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Thread: Alinghi Leads In Lagos

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    Alinghi Leads In Lagos



    ALINGHI AND OMAN AIR AHEAD AT HALF WAY STAGE OF GC32 WORLDS
    By James on 28 Jun. 2019
    Five more races in warm sunshine, flat water and a shifty 12-16 knot northwesterly off Lagos on day two of competition,
    and the leaderboard is starting to be defined at the GC32 World Championship, taking with the support of the City of Lagos,
    Marina de Lagos and Sopromar.








    While four boats were separated by one point as day two dawned, now, at this half way stage of the event, two teams
    have edged ahead: Leader Alinghi and second placed Oman Air are now separated by just three points, six points ahead of INEOS Rebels UK in third.

    While some separation may have emerged on the leaderboard, with Alinghi clearly top scorer of the day with no finish
    worse than a fifth, it was still very close on the water. “It was another tough day,” agreed co-skipper of the Swiss team,
    Arnaud Psarofaghis. “You couldn’t tell which side to go, but we also controlled
    the fleet to make sure we were ahead. We are really happy with what we’ve done. I didn’t start well, but the team got us back in the game.”

    Most improved team today was Sébastien Schneiter’s Team Tilt. The Swiss defending World Champions are
    strongly on the ascent, with the heavyweight assistance of Australian Glenn Ashby, skipper of America’s Cup
    winner Emirates Team New Zealand and a ten time A-Class catamaran world champion.

    Team Tilt started strongly, winning the first race but followed it up with a 10th placed finish before reverting to
    solid results in the final three. “We had a good start in the second race but then I’m not sure what happened –
    we kept losing on the boats around us,” admitted Schneiter. “Otherwise, we pushed a bit more in the starts,
    where yesterday we lost a lot of ground. Today we felt able to race the other boats.”








    Getting the best start and leading into the reaching mark set Team Tilt up for their race win, but this was one of the
    few occasions this happened today. “It is hard because the wind was so shifty. It is never over until the last reach,” observed Schneiter.

    Even in race three, when Team Tilt was OCS (along with Red Bull Sailing Team, CHINAone NINGBO and NORAUTO)
    they recovered to finish second. This race was won by the Adam Minoprio-skippered Oman Air, which gained the
    lead after pulling off a superb foiling gybe on to the layline out on the right side of the course.

    Team Tilt was not alone in having an up and down day. Fourth at the beginning of the day,
    NORAUTO’s leaderboard position plummeted after posting an 8-6-10. However her subsequent ascent
    was even faster, winning the final two races, seeming to do well at the top left of the course.
    “It was down-down-down and up-up-up, I don’t know why…” mused Franck Cammas.
    “We had two OCSes, but even with those we never managed to come back. It was all small mistakes…”

    In the final two races, Cammas seemed to have got the measure of the course, but he did not see it that way:
    “It was not so clear. We found a good trajectory and our starts were a little bit better, which always makes it easier.”










    While the top teams are slogging it out, the leaderboard is also getting established lower down the fleet.
    Switzerland’s Christian Zuerrer of Black Star Sailing Team is enjoying the competition despite being in tenth place,
    which in this ferocious fleet is not surprising given this is only his second event in the flying one design catamaran.
    “Our goal is that we come back happy from sailing and we enjoy every single second,” he said.
    “Today was only our fourth day racing in these conditions and we had some better results.
    We are really happy and are still improving.” In today’s second race they came home fifth.

    Zuerrer thanked the Clube de Vela de Lagos, which is supplying many volunteers, including some of their junior sailors
    as budding race officials. “It is a great club – they have done a great job for races. A huge thank you to all the volunteers.”

    Day two was marred by the capsize of Jason Carroll’s Argo on the last run of the final race after some close racing with
    Red Bull Sailing Team for which the Austrian team was penalised two points for hard contact, ultimately retiring.

    Fortunately with the rapid arrival of the GC32 Racing Tour safety team and Argo’s own support team, the crew was safely
    recovered and the upturned catamaran righted in a matter of minutes. During the incident tactician Sébastien Col injured
    his ankle and was taken ashore and subsequently to hospital, where this evening he is recovering.

    Tomorrow racing is scheduled to start at 1300 but in marginally lighter conditions.

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    Alinghi Win The 2019 GC32 Worlds



    Alinghi – GC32 World Champion with
    two races to spare

    GC32 Racing Tour press release issued on 30/06/2019

    Having looked secure, leading by 16 points going into the last day, Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team, helmed by Arnaud Psarofaghis, scored a 2-1-1 in today’s first races to win the 2019 GC32 World Championship with two races to spare – an incredible result given the calibre of competition racing here off Lagos, Portugal.

    “I feel very happy – although it hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Psarofaghis. “It was a really tough week of racing. The shore team and the guys on board did a fantastic job. We only had two bad races out of 17. It was a perfect job by the team - to win with two races to spare is great in this kind of fleet. With Team Tilt second, it is a great day for sailing in Switzerland.”

    Having lost two races to light conditions yesterday, there was concern this morning when the forecast northwesterlies disappeared, to be replaced by fickle southeasterlies. Fortunately the prevailing offshore winds did re-establish shortly after 1300, allowing the day’s full five race schedule to be completed in exceptional conditions culminating in a final race of the Championship in winds gusting to 20 knots.









    Aside from Alinghi, the Sébastien Schneiter-skippered Team Tilt also had an exceptional day. They starting out with a convincing win in the first race. Then across four more races they scored no results worse than a fifth, including the third race when they successfully pulled off a port tack start on the fleet. Having started the day fourth, this consistency elevated the defending World Champions, assisted here by Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby, to second overall.

    “We quickly learned what we were doing badly and well, improved every day and just sailed better and better,” said Schneiter. “The first day cost us a lot, so recovering to second was probably the best we could hope for. I am pleased the whole team fought for every point. They kept believing. It shows a good spirit in the team.”

    INEOS Rebels UK claimed the final position on the podium although only by a point and in possibly not the manner skipper Ben Ainslie would have preferred, including two collisions for which the British team picked up three penalty points. “We were quite aggressive and pushed it a bit too hard and got caught out!” acknowledged Ainslie. Remarkably after the second of these incidents - going for a space at the start of race four between CHINAone NINGBO and the race committee boat, that left them trailing in last position - the British America’s Cup challengers went on to win the race. “It is quite often the way with this fleet that you have a bad start, peel out and get free from the rest of the fleet and come through,” Ainslie continued. “You just get clear air and a lane. It was a tough day, but our last couple of races were solid.”







    Franck Cammas and NORAUTO also had an exceptional day posting all podium finishes, bar one and winning the final race. “One of the crew from CHINAone NINGBO fell in the water in front of us – we stopped and stayed to keep an eye on him,” recounted Cammas. “After that all the boats behind us gybed and went direct to the layline.” At the time they had been holding third but the incident caused them to end the race eighth. “So we lost the podium when that happened,” said a resigned Cammas. “We enjoyed today a lot, especially the last race.”

    As some consolation, in recording the fastest average speed on Friday resulted in NORAUTO winning the Cascade Sopromar Speed Challenge and the prize of five double rooms for three nights at Lagos’ 5 Star Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort.

    Finishing sixth overall and winning the Owner Driver prize at this GC32 World Championship was the longest standing GC32 team – Argo of American Jason Carroll that came out ahead of Erik Maris’ Zoulou. “It was very exciting - it was pretty unstable so there were a lot of position changes all the way around the race course,” said Carroll of today’s racing. “We had moments of brilliance today, but no particular day was brilliant. I really enjoyed our 4-3-2 on the second half of the first day when we were all working well together.”

    After a strong first three days, Oman Air had a disappointing final day that caused them to finish fifth while the Roman Hagara-steered Red Bull Sailing Team led race four until they were overhauled by INEOS Rebels UK. Even GC32 newbies Christian Zuerrer’s Black Star Sailing Team were on the ascent today, posting a fourth and third in the final two races at this, their second ever GC32 event.












    But this GC32 World Championship belonged 100% to Alinghi. As Team Manager Pierre-Yves Jorand stated: “Being GC32 World Champion with such as great team is fantastic. Maybe the points don’t reflect it but in the on-the-water battle every single metre counted. This is the culmination of several years spent on this type of boat. The sailors sailed very well, the shore team prepared the boat very well. The opposition was fantastic. The venue was great. The local authorities and organisers have been fantastic with us to solve small issues. Having 18 races in such great conditions was really amazing. It has been a beautiful event. I am very happy and very proud of the entire team and the whole support team here and in Switzerland.”

    The 2019 GC32 World Championship took place with the support of the City of Lagos, Marina de Lagos and Sopromar. The GC32 Racing Tour now moves on to its third event, Copa del Rey MAPFRE in Palma over 31 July to 3 August.


    2019 GC32 Racing Tour schedule

    22.-26 May: GC32 Villasimius Cup / Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
    26-30 June: GC32 World Championship / Lagos, Portugal
    31 July-4 August: 38 Copa del Rey MAPFRE / Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    11-15 September: GC32 Riva Cup / Riva del Garda, Italy
    6-10 Nov: TBA

    Get the very latest news on the GC32 Racing Tour from:
    Website: www.gc32racingtour.com



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