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ARMIN STROM Sailing Team puts in solid performance at the GC32 Malcesine Cup on Lake Garda

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With no racing on the final day of the Malcesine Cup, ARMIN STROM Sailing Team wrapped up the second event of the GC32 Racing Tour 2016 in 6th place. After two events, the team lies in 4th place in the tour standings, two points behind Gunvor Sailing.

Held in conjunction with Foiling Week, the Malcesine Cup was scheduled to comprise three days of short-course fleet racing and one 20-mile distance race, which would not count towards the regatta score. Despite losing a day’s racing and being unable to match the 3rd place achieved in Riva in May, the team came away reasonably satisfied with their result, emphasising their potential by securing a couple of 3rd place finishes in the 9-race regatta. A key element to achieving good results at Malcesine was the importance of starting well and getting to the first mark in front and in clear air.​

“Basically, if you didn’t have a good first reach you’d be out the back door. Boats in the lead would take off and extend. The tussle among the following bunch was tough to break out of,” explained former Olympian Sharon Ferris-Choat, Team Manager and Mainsheet Trimmer for ARMIN STROM Sailing Team.​ On occasion, tension during the pre-start was heightened with the race committee’s decision to start a number of races under a black flag, meaning any boat over the line at the start would be disqualified from the race.​ With the breeze tending to build rapidly and clocking to the south as it did so, the two completed days of fleet racing were fast-paced, tight and challenging. ​ “We’d leave the dock with two knots, and within an hour we’d have 21 knots,” commented Sharon. “It was incredibly close racing with the whole fleet finishing within half a minute of each other.”​

As predicted ahead of the regatta, wind shifts were another big factor, some of which were up to 40 degrees. Add to that the course location’s proximity to the lake shore and the tactician’s role was intense to say the least.​

“Layline calls are hard to judge when you’re travelling at high speed and close in to land. You have to pre-empt the layline decision as it can take up to 30 seconds to gybe and regain speed. If you get your timing wrong you can easily overshoot the mark,” commented Sharon.​ Keeping the GC32 on the foils was another tricky task to manage, with the wake from other boats capable of creating cavitation around the foils and causing crews to drop off the foils.​

“Staying focused and keeping manoeuvres smooth, especially when boosting along at 30 knots, is a prerequisite achieving good results. We’ve identified areas to work on ahead of the next event, and will use our experiences in Malcesine to make us stronger,” said Sharon, in closing.​

Flavio Marazzi, ARMIN STROM Sailing Team skipper, assessed the event, “We are a strong group of sailors, but there is absolutely no margin for error or let up in performance in this fleet. You have to sail fast and accurately all the time to reach the podium. As a new crew combination we struggled for consistency on the first day and paid the price. On Friday we showed signs of what we are capable of, so it was a shame to lose the final day. That said, I fully endorse the decision made in conjunction with the organisers.”​

An incident between Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco and a press RIB on Friday, led the Fraglia Vela Malcesine and the GC32 International Class Association to make the sensible but disappointing decision call off the short-course racing planned for the final day.​

Next up for the GC32 Racing Tour is the 35th Copa de Rey Mapfre, from 3 – 6 August in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The Bay of Palma is another of the world’s top regatta venues, renowned for its consistent sea breeze and perfect for demonstrating the art of foiling.​​

Provisional final standings at the GC32 Malcesine Cup

  1. TEAM TILT
  2. NORAUTO
  3. GUNVOR SAILING
  4. ARGO
  5. MALIZIA- YACHT CLUB DE MONACO
  6. ARMIN STROM SAILING TEAM
  7. MAMMA AIUTO!
  8. TEAM ENGIE
  9. REALTEAM
  10. ORANGE RACING

Standings after the two GC32 Tour events:​

  1. TEAM TILT
  2. NORAUTO
  3. GUNVOR SAILING
  4. ARMIN STROM SAILING TEAM
  5. ARGO
  6. MALIZIA- YACHT CLUB DE MONACO
  7. TEAM ENGIE
  8. SPINDRIFT RACING
  9. MAMMA AIUTO!
  10. REALTEAM

 


About the GC32

The GC32 foiling catamaran is a strict one-design class meaning all the boats in the fleet are identical. It weighs 950 kilograms and is able to reach speeds of up to 40 knots. Thanks to modern construction and technology the so-called foils of the boat means they can generate enough lift for the hulls to fly over the water. Sailed with a crew of five (maximum weight 437.5 kilograms) and one guest.

Overall length: 9.75m (32ft)
Beam: 6m
Mast height: 16.5m2
Mainsail area: 60m2
Jib: 23m2
Gennaker:90m2

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