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Franck Cammas steers Norauto to GC32 Riva Cup victory

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Franck Cammas and his crew on Norauto have won the GC32 Riva Cup after a shifty, rainy final day on Lake Garda. After three sunny and windy days that brought the best of Garda, today’s rain prevented the Lake’s famous sun-powered wind machine from ever spluttering properly into life.

At least the nine-boat fleet had a chance to enjoy one last blast around the lake in the only race that could take place, in a brief half-hour of 14-15 knot winds. Appropriately enough, the top two places went to the two stand-out teams of the week, Norauto leading Team Tilt across the finish line.

“Team Tilt pushed us hard all regatta,” said Cammas at the prize giving at host club, the Fraglia Vela Riva. “We have certainly improved this week and so has all the fleet. Racing with nine boats on the start line was a big thrill. I guess it will be even more exciting with 10 boats for the next event.”

Helmsman of Team Tilt Arnaud Psarofaghis was pleased to have come 2nd even if gear failure prevented them from keeping the duel with Norauto as close as he would have liked. “We’re pretty new to the boat and we were getting better ever day,” he said. “By the third day we were sailing the boat about 1 knot faster upwind than at the start of the regatta.”

Team Tilt’s mainsheet main Glenn Ashby said the regatta had been the perfect mix of “business and pleasure”. He flies back to Auckland this evening having got 19 foiling races under his belt. “Even a bad day on Lake Garda is a great day’s sailing anywhere else in the world,” he smiled. “Not sure if it will happen yet, but would love to come back and do some more with the boys on Team Tilt this season.”

Another top Australian professional Nathan Outteridge took a lot away from the week after steering Gunvor, the new Swedish entry on the Tour which finished 4th behind 3rd placed Armin Strom skippered by Flavio Marazzi. “The GC32 is a great platform for getting some of our young Swedish sailors up to speed on foiling boats,” he said. “Having said that, it’s still a steep learning curve so you have to be careful how you do your learning, otherwise you can make some expensive mistakes very quickly. But the GC32 is certainly a good way into the foiling world.”

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The teams that competed on last year’s Tour might have the greatest appreciation of just how good this week has been, after a 2015 season that didn’t manage to deliver as much foiling breeze as the fleet would have liked. “Lake Garda is really good for racing the GC32,” said Seb Rogues, skipper of Team Engie which finished 5th this week in front of fellow French team Spindrift racing. “We’re really looking forward to come back to the Lake a few weeks from now. This is the right kind of place for these boats.”

This season the GC32 Racing Tour has been structured around five venues that aim to give the sailors the best possible chance of delivering awesome sailing conditions. Lake Garda and Fraglia Vela Riva have delivered that in spades. All the teams hit peak speeds in excess of 35 knots, and as Ashby said of Team Tilt’s current record of 39.7 knots set two days ago: “I don’t think that’s a record we’ll keep for very long.”

Tight Fight for the Owner-Driver Trophy

Orange Racing was one of the newcomers to the fleet and it was a big learning exercise for Laurent Lenne and his Dutch crew. The battle for the Owner-Driver Trophy came down to a close duel between USA and Monaco, with Jason Carroll steering Argo to victory ahead of Pierre Casiraghi and Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco. Casiraghi is determined to get the better of his amateur rival at the next event. “Jason is a great sailor, he’s good enough almost to be a professional,” he said. “This week has been the best sailing I’ve ever done, and we can’t wait to get back into the GC32 a month from now.”

The next event takes the GC32 Racing Tour further along the shores of Lake Garda for the GC32 Malcesine Cup, which takes place alongside The Foiling Week from 7 to 10 July.

FINAL OVERALL RESULTS AFTER 19 RACES

Pos TEAM (NATION) SKIPPER POINTS

1 Norauto (FRA) Franck Cammas 37
2 Team Tilt (SUI) Sébastien Schneiter 50
3 Armin Strom (SUI) Flavio Marazzi 79
4 Gunvor Sailing (SWE) Gustav Petterson 86
5 Team Engie (FRA) Sébastien Rogues 111
6 Spindrift racing (FRA) Yann Guichard 112
7 Argo (USA) Jason Carroll 121
8 Malizia (MON) Pierre Casiraghi 127
9 Orange Racing (NED) Laurent Lenne 160

OWNER-DRIVER TROPHY – FINAL RESULT AFTER 19 RACES

Pos TEAM (NATION) SKIPPER POINTS

1 Argo (USA) Jason Carroll 121
2 Malizia (MON) Pierre Casiraghi 127
3 Orange Racing (NED) Laurent Lenne 160

 

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