Multihull Regattas

Minoprio claims GC32 debut event

GC32 cats Great Cup D2

All photos © Christophe Launay /

The Great Cup GC32 Austria Cup at Lake Traunsee


Hopes for the final day of racing at The Great Cup’s first ever event, the GC32 Austria Cup within Allianz Traunsee Week presented by BMW, were to complete an eight race round robin before a weather front rolled across Lake Traunsee. Sadly half way through the rain arrived, the wind disappeared and any further prospects of racing were quashed.

While Flavio Marazzi and his Marwin crew set a brisk tone of the day port tacking the fleet with a giant hull fly off the line in race one, it was again Kiwi former Match Racing World Champion Adam Minoprio who continued his relentless string of race wins to end the regatta first overall, eight points ahead of Marwin.

“I didn’t have high hopes of winning, but I didn’t have any other goal,” said Minoprio of his success in his first ever multihull regatta. “I am a little surprised I won. I am pretty happy with how quickly we managed to start sailing these boats fast around the track, but the guys I had sailing with me with put in a big effort.” Sailing with Minoprio were Andy Dinsdale (GER/USA), Thomas Tschepen (AUT) and Diego Stefani (ITA).

From here Minoprio sets out this year to reclaim the Alpari World Match Racing Tour title, but hopes to return to The Great Cup. “It is definitely a whole lot of fun. The GC32 is a great boat: It is very nice to sail, it gets up and flies a hull in six knots of wind and you can zoom around a track. It is a great package.”

Flavio Marazzi has taken to his new GC32 catamaran with the same intensity with which he undertook his Star keelboat campaigns for the last three Olympic Games.”It was a really great experience with six teams,” he said. “The boats are very equal. It is hard to be always be on top.”


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From Austria, the Great Cup heads to Marazzi’s native Switzerland for the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve on 8th June, followed by the Bol d’Or Mirabaud a week later. Before those Marazzi intends to compete in other ‘long distance’ lake races in Zurich and on Lake Constance. “The idea for this year is to do a lot of promotion and activity to be in the media and to get sponsors,” he says.

The surprise result of the regatta was that of AEZ GC32 Youth Sailing Team, skippered by 22-year-old Max Trippolt. The Austrian youngsters didn’t end the regatta well, but won day one and claimed some major scalps along the way, including Minoprio’s, to end the regatta a worthy third among the six teams.

“We thought that it would be much harder for us, because they are all really professional crews,” said Trippolt. “It was really good, because we weren’t familiar with the boat, but the team did a really good job.”

French businessman, Laurent Lenne, creator of The Great Cup, has much to be pleased with from this first regatta of his brand new catamaran circuit. “I am pretty proud of what we have achieved in the last five days. Everyone worked very hard and every day we were doing things better from the live streaming to pushing out the information, etc. And the sailing got better. Looking back at it, I’m happy.”

Lenne has had the monumental task of not just conceiving the Martin Fischer-designed GC32 catamaran built by Premier Composites in Dubai, but also the circuit for it – the Great Cup circuit. He has been ably assisted by throughout by leading Australian catamaran expert, Andrew Macpherson.

Lenne has also brought some ground breaking technology to the event with a WiFi network spanning most of Lake Traunsee, enabling live TV to be streamed to the internet from on board boats, cameras on the water, etc.


Full results here 

By GC32 Racing,



Leigh McMillan back in form in Qingdao


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Maximum concentration from Leigh McMillan in the final deciding race –  photo © Lloyd Images


Act 3 Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao 


Qingdao saved its best for last on the final day of Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ and the pressure was understandably on from the first start gun with no quarter given on the water as the teams used classic match racing tactics to try and outwit their nearest rivals. The nine races came in thick and fast in the best conditions the fleet have sailed in all week in the heart of Fushan Bay which has once again demonstrated how it became such a successful Olympic sailing venue.

Heading into the final classic Extreme Sailing Series style deciding double-points race, the battle for victory was well and truly on between Alinghi and The Wave, Muscat tracking each other around the course and mirroring each other’s moves. The Swiss America’s Cup winners used their experience to try and outwit Leigh McMillan’s team and although they won the final double pointer, it wasn’t enough to win the Act and an ecstatic, and somewhat relieved McMillan commented: “It’s a massive relief! To actually get the better of Alinghi in the light winds was a big achievement for us. When it comes to the pure boat on boat battle, they (Alinghi) tend to get the better of us. It’s a tough battle, they are a very tough team to beat and tough competitors. The rest of the year is shaping up to be really exciting.”

Morgan Larson, who has taken the tiller from the team’s skipper Ernesto Bertarelli at this Act, was visibly frustrated to lose out in the final seconds, and talked through the tactics on the final race. “We had The Wave, Muscat on starboard so we hunted them a little bit, made them tack back and forth and then we just held them and pinned them out until Red Bull Sailing Team and SAP Extreme Sailing Team got in there. We just managed to get our spinnaker up in time to be ahead of Red Bull and SAP and that was what we needed – two boats between us. But you have to hand it to The Wave, Muscat. Those guys were sailing so sharp all week they didn’t give up, they fought back and passed the two boats to the finish.” The Swiss team still leads the Series after posting third and first places in Acts 1 and 2 respectively.

SAP Extreme Sailing Team were firing on all cylinders from the word go, winning three races including the first of the day and gradually eating into GAC Pindar’s advantage held from the beginning of the day. In the final race, the co-skippers on SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Kostner executed the start with precision and never looked back. Helmsman Gram-Hansen said, “We’re very happy! It’s a fantastic result for us, hopefully something we can build on and as a team everyone is doing a great job. The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi are sailing very well, but I think today we proved that we can also sail just as well. We are definitely getting closer to them so we will go away, debrief and see how we can improve.” This is the second Act in a row the Danish outfit has finished on the podium, matching their third place from Singapore just three weeks ago.

Despite slight frustration at losing out on their first ever podium position at the final hurdle, GAC Pindar’s young Kiwi skipper Will Tiller, who is making a real mark on this Series in his debut year, was upbeat dockside. “We’re a little disappointed with the results but overall really happy as a team. Finishing the regatta in fourth is just brilliant for us and we would happily take that any day! We will keep pushing these top teams. We have been battling with SAP Extreme Sailing Team from day one and well done to them, they sailed really well today. Hopefully in Istanbul we can flip the coin and get ahead of them!”

The double Olympic gold medal winning duo Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher on Red Bull Sailing Team sailed an inconsistent regatta by their standards on the Olympic waters they know so well, but did manage to muster fifth place overall after a slow start to the week, and sit third on the overall Series leaderboard.

The local contingent China Team had the support of the home crowds this week, with four of China’s talented young sailors stepping up to the challenge, a clear sign of the successes of China Team in developing their national sailing talent. Aussie sailing legend and skipper Mitch Booth commented: “It’s been great to be with the local team, the local support has been just phenomenal and they’re following these youth Chinese sailors with great interest. It’s really satisfying when you are teaching 20 year old kids that have never raced catamarans before to come and join this high level racing Series, it’s just great. For me it’s just great to be back involved in something that is a real passion of mine.”

Earlier this week, the iconic British brand Land Rover announced a three-year sponsorship of the global sailing series as Series Main Partner, and celebrated the launch of the partnership with the unveiling and naming of their Land Rover branded Extreme 40, which has made its world debut in Qingdao and will be used as a platform to host VIP and media guests.

Co-organised by the Qingdao Yachting Association, China has delivered a festival atmosphere on and off the water including a spectacular opening ceremony, the NeilPryde Windsurf Racing Series, a programme for local schools to meet the sailors and a closing ceremony that finally brought proceedings to a close.

Next the Extreme 40 global roadshows heads to Istanbul, 20-23 June for Act 4 as the Series approaches its halfway stage and we can expect the pressure to turn up another level as the teams look to set themselves up for the second half of the year.


Standings after Day 4: (26 races)

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Will Howden 202pts
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 200pts
3rd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 191pts
4th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson, Harry Thurston, Matt Steven 181pts
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cook, Graeme Spence 168pts
6th Team Korea (KOR) Peter Burling, Matt Vincent, Mark Bulkeley, Tom Johnson, Sungwok Kim 163pts
7th Realteam (SUI) Jerome Clerc, Bryan Mettraux, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Cédric Schmidt, Thiery Wassem 154pts
8th China Team (CHN) Mitch Booth, Wen Zijin, Yingkit Cheng, Liu Xue, Zhang Yiran 145pts


Extreme Sailing Series 2013 overall standings after Act 3, Qingdao:

1st Alinghi (SUI) 27pts
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 26pts
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 24pts
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 20pts
5th Team Korea (KOR) 16pts
6th GAC Pindar (NZL) 16pts
7th Realteam (SUI) 14pts
8th Team X Invitational 13pts


By Extreme Sailing Series,



Ocean racers turn to Nacra 17 racing


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Photo © Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / FFVoile



The last time Franck Cammas (FRA) and Iker Martinez (ESP) sailed against each other they was on Volvo 70’s racing around Galway, Ireland at the Volvo Ocean Race climax on 7 July 2012. Less than one year later they’re back at it, but on the Olympic multihull, the Nacra 17.

Cammas and Martinez are no strangers having fought vigorously over the gruelling 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race that saw Martinez take an early advantage only for Cammas to push ahead, take the lead and claim a victory. They sailed together on Luna Rossa in the America’s Cup World Series but their attentions have now turned to reaching the Olympic Games.

“For now my goal is to race at the highest level possible, it’s why I am on the Nacra 17,” said Cammas.

“We didn’t have the opportunity with Groupama to do a new Volvo Ocean Race and the catamaran is back in the Olympic Games so it was an opportunity to try this class. Four years ago I did the F18 World Championship and it was very fun.”


D1 N17 FRA jml Photo © Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / FFVoile


Cammas finished second at the 2008 F18 Worlds but has limited knowledge of the Olympic circuit, an area that Martinez knows very well having won gold in the 49er at Athens 2004 and silver at Beijing 2008.

“I know Iker enjoyed the Olympic class a lot and even in-between two legs of the Volvo Ocean Race he trained in the 49er so I think it’s funny for us to compete again,” added Cammas. “I like him a lot and it’s always very interesting to race against him. We were also, a few months ago, in Luna Rossa in the same team so I know him very well and very happy to compete against him.”

Cammas enjoyed early success at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères in the light breeze with crew Sophie de Turckheim as they finished second in the qualification stage but had to retire from the competition as de Turckheim sustained a back injury.

The Frenchman added, “I have a lot of work to do on this boat especially in the wind as it’s tough. There is a lot of things to do and manage on this boat because it is very complicated. We have to manage this but it’s hard and interesting.”

Martinez is on the up and with Tara Pacheco they took their first Nacra 17 bullet on the fourth day in Hyères and Martinez is enjoying racing against Cammas again, “It’s always going to be difficult to sail against Franck because he is a very talented sailor but this is something completely different,” exclaimed Martinez, “I am sure that he is going to do a very good campaign because he has the talent, a very good crew and support from sponsors and everything. We will see.”


N17 ESP jr

photo c Jesus Renedo / Sofia Mapfre


The Spaniard teamed up with Pacheco ahead of ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and believes he has a fantastic team mate, “She is one of the best sailors in Spain right now,” said Martinez. “She’s very competitive and a World Champion. No one gives a World Championship to you and you have to work hard to get it so I’m more than happy. Now we have to keep going.

“We can see now that the power in the boat is very important, the technique is also very important and there are a lot of different points that we have to be focused on. At least we’re here, we’ve already started and now we can only get better and better.”

As for now Martinez is fully committed to the Nacra 17 cause but in Palma he wouldn’t rule out another offshore campaign in the Barcelona World Race, whilst Cammas balances a couple of other projects, “My long term project is to do a team for the America’s Cup,” said the Frenchman. “First we have to find money and create a team. We will also do the Tour de France à la Voile which is very slow compared to this [Nacra 17]. I think next year will be better for us with some training in the winter.”

By Daniel Smith, ISAF



New state of the art foiling cat circuit


The GC32 is the one design for the future Great Cup Racing circuit starting from 2013 onward. Combining low drag hull, double S curved foils, high righting moment and generous sail area, the GC32 has the capability to reach 30 knots and beyond.

 All photos © Christophe Launay /



The Great Cup – the brand new circuit for state of the art foiling catamarans


With the Nacra 17 in the Olympic Games for Rio 2016 and the 34rd America’s Cup being sailed this year in foiling AC72s, soaring interest in competing on two hulls has prompted a new circuit to be set up for the absolute state of the art in racing catamarans.

Created by cat sailors Laurent Lenne and Andrew Macpherson, the Great Cup makes its debut next month on Lake Traunsee, Austria, and will be sailed in brand new, purpose-built GC32 foiling catamarans.

Built in entirely in carbon fibre by Premier Composites in Dubai, the GC32 has been designed by Martin Fischer, best known for his groundbreaking Capricorn, Hobie Wild Cat and Phantom F18 catamarans and his work on Franck Cammas’ Groupama trimarans.

The GC32 features the latest S-foil daggerboards and L-profile rudders. These generate enough vertical lift to elevate the GC32 out of the water when she is sailing at speed, in a similar fashion to the foiling AC72s. But unlike the solid wing used on America’s Cup catamarans, the GC32 features a simpler and more conventional rotating wingmast rig, making its launch and retrieval an easier process.



Significantly, the Great Cup is aimed at accomplished amateur sailors looking to go racing aboard the fastest, most advanced boats for their size. “We want the Great Cup to be the catamaran equivalent of racing a Melges,” says Laurent Lenne, himself a businessman and an amateur F18 sailor, who conceived the GC32 as the boat he most wanted to sail.

As a result The Great Cup is being set up to give owners and teams easy access to their boats without their having too far to travel for their racing. The intention is to have a number of local circuits, the first being in Western Europe, with others to follow in the USA and Australasia. When these are established the cream of these fleets will meet up to compete in the equivalent of a World Championship.

Because The Great Cup is aimed more at private owners than sponsored boats with pro crews, the circuit will be less-orientated towards ‘stadium sailing’. While races are sure to be kept short, emphasis will be placed on ensuring the best racing for the competitors. The lightweight GC32 is also designed so it can be raced in the widest range of conditions, from 5 to 25 knots, to maximise the opportunities to compete.


image right: Andrew Macpherson and an S-foil daggerboard


While the prospect of racing a boat capable of 15 knots upwind and more than 30 while ‘flying’ downwind might seem alarming, the GC32 has been conceived to be very well behaved on all parts of the race course. If an AC72 is the equivalent of a fully fledged Formula 1 race car, the GC32 is more a super-high performance road car. For example the hi-tech foils may give the impression of making the boat harder to sail. In reality their effect on the helm is not overly noticeable, they reduce pitching and while the usually terrifying bear-away at the top mark still incurs considerable G-force on the crew, it does so with the risk of pitchpoling much reduced. In effect the GC32 design maintains the catamaran’s outstanding speed around the race track, while minimising the possibility of capsize.

As Laurent Lenne says: “To me, as an owner, the first time you step on the boat you are overwhelmed by how impressive the speed is, but at the same time you feel safe very quickly.”

2013 will be the year where The Great Cup establishes itself. Already three GC32 have been constructed and these will have their competitive first outing in Europe at Allianz Traunsee Week on Lake Traunsee, Austria over 8-12 May.

The boats are then scheduled to move on to Lake Geneva in June where they will compete in the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve and the Bol d’Or Mirabaud.

For further information visit


By GC32 Racing



Little America’s Cup heads to Switzerland in 2015


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The ‘Little America’s Cup’ will be held in September 2015 in Geneva at the Société Nautique de Genève.

Located at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Team Hydros will take part at the Class C World Championships in Falmouth (UK) in September 2013 with two ultra-modern catamaran sailboats. Hydros developed sailboats have achieved several world firsts, including, among others, the use of TPT technology (Thin Ply Technology). Consequently, the Swiss team is one of the teams favoured to win.

Hydros has already been awarded the decision to organize the next installment of the prestigious Class C World Championships, the so-called ‘Little America’s Cup’.

Founded in 1961, the so-called ‘Little America’s Cup’ is a symbol of basic research and technological development in the sport of sailing. The boats, which are controlled by two sailors, are allowed a maximum size of 7.62 x 4.2 meters and the sail area must not exceed an area of 27.8 m2.

This simple rule is also the strength of these championships in Class C. For teams and planners, there are no restrictions on the use of the latest technological developments. In fact, Class C catamarans have been using foils and wing masts for more than 30 years. For this reason. there is little doubt that they have also inspired the famous America’s Cup.

By MaxComm Communication


The Wave wins by the smallest of margins



All photos – c Lloyd Images


Extreme Sailing Series Act 1 in Muscat, Oman – Overall


It may not have been high speed racing on the final day of the Extreme Sailing Series opening Act in Muscat, Oman, but it was as tense as it gets, and in classic Extreme Sailing Series style, it came down to the final race for the winner to be decided. Defending champion Leigh McMillan and his team on The Wave, Muscat sailed a picture perfect day coming back from a 15 point deficit to Red Bull Sailing Team to claim overall victory, in the closest possible finish on their home turf.

Just two points separated Red Bull Sailing Team and The Wave, Muscat going into the final double-pointer and the maths was simple – whoever performed better in that race, would win the Act.

The invitational home team, Team Duqm Oman – with the winner of the inaugural Series back in 2007 Robert Greenhalgh at the helm – won the race, but The Wave Muscat did enough to secure victory after a tense battle.

Red Bull Sailing Team have been one of the form teams in Muscat this week, handling the big breeze open water racing on day one with equal skill as the light wind stadium racing. But it was not to be for the double Olympic gold medal-winning skipper Roman Hagara as his pre-race concerns about falling at the final hurdle came to fruition.




The Swiss America’s Cup winners Alinghi have been rock solid since the beginning of the Act, with the new pairing of skipper Ernesto Bertarelli and tactician Morgan Larson, who steered Oman Air to second place last season, leading the team to their first podium position since 2011. The SAP analytical data tells us they were the fastest boat on the course this week, at an average of 8.54 knots, and if they can get their distance sailed down, they could be on a course to victory.


Overall Results: (28 races)

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan  232pts
2nd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara 226pts
3rd Alinghi (SUI) Ernesto Bertarelli 218pts
4th Team Duqm Oman (OMA) Robert Greenhalgh 185pts
5th Team Korea (KOR) Peter Burling  173pts
6th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller 164pts
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen 153pts
8th Realteam (SUI) Jerome Clerc 147pts


By Extreme Sailing Series: