Schedule announced for 2018 GC32 Racing Tour

By on 29 Nov. 2017

For its fifth season in 2018, the GC32 Racing Tour aims to continue providing the ‘best foiling experience’ for its competitors in several of yacht racing’s top venues. Attracting both professional teams and those with owner-drivers, the circuit for ultra-high speed foiling one design catamarans will visit five southern European venues chosen to offer the best chance of providing optimum foiling conditions.

GC32 Racing Tour races are short, but the venues chosen allow large enough courses for the flying catamaran crews to experience racing the GC32, one of the world’s fastest one design sailing boats, at its maximum speed of 30+ knots.

The circuit received a significant boost earlier this month at the World Sailing Annual Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, when the GC32 was awarded World Sailing Class Association status.

In 2017, the GC32 Racing Tour visited five venues across southern Europe with 13 teams from ten countries from as far afield as Australia, Japan, Argentina and the USA, competing over the course of the season. For 2018 the circuit will continue its relationship with at least three of these venues, with a mix of stand-alone GC32 events and multi-class events.

2018 GC32 Racing Tour schedule:
23 – 27 May: GC32 Class Championship / Riva del Garda, Italy
26 – 30 June: GC32 Villasimius Cup / Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
31 July – 4 August: 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE/ Palma de Mallorca, Spain
12 – 16 September: TBA
10 – 14 October: TBA

The season kicks off with the second GC32 Class Championship, following on from the first, held in Muscat, Oman in March. Unique on the GC32 calendar, this is the only event when the stars align allowing the GC32s of both the GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series to line up on the same race track.

Run by Fraglia Vela Riva, the 2018 Championship will be held out of Riva del Garda, in the northern corner of Lake Garda. Not only is Lake Garda stunningly beautiful, surrounded by giant Alpine mountains, but it is renowned for its exceptional wind conditions and flat water. Traditionally it is where GC32 speed records are set.

Further details of this event will be announced shortly.

Breathtaking scenery and top foiling conditions off Riva del Garda. Photo: Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour

After making its successful debut this season, the GC32 Racing Tour will again return to Villasimius in 2018. Located on the southeastern tip of Sardinia, Villasimius, until this season, had never hosted a major international yachting event, but the GC32 teams enjoyed visiting this new venue and the event received great support locally. So the GC32 Racing Tour will return there in 2018.

One of the highlights of the GC32 Racing Tour is being part of the Mediterranean’s leading multi-class regatta, Copa del Rey MAPFRE. The circuit was first invited by the event’s organisers, Real Club Náutico de Palma, to take part in 2016. Here, the GC32s get to compete alongside the most elite yachting classes such as the Maxi 72s and TP52s and the recent incorporation of the Swan OD classes, on one of sailing’s most famous regatta venues – the Bay of Palma.

Javier Sanz, President of the RCNP and of the Copa del Rey Organising Committee, welcomes back the GC32 Racing Tour: “We are very excited to have the GC32 Racing Tour returning for a third year in a row and congratulate the class for becoming a World Sailing Class Association.”

The two final events of the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour will be confirmed shortly.

For the events and for the season there will once again be both Overall and Owner-driver rankings.

The GC32 Racing Tour benefits from bringing its own personnel to events. This includes its own well respected Principal Race Officer, Stuart Childerley. With the high speed of the flying GC32s, the circuit has been at the leading edge of improving safety standards and employs its own safety officer in Swedish fireman and experienced racing sailor Henrik Norberg. The Tour runs a hospitality program whereby VIP and guests have the unique opportunity to experience high speed foiling catamaran sailing. It also comes with its own media team.

Christian Scherrer, Manager of the GC32 Racing Tour commented: “I’m looking forward to the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour and the continued cooperation with many of the venues we worked with last year or before. As always, our aim is to deliver the best racing for the GC32 teams by taking them to the best places for foiling.”