2015 D35 Champion signs up

By on 03 Nov. 2015

The first new team to announce its participation on the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour is Team Tilt from Switzerland. Created in 2002 by Alex Schneiter, Team Tilt is best known for its results on Lake Geneva, where it is a two time Champion in the 8.53m M2 catamaran circuit and has also won Switzerland’s top sailing event, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud three times on board its canting keel Psaros 40. Team Tilt’s biggest success came this season when it not only won the Bol d’Or Mirabaud on its D35 catamaran but also the 2015 D35 Championship, against Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour competitors Alinghi and Spindrift racing.

The team is also no stranger to foiling catamarans having developed its own boat, Syz & Co, at 10.8m long, a little longer than the GC32.

Photo: Loris von Siebenthal/Team Tilit Sailing

Photo: Loris von Siebenthal/Team Tilit Sailing

“Foiling is an area we’ve always been very interested in,” says Team Manager Alex Schneiter. “We have done a lot of multihull racing, in particular in the D35s and it is clear that sailing is moving towards foiling.”

One reason they will compete on the GC32 Racing Tour is to nurture young Swiss sailors ready to be part of their Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team in 2017.

Given his background, Schneiter is well placed to critique the GC32 which he sailed for the first time on Lake Garda last year. “I was surprised at the speed downwind. I think flying itself isn’t that difficult, but doing the manoeuvres well is quite tricky.”

On the GC32 Racing Tour in 2016, helming will be his 49er Olympic son Sébastien, who skippered Team Tilt to this season’s D35 victories. He will share GC32 helming duties with well-known Swiss catamaran sailor Arnaud Psarofaghis. Team Tilt will be running a squad system and will start the season with what Schneiter describes as their ‘A team’, including multihull veteran Tanguy Cariou and Lucien Cujean, Sébastien Schneiter’s 49er crew, and Bryan Mettraux. Young sailors will be rotated in during the season.

Schneiter says he finds the modified format for the GC32 Racing Tour and its choice of venues attractive. “It is like what we do in the D35s – having the luxury of prioritising the quality of the venues rather than having sponsor issues where you have to go to specific places, which aren’t necessarily the best sailing areas. It looks like the GC32 Racing Tour will have a good group of boats. We know that in 2016 we will be new to the boat so we’ll be coming in quite humble.”

Further team and venue announcements will be made in due course.

Photo: Loris von Siebenthal/Team Tilit Sailing

Photo: Loris von Siebenthal/Team Tilit Sailing