In 2017, Simon Delzoppo’s .film Racing became the first Australian team to join the GC32 Racing Tour, adding to the circuit’s international roster, with teams from afar afield as the USA, Argentina and New Zealand. The Aussies competed in the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour’s three final events ready themselves for a full campaign for 2018.
Delzoppo is an avid sailor. Once a co-owner of Ludde Ingvall’s 2004 Rolex Sydney to Hobart line honours winning maxi, Nicorette, his greatest love is catamarans, especially racing cats such as the Nacra 5.0, 5.5 and 5.8, in which he won a US Nacra Nationals in 1989. After a break to focus on his successful internet domain name businesses, he resumed sailing on an F18 catamaran.
He tried out other catamarans and classes before committing to the GC32: “Overall it is a great boat, a lot of fun to sail and reasonably easy to maintain too. You won’t spend a fortune trying to get it going. I like the design of it, its stability and it has a very strong one design class which seems to be growing. It is a good combination and a stepping stone for Australian sailors.
He is joining the GC32 Racing Tour because it is friendly to owner-drivers like him, who get their own championship and because, despite living in Melbourne, he prefers a circuit where all the events are geographically close together. “It was also about sailing with like-minded people, that have pulled a team together and want to race on a high performance foiling cat,” he continues. “The Med suited me as I can take the family over, they can join in and we can go to some nice places.”
While Leigh McMillan, helmsman on the 2015 GC32 Racing Tour winner Sultanate of Oman, was calling tactics for .film Racing in 2017, his duties at the British America’s Cup challenge, Land Rover BAR, mean that he has had to pass over the reins to French former America’s Cup skipper and GC32 veteran Sebastien Col.
The rest of the crew are also new to .film Racing, although most have now many miles under their belts aboard GC32s. They include Swedish powerhouse Jakob Gustafsson, who was with Mamma Aiuto! last season. British catamaran veteran Adam Piggott joins the team as trimmer from Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco. New to the GC32 is leading Australian foiling A-Class catamaran sailor, Stephen Brayshaw, who will be manning the traveller and calling laylines.