GC32 RACING TOUR – CATAMARANS

2020-05-30

Set up in 2014, the GC32 Racing Tour is the original circuit for the one design foiling catamarans designed by Dr Martin Fischer, now Design Co-ordinator for Luna Rossa’s challenge for the 36th America’s Cup.

These boats allow regular sailors to get a taste of the latest and fastest style of sailing – as exemplified by recent America’s Cups – but at a fraction of the cost, with far simpler logistics and without any hydraulics or a wing to worry about. In 2017, the GC32 received official recognition from World Sailing, enabling its first World Championship to be held in 2018.

Key to the GC32 Racing Tour is its appeal to both private owner-drivers and commercially-backed pro teams.

Venues are chosen with the aim of providing the best chance of optimum conditions to get the catamarans flying.

Courses are set with emphasis on providing a good racing experience for competitors with courses large enough to enable the GC32s to achieve their maximum speeds.

Course configurations are similar to those used in the America’s Cup – windward-leewards with reaching starts and finishes. However in light conditions and at the top of the wind range, the race committee reverts to courses with upwind starts.

The GC32 Racing Tour provides the opportunity for guests and VIPs to experience the flying in a high octane environment. Guest and sailors alike also get to enjoy the hospitality and social program laid on ashore at all the events.

While another season of five events had been arranged for the GC32 Racing Tour in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic instead this has been replaced with two stand-alone events.

With the entire sporting world having been brought to a temporary standstill this year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the GC32 Racing Tour has also had to revise its schedule for 2020.

During a recent multi-nation video conference between the Tour’s organisers and ten of the foiling catamaran teams, a fresh plan for the 2020 GC32 Racing Tour was agreed upon. The new, inevitably abbreviated, schedule for what will be the seventh season of racing for the World Sailing-approved flying catamaran class, assumes it will be possible to hold racing in southern Europe from August onwards.

Following the cancellation of the GC32 Oman Cup, originally scheduled for March this year, it comes as little surprise that this month’s event on Lake Garda is having to be postponed. The GC32 Riva Cup was set to be the second event of 2020, taking place at the end of May, but has now been delayed to October. Similarly, the GC32 Lagos Cup in Portugal has been moved on from its original June date, to the end of August. The GC32 World Championship, due to take place in Villasimius in southeast Sardinia in mid-September, has been postponed until 2021.

So this season the organisers of the GC32 Racing Tour will stage two stand alone events:

26-30 August GC32 Lagos Cup / Lagos, Portugal
14-18 October GC32 Riva Cup / Riva del Garda, Italy

GC32 World Championship Lagos. © Sailing Energy/GC32 Racing Tour.
14 September, 2017.