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Red Bull Sailing capture second place in GC32 Racing Tour 2021

by MPG 8 Nov 2021 09:22 GMT 4-7 November 2021
Red Bull Sailing - GC32 Racing Tour : Mar Menor Cup © Sailing Energy / Pedro Martinez

Red Bull Sailing's second season in the GC32 Racing Tour came to an emotional and joyous conclusion at Mar Menor Spain for sailing legends Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher. The sailing stars capped off their competitive careers on the GC32 Racing Tour by being inducted into the Class Hall of Fame after leading the Austrian team to third place in the tour's 2021 finale and second place overall. Switzerland's Alinghi claimed the season title a successful defense of the crown they earned in 2019.

The full GC32 Racing Tour field including many of the world's best sailors honoured Hagara and Steinacher with a cheering ovation as Red Bull Sailing stood on the second step of the championship podium the team's best overall result on the tour after taking third place in their 2019 campaign. The legendary Austrian duo were the original founders of the Red Bull team with Hagara its longtime skipper and helmsman and Steinacher its sport director and tactician.

After the podium presentations Hagara and Steinacher were presented with a special trophy in recognition of their GC32 Racing Class Hall of Fame induction.

Across a partnership spanning nearly 25 years Hagara and Steinacher's competitive triumphs have included Olympic gold medals in the Tornado class at Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) as well as multiple European and World Championships including winning their first GC32 World Championship as they led Red Bull Sailing at Villasimius Italy in September 2021. Famed for advocating innovation and progression as well as for mentoring the next generation they are highly respected icons of the sport and had announced their intent to retire from the GC32 Racing Tour at the beginning of the season.

Roman Hagara said: "I was a bit sorry we had only one race on this final day - I would have loved to sail more. Nevertheless we finished in third place for grand finale of the tour and second for the season overall. Add the Hall of Fame announcement - and winning the 2021 World Championship with this same great team just a few weeks ago - and I can't imagine a better way to wrap up this chapter."

Enjoying the chance to race - and celebrate a podium - with Hagara and Steinacher one last time were the powerful talents who have forged strong teamwork across both of Red Bull Sailing's tour campaigns: Julius Hallström (SWE) Rhys Mara (AUS) and Mark Spearman (AUS).

The Spanish regatta on 3-7 November marked the debut of the GC32 Racing Tour on Mar Menor and the vast saltwater lagoon gave Hagara and Steinacher a send-off encompassing a range of conditions from gusty to calm. Across four days featuring 10 completed races Red Bull Sailing claimed six race podiums including two wins.

Going into the final day the Austrian team was tied in the points for second with Switzerland's Black Star Sailing but insufficient winds allowed completion of only one race which was won by Black Star with Red Bull Sailing hot on their heels. The result was just enough to give Black Star second place for the regatta but when it came to the season standings the positions were reversed.

"Given that we had originally planned to stop racing a year and a half ago finishing our career on the GC32 catamaran took longer than we expected! But I feel lucky that it turned out this way. Competing this year gave us the opportunity to win the World Championship in our last season as well as to race right up through the GC32 Racing Tour final here in Mar Menor. We've had an outstanding emotional time that I will never forget for the rest of my life. But that doesn't mean it's over. Roman and I have many projects ahead and even if we aren't racing on the GC32, I'm sure we'll be working (and sailing) together again."

Results GC32 Racing Tour 2021 Act 4 Mar Menor Spain:

1. Alinghi (SUI) 20pts
2. Black Star Sailing Team (SUI) 27pts
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 28pts
4. Zoulou (FRA) 38pts
5. Team Rockwool Racing (DEN) 42pts
6. Argo (USA) 55pts

Final Standings GC32 Racing Tour 2021:

1. Alinghi (SUI) 5pts
2. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 10pts
3. Black Star Sailing Team (SUI) 12pts
4. Zoulou (FRA) 18pts
5. Team Rockwool Racing (DEN) 18pts
6. Swiss Foiling Academy (SUI) 20pts
7. Team Tilt (SUI) 21pts
8. Argo (USA) 25pts

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