Four continents represented on 2017 GC32 Racing Tour

By on 04 May. 2017

Four continents will be represented among the 11 foiling one design catamarans teams competing on Lake Garda at next week’s GC32 Riva Cup, the opening event of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour. While Europeans form the majority, there will once again be Jason Carroll’s Team Argo from the USA and Naofumi Kamei’s Mamma Aiuto! from Japan. New for 2017 will be the circuit’s first team from South America.

Código Rojo Racing Team is the campaign of keen Argentinean catamaran sailor, Federico Ferioli. Ferioli comes from a strong sailing background and speed is in his blood: Both he and his father Jorge have competed in motor racing, while Ferioli Senior, who is also an active member of Código Rojo Racing Team, was a naval officer on the Argentine sail training ship Libertad in 1966 when it won the Boston Teapot Trophy, setting the speed record for tall ships that year.

Recently Federico Ferioli has been racing catamarans and last year finished fifth at the F18 World Championship in Buenos Aires. He has also competed on singlehanded A-Class and foiling Nacra 20s, with former Sunfish World Champion, Lucas González Smith, now Team Manager and trimmer/tactician of the Código Rojo Racing Team.

“This was a natural next step for us,” explains Ferioli. “The sensation and the feeling of the boat shouldn’t be unfamiliar. The major challenge is the different size of boat with different power and different speed. We will also have to work and coordinate as a crew.”

Their crew is mostly South American. Other Argentians include boat captain and experienced big boat sailor Jordan Rivas; the young 23-year-old ‘muscle’, F18 sailor Juan Cruz Benitez, plus Nicolás Chernobilsky, a yacht designer and Star sailor based in Denmark. From Guatemala is Nacra 17 sailor Jason Hess, who finished third in last year’s F18 Worlds, while joining them for the GC32 Riva Cup is Portugal’s Renato Conde, usually with the SAP Extreme Sailing Team. “He will join us because we need someone with experience in the GC32,” says Ferioli.

In the build-up they are also being supported by South America’s most experienced GC32 sailor, Diego Stefani from Uruguay, previously with ARMIN STROM Sailing Team, now with Mamma Aiuto!

Código Rojo Racing Team first sailed its new GC32 this week. Ferioli acknowledges that it is a big challenge coming from Argentina: “It is a major project. There are a lot of things you have to take care of to put this whole thing together, especially from scratch. And everything is more difficult for us because we are so far away. But we are up to the challenge!”

Código Rojo Racing Team will be the fourth team competing for this year’s GC32 Racing Tour Owner-Driver Championship.

A second new team for the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour will be announced next week.