A Class World Championship at Hervey Bay Sailing Club
Double World Champ NED Mischa Heemskerk © Gordon Upton
As the season in Europe slowly draws to a close on what has been for some, another rather frustrating year of too much/too little wind and with most European class associations are looking towards their final regattas of the year, it is now only some four weeks until the World Championships and the Hervey Bay crowd get their Barbies lit.
What awaits them are sandy beaches, tropical weather, warm seas, migrating Humpback Whales, and if the natives sharing posts to my Facebook page is anything to go by – spiders, snakes, jellyfish, sharks and mythical bears dropping from trees, also apparently lie in wait their European and US visitors!
This year, probably due to the location, we are to be graced by more sailing glitterati than we have seen in many years. Now with an entry list of over 100 sailors booked in. But due to the distance and expense, only 19 European and 13 North American sailors are attending this year, however, their presence will most certainly be felt. This is the first time the two fleets are officially being split into the two ‘A’ Cat divisions for a World Championships and are to sail on separate courses.
This was a superb move by IACA, as it has rejuvenated many fleets around the World whose non-foiling sailors had felt rather left out by the foiling revolution overtaking the class since 2015. As a result of this being an open event, a good sized fleet of 43 Classics and 61 Foilers are looking forward to some great racing action on the waters of the Pacific.
Former World Champion and Olympic silver Tornado medalist, Scott Anderson – photo © Gordon Upton
Former World Champion and Olympic silver Tornado medalist, Scott Anderson, heads up the 27 strong AUS Classic fleet contingent. Alongside him is another Tornado silver winner, Andrew Landenberger, a former European Champion, is one of the sailors who have started a return to the Classic discipline after realizing it can provide much closer racing and one of many who have possibly decided that they really can’t be bothered with mastering the circus skills sometimes required to sail a foiling boat at that level. Chasing them, particularly if the wind gets up, may well be smiling SWE sailor Alberto Farnassi.
Tornado silver winner and former European Champion Andrew Landenberger – photo © Event Media
The Classics are also honoured by the presence of the two famous and venerable mast-makers in the persons of Piet Saarberg and Ben Hall. Also making up the Classic fleet will be three Kiwis, three more Americans including Bob Webbon, and Bob Orr, an Italian, a Swiss, in the body of IACA President Charles Beush, and a Brit.
Meanwhile over on the foiling course, several big names are vying for the top dog’s spot. Favourite amongst them must surely be Glenn Ashby again, now going for this 10th World title after his victory as the ETNZ America’s Cup skipper. Last seen in a World Championship at Punta Ala in 2015, he was untouchable at the Warnemunde Europeans back in August, and has to always be the man to beat. However, never say never, and things can happen to the best of us, especially in sailing.
Glenn Ashby © Gordon Upton
Close on his tail will be a gaggle of other top racers. Current and three times World Champ Stevie Brewin will surely be fighting hard to retain his crown. Stevie was away on a somewhat interesting F18 campaign in the summer, so didn’t race in Germany. But he’ll be back now and up for this one. Stevie’s training mate, Glenn’s
Olympic silver medal-winning Tornado teammate, Darren Bundock, will also be hot in pursuit of his former America’s Cup rival. But he’d better keep an eye out for his wife, the Volvo Ocean race winner and multipal Olympic medalist Carolijn Brouwer, who is also no slouch on the ‘A’ cat. Steve Brayshaw, Brad Wicht and Adam Beatie will also be fighting hard.
Three times World Champ Stevie Brewin – photo © Event Media
Coming over the Tasman Sea to challenge are another couple of America’s Cup sailors in the shapes of NLZ sailors Olympic and World 49er champion, Blair Tuke, and his Olympic 49er teammate and ETNZ winning helm, Peter Burling. They will be also be up against the larconic Kiwi Champ Dave Shaw, who finished 4th at the Sopot Worlds last time. There will also be a European challenge for podium places from Double World Champ NED Mischa Heemskerk.
Former European Champ Bob Baier is coming from Germany. A couple of handy Polish sailors will also be ready to pounce as National champions Jacek Noetzel and Robert Graczyk are coming over. Two French National Champion sailors of Jean-Luc Le Coq and Emmanuel Dode will also be putting of a good show as will the top Swiss sailor Nils Palmieri and ESP sailor Lago Lopez Marra. All are capable of a top ten finishes.
Not forgetting our other North American friends too. Their strong fleet includes their National Champion Bruce Mahoney along with Larry and Andrew Woods and Michael Krantz, who will be fighting for good places too.
Hence we are expecting some hot racing at Hervey Bay in both fleets. Some results may surprise us, other merely confirm our expectations. Whatever happens though, it won’t be boring, especially if those migrating whales arrive in the start area.
Bring it on!
More details on: www.a-cat.org
by Gordon Upton
Sir Russell Coutts at the SailGP global racing league launch © SailGP
SailGP set out to redefine sailing with the launch of its new global racing league: five grand prix events featuring six national teams on identical wing sailed F50s – the world’s fastest, most technologically advanced catamarans.
Spearheaded by Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts, in season one, SailGP will bring intensely competitive, high-speed inshore racing to fans in Sydney; San Francisco; New York; Cowes, UK; and Marseille, France, as world-class crews compete for the championship trophy and a $1 million prize.
Kicking off in February 2019, SailGP’s inaugural season will feature teams representing six countries – Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States. Each five-person crew will race on identical 50-foot foiling catamarans. A new boat class, the F50 is a redesigned, supercharged incarnation of the exceptional AC50 used for the 35th America’s Cup last year. Twelve months in development at the hands of pioneering technicians and engineers at Core Builders Composites in New Zealand, the F50s are expected to break the 50-knot (60mph/100kph) barrier.
“SailGP is the evolution of sailing,” said Ellison, SailGP founder. “With equally incredible technology across our one-design fleet, we expect to see thrillingly close and competitive racing amongst national teams. And, with a modern, consistent format, SailGP will provide a new opportunity for talented sailors who want to race for their countries.”
“SailGP distills all of the most successful, exciting and relevant elements of high-performance, professional racing, while adding the extra edge that comes with nation-versus-nation competition,” said Coutts, SailGP CEO. “We are aiming to be pioneers of new technologies, boat design, commercial partnerships and global audience engagement. But with every crew on the same groundbreaking F50 catamaran, this isn’t a tech arms race, rather the ultimate test to establish the best sailing team in advanced foiling catamarans.”
Sanctioned by World Sailing, each grand prix will comprise two competition days with five fleet races, culminating in a final match race between the two leaders. After SailGP’s Sydney inauguration in February (15-16), the league moves on to San Francisco in May (4-5), New York in June (21-22), and Cowes in August (10-11), before the Marseille final in September (20-22), which features a winner-takes-all, $1 million championship match race between the season’s top two teams to conclude three days of racing.
“World Sailing is thrilled to be working with SailGP to bring a new, exciting and fan-friendly elite racing league to life,” said World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt. “SailGP is an ambitious project that is spearheaded by an incredible forward-thinking leadership team. We’re excited about SailGP’s commitment to innovate and advance the sport forward and by working in partnership, we will aim to inspire millions more people to fall in love with sailing.”
SailGP was created by Ellison and Coutts, who have been instrumental in the commercial development of competitive sailing. The innovative new professional sailing league – featuring an ongoing calendar of premium global racing among national teams in the world’s most advanced catamarans – will engage the next generation of fans and create a pathway for future sailors. SailGP will be a commercially driven sports property, eventually maturing to a franchise model.
Renowned luxury house Louis Vuitton, which partners with the world’s biggest sporting events and packs the most legendary trophies; Oracle, industry-leading global provider of enterprise cloud computing; and Land Rover, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles, join SailGP as founding partners. Additional details and sponsors will be announced at a future date.
With a primary goal of growing global viewership and broadening its fanbase, SailGP’s broadcast plans focus on comprehensive live coverage complemented by centrally produced highlight programs, and cutting-edge screen applications and services. Whisper Films has been appointed as the league’s host broadcast production partner and will play a key role in delivering a personality-driven broadcast utilising patented and leading-edge immersive media technologies, while Talisman Sports and Media is handling global media rights distribution.
The Great Britain SailGP Team was also introduced to home fans during the London launch. Skippered by Rio 2016 Olympian and world champion Dylan Fletcher, Great Britain’s vastly experienced crew includes Olympic bronze medalist Chris Draper as team CEO and wing trimmer, Olympic silver medalist Stuart Bithell as flight controller, and Olympic champion rower Matt Gotrel and Extreme Sailing Series winner Richard Mason as grinders.
“The concept of SailGP immediately excited me,” said Great Britain helmsman Dylan Fletcher. “This league allows us to compete with and against the best, and to challenge ourselves in every way possible while sailing the world’s fastest catamarans. We have the opportunity to push the limits of our sport, and this is a very proud chapter in my career. What Larry and Russell have created is truly unique, and I am confident it will capture the attention of audiences around the world.”
SailGP is sailing redefined. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP is an annual, global sports league featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism. The fan-centric, inshore racing takes place in some of the most iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race. Rival national teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States battle it out in identical supercharged F50 catamarans, engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 60 mph/100 kph).
Visit sailgp.com for more information.
Photo c Marc Ablett
The day we had been waiting for all event finally arrived. 15 – 18 knots of Lake Garda goodness rolled in early from the South and it was all to play for with the European Championship on the line.
Tom Trotman from Australia was in a strong position heading into the final day and consolidated with a 1,2,2 scorecard to take the overall event from Bruce Curson of New Zealand who finished with two bullets in the final two races. It will be fantastic to see these guys go head to head again at the WASZP Games in Perth 2019.
The battle for the overall European Championship was much more intense with 17 year old Nicolai Jacobsen holding a slight advantage over French sailor Pierre Leboucher. In the first race of the day Jacobsen put one hand on the trophy by finishing in second place with Leboucher back in fifth. Then in the second race of the day Leboucher was looking really good and chasing hard only to have a sensational crash, picking up a knee injury that all but dashed his championship hopes. Jacobsen then sailed a smart final race to stay out of trouble and take the WASZP European Championship to Norway.
Photos c Marc Ablett
The racing was extremely tight and as good as you will ever see on such a high performance foiling boat. With the standard lifting with every race completed, it was amazing to see fifteen boats coming into an upwind gate at 20 knots boat speed.
In other categories, Italian sailor Margerhita Porro won the Women’s Championship from six others, while Jacobsen won the Youth division. In the Masters category it was Bruce Curson from New Zealand and in the 6.9 rig it was young Richard Schuilthie from Malta.
The GPS speed challenge was also hotly contested with the top speed of the week coming from Norwegian Erik Karlsen with 22.9 knots recorded on the final day. The fastest speed we have seen at an event is still 26.1 knots set by New Zealander Nick Olsen at the Australian nationals.
It is pretty special to see how the WASZP has grown in the last 12 months in particular. We had five separate heat winners ranging from a 14 year old, a 22 year old, a 37 year old former Olympian and a 42 year old. It would be hard to find a class of boat where people from all walks of life and all ages can compete together on the same race course and all be super-competitive.
The WASZP class is still in its infancy, but one thing is for sure, the culture and atmosphere around the sailors is amazing. Everyone is willing to help each other and after racing in the rigging area or in the bar the vibe is amazing. The future is certainly a bright on for the WASZP.
The WASZP European Championships headed to Day 3 with much optimism, the fleet launched at 8:30 am for a 9am start, due to not much action over the first 2 days. The northerly was starting to really funnel in with around 15 knots on the race course.
The start was amazing with 63 WASZP’s all hitting the line at the same time. Norwegian sailor Henrick Haaland had a sensational start in the middle of the line and showed good speed. However by the top mark it was a full on assault from the sailors from down under with Tom Trotman, Jack Abbott, Andrew (Amac) McDougall from Australia and Bruce Curson from New Zealand taking the lead.
Down the run Amac took a low road while the rest stayed up high and were full noise down the first run. Alexander Hoghiem-Dahl was showing some serious wheels posting 21.9 knots in the GPS speed challenge.
Trotman managed to hold on down the second run to fend off Curson by 5 seconds at the finish. Ex-49er sailor Rory Hunter from GBR had a sensational final lap to roar into 3rd place and put the pressure on the overall leaders.
As the Northerly died everyone headed in for a bite to eat and waited for the Southerly to arrive. It finally drifted in at 2pm and the fleet launched for a 2:30 pm start. Finally the conditions we came for. Tom Trotman led from start to finish in race 3 and won in emphatic fashion from Nicolai Jacobsen who has produced a seriously consistent series to be the first European with one day remaining.
In Race 4 New Zealander Bruce Curson jumped the fleet to lead for the first lap, only for a shift to claim a few of the leaders. Former 470 Olympian Pierre Leboucher from France showed a clean pair of heals to claim victory in Race 4. The French team have improved immensely and are the top performing European nation as we speak.
Race 5 was sailed in around 8 – 14knots, conditions which has typified this series. Again the start was hot and all the key performers were there. This time it was Jacobsen from Norway and Festino from France who were in a battle for the lead. Again a massive shuffle in places up the final work provided some serious entertainment for the spectators. With Trotman powering from 6th to 1st and hold the lead to the finish line.
Overall it is Trotman leading from Curson with leading European entrant Nicolai Jacobsen in 3rd with Leboucher not far behind. It is all to play for on the final day of the WASZP European Championships.
Overall it was sensational to finally get our event started with a full day of racing, the competitors are tired, but ready to do it all again tomorrow!
When have you ever heard this before? “It’s not normally like this here”.
After day 1 not having a breath of wind, day 2 looked to be very promising. With the Northerly dying early and the temperature at 30 degrees, it was set to be an amazing day on the water. However the breeze never quite filled in to the required pressure for consistent foiling, hovering between 6 – 9 knots. It did however provide a different element to WASZP racing.
Since last year the standard has improved quite considerably and the French team burst out of the blocks with Manu Taine leading at the first mark. He was closely followed by fellow countryman Pierre Leboucher, whilst the local Italian sailors from the newly formed Italian WASZP Association, Tommy Ciaglia and Margherita Porro, showed fantastic light air polish to be entrenched in the top six.
As the breeze got softer and softer, it became a battle of whether or not to try and foil. Bruce Curson of New Zealand made the call early to not foil and it paid off, moving from high teens at the first mark to 4th place overall. Australian’s Tom Trotman and Andrew McDougall did a fantastic job of hanging in there as the breeze faded.
Then the ‘play of the day’ came when Nicolai Jacobsen rounded in 7th place for the final time and popped onto the foils. The Norwegian young gun fired down the run on the puff of the day to hit the lead from Tommy Ciaglia only to fall off the foils on the final gybe to let the young Italian through for the win followed by Manu Taine and Jacobsen who slipped to 3rd.
Top speed of the day on a slow day was by Alexander Hogheim-Dahl, who posted an impressive 16.1 knots in no more than 10 knots of windspeed.
In the evening the WASZP party was held in the town of Malcesine, with team GBR again impressing with their performances off the water.
Today looks to be a much better day with 2 races planned for the morning and 3 races in the afternoon. Hopefully Lake Garda returns to its very best.
by Jonny Fullerton on behalf of the WASZP class
From June 28th – July 1st the largest ever fleet of WASZP’s will assemble at Lake Garda in Italy. The European Championships held at Fraglia Vela Malcesine has been met with a high level of excitement and anticipation by competitors and supporters.
Over 60 WASZP’s have entered the event with anticipation high for the most competitive WASZP event held so far. With lots of interest in the Perth 2019 WASZP Games and many teams taking advantage of the sensational conditions on Lake Garda, the standard will most certainly be high.
Two days out from the event over 50 boats are in the rigging area training and tuning their WASZP’s, taking advantage of class creator Andrew McDougall’s experience as well as chatting with other sailors about technique and tuning.
The training camp has commenced with 32 sailors enjoying the advice of coaches from Australia and Norway with a genuine willingness to share information and help others, a feature of the WASZP class which is now becoming engrained in the class culture.
The age demographic is well spread with a group of kids aged 13 – 17 years, a bunch of sailors coming back into the sport aged 23 – 35 years, and a group of masters loving the foiling challenge and the battles within the fleet. This has all created the perfect cocktail of atmosphere amongst the fleet.
This year’s programme will consist of Championship Racing (up to 3 races per day) and a Slalom event that will be run around the Championship Racing. This will provide the perfect spectacle for the class, racing right in front of Fraglia Malcesine and a large spectator contingent. The colour the WASZP provides is a fantastic contrast against the water and mountains around Lake Garda.
The European contingent will be led by French sailor Pierre Leboucher, a former 470 Olympian, whilst Marcal Costa racing for Spain, the brother of last year’s European Champion Joan Costa. Marcal has no doubt gained some vital information from his brother. The Norwegian fleet has improved significantly and has run a very slick campaign, the kids with another year of WASZP sailing under their belt will be looking to hit the top of the leaderboard. The UK is sporting the greatest number of competitors from a nation with 14 entries and has many young guns amongst them, as well as many families embracing a week of Italian lifestyle.
Joining the 10 European nations will be 3 Australian’s and 1 New Zealander, who have made the trip to Italy to begin their preparations for Perth 2019.
Tom Trotman heads up the Australian charge having placed 3rd at the Aussie Nationals and 4th at the Pacific Games. He has the runs on the board and is looking to improve. Jack Abbott having experienced last years WASZP Games at Campione, is back again fresh off a 5th placing at the Aussie Nationals. Both are keen to test themselves against Europe’s best and entice their European counterparts to compete in Perth’s home waters in 2019.
Lastly, Bruce Curson has made the trip from New Zealand fresh off winning the New Zealand Nationals and a 3rd place at the Pacific Championships, he is primed for a good result.
The Sub Divisions will be well contested, with 24 sailors racing in the Youth Division. (under 18 years). It will be extremely tight and no doubt the kids are looking for bragging rights over their mates by being the best youth foiler in Europe. Nicolai Jacobsen from Norway will be leading this charge with great performances in the recent WASZP Cup Norway events. 13 sailors including Andrew MacDougall (AMac), will be contesting the Master over 40 division and 6 females will be racing which is sensational for the class and shows how diverse and accessible the class is. The last division will be the 6.9m division which will be hotly contested by around 12 – 15 sailors showing the future of the WASZP class!
Racing begins on the 28th of June.
Stay tuned via the following links:
by Jonny Fullerton on behalf of the WASZP class
For the first time since its launch, the Easy To Fly (ETF) Class will attend the Garda Foiling Week! The monotype foiling catamaran was created by French skipper Jean-Pierre Dick.
Designed by naval architect Guillaume Verdier, winning designer of the last America’s Cup, the ETF was conceived to fly with 8 knots of wind and with 3 crew members on board. Launched at the end of 2016, ETF currently sails on European waters with, 4 boats in Switzerland, 2 in Germany, one in Denmark and one in France.
The ETF has a European Championship consisting of 5 qualifying races: the ETF Series 2018. The Garda Foiling Week will be the 4th stage and promises to be a hard battle for the podium amongst the participants, separated only by 7 points.
Jean-Pierre Dick says,
“I am very happy to attend the Garda Foiling Week. Lake Garda is a hot spot for foilers and a breathtaking sailing scenery.
I imagined a human-sized flying catamaran, in between a dinghy and an extreme, in order to provide non-professional teams with the adrenaline of flying.
This year we are rolling out the ETF Series, it is an important step towards the creation of a dynamic class and we are happy Garda Foiling Week is part of it.”
The ETF presents at the Garda Foiling Week 2018:
Luna (SUI) / Skipper : Guillaume Girod
Tixwave (SUI) / Skipper : Bernard Vananty
Cool Runnings (DEN) / Skipper : Thorlikd Junker
ABC Arbitrage – Ville de Nice / Skipper (FRA) : Jean-Pierre Dick
Rankings of the ETF Series after 3 qualifying races:
1 Luna (SUI): 7 points
2 ABC Aribitrage – Ville de Nice (FRA) : 7 points
3 Tixwave (SUI) : 8 points
4 Cool Runnings (DEN) : 9 points
5 Ste – Catherine (GER) : 14 points
ETF Series 2018 : 5 qualifying races in Europe
1 Grand Prix de Nice (FRA) : May 1st-6th
2 Grand Prix de Suisse (SUI): May 31st June 2nd
3 Bol d’Or Mirabaud (SUI) : June 9th
4 Garda Foiling Week (ITA) : June 28th July 1st
5 Martinique Flying Regatta (Fort de France) : November 17th – 24th
Concept : Jean-Pierre Dick
Architect : Guillaume Verdier
After 16 years sailing the world’s seas and taking part in 4 single-handed round the world races, Jean-Pierre Dick has clocked up 6 wins in the IMOCA class. He is the only record-holder for the number of wins in the Transat Jacques Vabre, 4, the most recent in 2017 with Yann Eliès. In November 2017, he decided to change his boat to fly on the Easy To Fly.
His main wins :
2 Barcelona World Races:
•2008 with Damien Foxall
•2011 with Loïck Peyron **
4 Transat Jacques Vabre races:
•2003 with Loïck Peyron
•2005 with Nicolas Abiven
•2011 with Jérémie Beyou
•2017 with Yann Eliès
Hull length: 8,10 m / 26.6 ft
Beam: 4,30 m / 14.10 ‘
Mast height: 13.70 m / 44’
Draught: 1.20 m / 3.93’
Weight (with sails): 350 kg / 717 lbs
Main sail: 29,5 m²
Jib: 11 m²
Code 0: 26,5 m²
Gennaker: 49,5 m²
Max Speed: 35 knots
More info on Foiling Week, entries for the races and booking for activities at
Lake Garda venue for the Europeans – c Martina Orsini
In the short history of the class, the biggest ever fleet of WASZP’s will assemble at Lake Garda, Italy, from June 28th to July 1st. The European Championships to be held at Fraglia Vela Malcesine has been met with a high level of excitement and anticipation by competitors and supporters.
Over 60 WASZP’s have entered with around 70 expected for the event, this is a sensational effort for a class only two years old. One of the key elements of the WASZP which has the class thriving, is the welcoming nature and large focus on enjoyment and participation. These events are not just for the sailors, they are for friends and families to come and enjoy a four day spectacle and everything the WASZP brand has to offer.
The manufacturer offers complete support on-site with all the knowledge needed to make these boats go fast. There is also a full range of spare parts available and support is always on hand to make sure that the sailors are able to get back on the water if they have an issue. The knowledge in the fleet has come a long way in the past 12 months and everyone now has a good knowledge base to ensure their boats are fully up to speed prior to the event. There is also a three Day Camp conducted by WASZP prior to the event, this was booked out over a month before the event showing how keen the competitors are to learn about the boats.
Fleet at the 2017 Waszp Games at Lake Garda – c Martina Orsini
Another point of difference for the class has been the experimentation with different race formats. One format that is making the sailing world sit up and take notice is the slalom event. Set-up slightly differently to the windsurfing version of this concept, the WASZPs sail through gates down-wind (more akin to downhill ski slalom). This allows the boats to pick their own line and encourage passing lanes.
We are looking forward to streaming this event live on the WASZP Games Facebook page www.facebook.com/waszpgames. All highlights of the championship racing and off water lifestyle will also be available through this page.
There are a number of quality sailors in the event, with a number of ex- Olympic sailors jumping in the WASZP due to its level playing field (One-Design) and its affordability. There is also an international flavour with 2 Australians, Jack Abbott and Tom Trotman, being joined by Bruce Curson from New Zealand. Trotman placed 3rd at the Australian Nationals whilst Abbott was 5th, Curson won the New Zealand Nationals in windy conditions. It will be very interesting how the battle between the Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere unfolds, with the 2019 WASZP Games held in January in Perth, Australia will set the scene with what is expected to be over 100 WASZPs at that event.
Tom Trotman at the Australian Nationals – c Martina Orsini
The WASZP is building incredible momentum with 620 boats shipped worldwide only two years after production began making it the fastest growing high performance boat in the world.
We look forward to bringing this event to a global audience from the 28th June – 1st of July!
WASZP update from Marc Ablett
Team Tilt – © Pedro Martinez / GC32 World Championship
On Lake Garda, the Schneiter family’s Team Tilt, managed by father Alex and steered by Olympic 49er sailor son Sébastien, was crowned first ever GC32 World Champion. Apart from a brief falter in the final race, the Swiss team over three days never finished a race lower than fourth, despite tricky conditions, a variety of race courses and wind strengths that Lake Garda threw at the 13 teams.
In the same year as they finished second overall on the GC32 Racing Tour in 2016, Sébastien Schneiter competed in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and last year skippered the Swiss team in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. The young Team Tilt crew returned to GC32 sailing here with maturity.
“We had great team work – it worked really well on board – and short, but good preparation for this event,” explained Schneiter.
“We definitely learned a lot from the Youth America’s Cup. Here we managed to sail fast while staying calm.”
Team Tilt’s performance was all the more remarkable following a disastrous opening day that left them lying 11th overall.
“We were unlucky and we didn’t sail that well,” Schneiter admitted.
“We knew we were much better than that – we were just keen to keep racing to improve our ranking.” Incredibly, the Swiss team turned this around in just one day, leading at the end of day two.
While this was Schneiter’s first World title, this was far from the case with tactician/mainsheet trimmer Glenn Ashby, winning skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand’s in last year’s America’s Cup for whom this is his 17th World Championship title, and his first in a crew larger than two. Ashby was previously part of the Team Tilt crew in 2016.
Team Tilt also claimed the Anonimo Speed Challenge recording the highest average speed of 22.25 knots down the two reach/gybe course. This won them an Anonimo Nautilo GC32 Edition timepiece, to go with the Anonimo Nautilo Bi Color Bronze they claimed for their Championship victory.
On the final day, proceedings got underway early with one race held at 0830hrs in the northerly ‘Peler’ before competitors were sent ashore to wait for the southerly ‘Ora’ to build. After this three more races were held. Winning this morning’s race had put Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner’s SAP Extreme Sailing Team into the lead, but deep results in the last two races caused the Danish team to finish second by eight points. Oman Air completed the podium a further 11 points back.
Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi had a mixed day but good enough to secure fourth, albeit tied on points with Ineos Rebels UK. Bertarelli was also the run-away leader in the Owner Driver Championship, finishing on 88 points to the 129 of Jason Carroll’s second placed Argo.
Ernesto Bertarelli and Alinghi dominated the owner-driver class – photo © Pedro Martinez / GC32 World Championship
Bertarelli praised the race committee for managing to get in 16 races and was proud that a Swiss team had claimed the title.
Ineos Rebels UK had a better day that caused them to gain a place on the leaderboard. Helmsman Leigh McMillan deftly threaded their black GC32 through the fleet to start on port at the committee boat three times and twice this resulted in podium finishes.
Of this first GC32 World Championship, GC32 International Class President Simon Delzoppo, skipper of.film Racing said: “It has been fantastic. We have had a wonderful event. Seeing all the boats together – it has been a great competition with lots of races in varying conditions, light conditions and winds up to 18 knots. It has been fantastic to test all the crews out in different ranges that Garda has to offer. Team Tilt was very consistent – they fought back many times and were always near the lead. They did a fantastic job.”
GC32 World Championship – Final Positions
1st Team Tilt 60 pts
2nd SAP Extreme Sailing Team 68 pts
3rd Oman Air 79 pts
4th Alinghi 88 pts
5th INEOS Rebels UK 88 pts
6th NORAUTO 94 pts
7th Red Bull Sailing Team 111 pts
8th Realteam 129 pts
9th Argo 129 pts
10th Frank Racing 135 pts
11th Zoulou 135 pts
12th Team México 172 pts
13th .film Racing 179 pts