Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2019 - Leaderboard
Product Feature
Lifeproof iPhone Case
Lifeproof iPhone Case

GC32 Racing Tour 2019 finale - All in...

by GC32 Racing Tour Media 5 Nov 2019 15:37 GMT 6-10 November 2019
Racing off downtown Muscat. © Sailing Energy / GC32 Racing Tour

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. For example fifth and sixth-placed Argo and Black Star Sailing Team are within three points of one another.

Similarly four points separate Erik Maris' Zoulou from Austrian double Tornado Olympic medallists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher's Red Bull Sailing Team in third place. But unquestionably the big match is for the top spot between local heroes Oman Air and Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss World Champions Alinghi. They are tied on points, heading for a 'winner takes all' end of season showdown.

"It is great to be back in Oman, always sunny with some great wind," said Alinghi helmsman Arnaud Psarofaghis. "It is the last event of the season, it is tight on points, so we will have a good fight with Oman Air - it will be all-in!"

To acclimatise to the time difference and the Oman heat, Alinghi came out early and were training here with Red Bull Sailing Team and have since taken two days off. Meanwhile Oman Air, steered as usual by Adam Minoprio, but with new addition Australian James Wierzbowski, have continued their training all the way through to today's practice day, along with the majority of the teams.

If the leaders are locked together this week in their own personal match race, perhaps this will create opportunities for the others? "Alinghi and Oman Air will be the top teams for sure, but in Riva we saw that we were able to do some good things," says Thomas le Breton, tactician on Erik Maris' Zoulou. "I hope we will be able to win some races. Our goal remains to fight when we can with Alinghi and Oman Air and if we can beat Red Bull overall we would be very happy."

Many of the European teams having come from the start of their winter are coming to terms with the 30-32 degreesC heat. "In November Oman is very nice compared to France," continues le Breton. "We are very happy to be in the sun. Even if it is too warm, we can't complain, because we know next week when we're back home it will be very different."

Adding to the competitive mix will be a few key crew changes. Notably, both Jason Carroll's Argo and Christian Zuerrer's Black Star Sailing Team have 'star' helms for this event.

Carroll has personally stood down for this week as he recovers from surgery and standing in for him is his talented tactician Sebastien Col. The last time Col formally took the helm of a GC32 was standing in for Pierre Casiraghi on Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco in Calvi in 2017. The Monaco team blitzed that event, until damage forced them to retire on the final day, costing them the regatta. But as Col observes: "It has been a long time since I helmed a GC32. We have very good guys on board for sure but it takes a while to get the combination and communication right in manoeuvres, especially when the wind picks up. So we don't have much expectation."

Taking Col's tacticial role is Spain's Manu Weiller, who last sailed a GC32 as tactician on the Japanese entry Mamma Aiuto!

On Christian Zuerrer's Black Star Sailing Team, New Zealand match racer and catamaran sailor Chris Steele takes over from Keith Swinton on the helm.

"We are trying to sort out our crew for next season, which is why we have made some changes," explains Zuerrer. Of his initial impressions of Oman as a sailing venue on this his first time here, Zuerrer says he is getting used to the heat, but "the sailing is great. We have had two days out. The first was a little light, but perfect to start and yesterday it was really nice with about 15 knots - bumpy, but great fun."

The forecast for this week looks positive with a northeasterly sea breeze ranging from the low to high teens daily, with most wind expected on Saturday. "It is like Palma on a sea breeze day - a hot wind, but not very dense, so the set-up is quite different compared to Riva and there is a chop here which can make it quite challenging," advises Sebastien Col.

The GC32 Oman Cup has been jointly organised with Oman Sail, with host venue partners EFG Private Banking, Oman Air, fragrance brand Amouage and the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism.

Racing starts tomorrow Wednesday, with a first warning signal scheduled for 1300 local time and continues until Saturday.

Find complete results here

Related Articles

GC32 Oman Cup cancelled due to coronavirus
Following recommendations from Oman's Ministry of Health Due to ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and following recommendations from Oman's Ministry of Health, the opening event of the 2020 GC32 Racing Tour in Muscat has been cancelled. Posted on 12 Mar
Red Bull Sailing launch GC32 Racing Tour Campaign
Last season of competition for double Olympic Champions Hagara and Steinacher Red Bull Sailing's second season in the GC32 Racing Tour will be momentous. After taking third place on the championship podium in their debut 2019 campaign, the team from Austria is back with a seasoned crew and a determination to push to the top. Posted on 9 Mar
Less than a month to go to GC32 Oman Cup
The big players are set to return to the battlefield The big players are set to return to the battlefield in one month's time when high speed foiling catamaran competition gets under way at the GC32 Oman Cup, first of five events comprising the 2020 GC32 Racing Tour. Posted on 28 Feb
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