GC32 Mar Menor Cup
A single round resolved the second day of competition of the GC32 Mar Menor Cup, the last scoring event for the GC32 Racing Tour 2021. Alinghi’s victory allows the Swiss team to escape two points in front of the provisional and present their credentials to the title in waters Murcian.
The wind claimed its share of prominence and determined the second day of competition for the GC32 in the waters of the Mar Menor. The fleet went into the water with a program of up to three races, but was only able to complete one in conditions marked by the instability of the wind.
The Race Committee started when it seemed that the wind was encouraged to collaborate, although with an intensity below ten knots. The six GC32s took to the field of play to find themselves with a series of roles that would complicate the regatta. The Swiss Alinghi and the French Zoulou were the ones who best knew how to read the cards laid out on the table, with a clear advantage for the team set up by Ernesto Bertarelli in the final stretch towards the finish line. When it already looked like a clear victory, Alinghi fell into a well of wind on the left side of the field from which he would watch Zoulou approach to threaten his leadership. However, the Swiss, two-time America’s Cup winners, drew on experience to cover Erik Maris’s GC32 and score the victory by just two lengths.
“We have made the best of the day,” Alinghi’s helmsman Arnaud Psarofaghis would acknowledge, back at the Lo Pagán Yacht Club, venue of the event. “Conditions were very changeable, but we managed to get a good start on the right and extend our lead. Nico – Charbonnier, Alinghi’s tactician – made some really good decisions. But in such conditions it is a constant fight, because when you go ahead the other boats can see where not to go. But we were aware that you can’t be everywhere, we were just trying to get our boat to move forward and get between Zoulou and the next mark ”.
Erik Maris was satisfied with the performance of his Zoulou. “The regatta has been very interesting, it has been a tough battle with great wind changes. The race committee waited and tried many times, but to no avail because there was simply no wind to start a second event. It was a shame, because the setting and the environment are very good. I hope that tomorrow we can do more ”.
Maris seems to be making the most of his previous experience in the Mar Menor, where he had already trained, at this start of the championship: “I think it is a place we should return to. Flat water is fantastic, we just have to find the right wind. It is a good place for our type of boat ”.
In third position would finish the team that went into the water this morning as a co-leader: Christian Zuerrer’s Black Star Sailing Team. After two days and four sets, Alinghi now leads his compatriots by two points.
A boat that hooks
In this last event of the GC32 Racing Tour 2021, Frenchman Quentin Delapierre, an Olympian from Nacra 17 at the Tokyo Olympics and who was recently appointed skipper of the French SailGP team, makes his debut as Zoulou coach. Delapierre had the opportunity to pilot the Zoulou in training earlier this week and is recognized as a GC32 fan: “The boat is a real madness, very reliable and with good speed astern. She really wanted to come sailing with the guys from Zoulou, who are doing very well. It’s a good fleet, with Alinghi, Black Star and Red Bull Sailing Team, the world champions. I hope that we – the French SailGP team – can find funding to compete in one next season. ”
The weather forecast indicates more wind for Saturday, the third day of regattas. The Race Committee is considering the possibility of advancing the start time (scheduled for 1:00 p.m. initially) to ensure that the race coincides with the best of the breeze.
The GC32 Mar Menor Cup is part of the commemorative events of the V Centenary of the first round the world and has the support of the Murcia Region Tourism, the Cartagena Port Authority and the municipalities of San Pedro del Pinatar, Cartagena, San Javier and Los Alcazares.
GC32 Mar Menor Cup – Provisional Classification
Pos Owner / Helmsman Team R1 R2 R3 R4 Tot
1 Alinghi Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) 1 3 1 1 6
2 Black Star Sailing Team Christian Zuerrer (SUI) 2 1 2 3 8
3 Zoulou Roman Hagara (AUT) 4 2 5 2 13
4 Red Bull Sailing Team Erik Maris (FRA) 3 4 4 4 15
5 Team Rockwool Racing Nicolas Sehested (DEN) 5 6 3 6 20
6 Argo Taylor Canfield (USVI) 6 5 6 5 22