strong, winds - the morning northerly, the Pelèr and the afternoon southerly, the Ora - combined with flat water. It is these circumstances that have resulted in some of the highest GC32 speeds of 40+ knots being recorded. The venue is also situated in the most dramatic settings, surrounded by the mountains of the southern Dolomites and, locally, the well-known cliff face on the west side of the race area.

After three events in Villasimius, Sardinia, the GC32 World Championship in Lagos, Portugal and August's Copa del Rey MAPFRE in Palma, the top of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour leaderboard is turning into a two way fight between Oman Air and Ernesto Bertarelli's America's Cup veterans on Alinghi. Oman Air won in Villasimius and Copa del Rey MAPFRE while Alinghi claimed the prestigious World Championship. The net result is the two teams being tied on five points, Oman Air leading but only by virtue of having won the last event in Majorca.

"I am really looking forward to Riva on the GC32 Racing Tour," says Minoprio, who has the added incentive to do well as GC32 Racing Tour will conclude this year in Oman in November. "At the moment we are first equal with Alinghi and we'd really like to go into the final event with a lead, on our way to winning the overall series in Oman."

However the former Match Racing World Champion, turned Volvo Ocean Race and America's Cup sailor, acknowledges: "At the moment, Alinghi are definitely the benchmark team." Minoprio also comes to this event with his 'eye in' after competing at another event in Riva del Garda last week. He will be race fit on this course, which Minoprio says should make up for his disappointment in last year's GC32 World Championship held here. "That was a huge eye opener. We left a lot of points on the table through not knowing the lake like the other teams," he admits.

For Alinghi, coming from Geneva, sailing on a lake should present few novelties, although Garda's surroundings are more immediately mountainous. "We sailed there last year during the Worlds and we had a practice session two weeks before," recounts Alinghi Team Director Pierre-Yves Jorand. "We know it a little bit from other classes too. It should be windy in the morning with a sea breeze in the afternoon, although last year during the Worlds, the conditions were slightly different. It is a great venue and the surroundings are awesome."

Currently holding third in the GC32 Racing Tour is Roman Hagara's Red Bull Sailing Team, just three points ahead of Erik Maris' Zoulou.

Returning to the GC32 Racing Tour for the Riva del Garda event is American Jason Carroll's Argo having stood down for Copa del Rey MAPFRE, taking time out to compete in and ultimately win line honours in the Transpac race. However Carroll and his crew will have a hard fight with Zoulou to gain the lead in the GC32's 2019 Owner-Driver Championship.

Also back is Código Rojo Racing of Federico Ferioli. Due to personal circumstances and crew availability, it has been a year since the Argentinean team last competed on the circuit so Ferioli was busy training with his team on Lake Garda last week. "We definitely need to catch up and get the rust out. So our week in Malcesine has been helpful, worth doing," he said.

He is a big fan of Lake Garda having raced here with the GC32 Racing Tour in 2017. "It is always great to come to Riva - it is such a great place with the amazing, scenery, the wind, the flat water and the social side, the town." Código Rojo Racing is likely to find competition with the new Black Star Sailing Team of Christian Zuerrer, who joined the Tour for the first time this season.

Ferioli acknowledges that since last year the level has risen on the GC32 Racing Tour with the former Extreme Sailing Series teams now competing. "That definitely raises the level. Now it is more demanding to keep up with the fleet we need to train more."

Racing at the GC32 Riva Cup will be over 12-15th September with a practice day on 11th.

Full results so far can be found here.

Related Articles

GC32 Racing Tour 2020 announced
High adrenalin flying catamaran competition is again the menu At the beginning of 2019 the circuit for the sole large flying catamaran class to be endorsed by World Sailing, inherited some powerful entries from the now defunct Extreme Sailing Series. Posted on 18 Dec 2019
Oman Air finishes 2nd overall in GC32 Racing Tour
The four days of racing off Al Mouj Marina in Muscat tested the fleet of international crews The GC32 Racing Tour Oman Cup has been hailed as a great success, following exciting and highly competitive sailing in Muscat. Posted on 9 Nov 2019
GC32 Oman Cup overall
Clean sweep for Alinghi as she claims 2019 GC32 Racing Tour In yet another flawless display by the world's top catamaran sailing team, Alinghi today won the GC32 Oman Cup and the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour. Posted on 9 Nov 2019
GC32 Oman Cup day 3
Oman Air begins her ascent While it may have been their turn to be top scoring boat on day three of the GC32 Oman Cup, the maths is not looking great for Oman Air in their fight with Alinghi to become 2019 GC32 Racing Tour champions. Posted on 8 Nov 2019
GC32 Oman Cup day 2
Zoulou warriors beat the drum in Oman The breeze for day two of the GC32 Oman Cup was just that vital couple of knots more, allowing the catamarans to fly fully, were it not for the unusually large sea state running off Muscat's shore. Posted on 7 Nov 2019
Young Omani experiences GC32 Oman Cup racing
The young Omani won a competition to join the team on the water The young Omani won a competition to join the team on the water as the crew aims for a podium finish in the GC32 Racing Tour finale! Here's how the race action unfolded! Posted on 7 Nov 2019
GC32 Oman Cup day 1
Alinghi on World Championship winning form Regardless of what the wind was doing, the only consistency on the water was shown by Alinghi, where a lifetime of competing in the fickle winds of Lake Geneva clearly paid dividends today. Posted on 6 Nov 2019
Team Oman Air look forward to title decider
Winner-takes-all showdown in the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour Team Oman Air is getting ready for a dramatic winner-takes-all showdown in Muscat that will decide the outcome of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour title. Posted on 6 Nov 2019
GC32 Racing Tour 2019 finale - All in...
Fervour is rising on the docks of Muscat's Al Mouj marina Fervour is rising on the docks of Muscat's Al Mouj marina going into tomorrow's GC32 Oman Cup. This is the fifth and final of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour and among the participants is strong potential for match racing one another. Posted on 5 Nov 2019
2019 GC32 Racing Tour's Oman finale
Neck and neck going into the final event of the season After 73 races, across four events in three countries, the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour's finale, taking place next week in Oman, could not be closer. Posted on 30 Oct 2019