GC32 Racing Tour : Flavio Marazzi wins GC32 USA debut at Quantum Key West Race Week
Monday 26 January 2015 –
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Four GC32s took part: Flavio Marazzi’s ARMIN STROM Sailing Team and Erik Maris’ ZouLou made the trip from Europe to line up against two US teams – two time Melges 32 World Champion Jason Carroll on ARGO and fellow Melges 32 sailor Alex Jackson racing Leenabarca.
ARGO set the pace at the regatta. Despite Quantum Key West Race Week being its first competitive GC32 GC32 #GC32 outing, Carroll’s team benefitted from training time in Key West prior to the start and familiarity with the race course and seemed to relish the light to moderate winds early on. ARGO led up until the penultimate day, but was not dominant, with all but Leenabarca claiming bullets in races along the way.
By Thursday the ARMIN STROM Sailing Team and ZouLou crews were getting into their stride, and two races in stronger winds left the top three boats impressively tied, but with ZouLou ahead on countback, going into the final day.
Former Olympic Star sailor Flavio Marazzi’s team won the first race on the last day, the Swiss crew demonstrating their experience in the brisk conditions. They led around the top mark and then extended away.
Sadly while lying in second, one point off the lead, ARGO was forced to retire after this race when one of the fittings broke holding her transom-hung rudder to her hull – a race course littered with lobster pots providing an additional hazard for the crews.
“We thought about whether or not we could repair it or lash it in place, but given how rough it was out there it was going to be a recipe for further damage if we continued to race,” explained Jason Carroll.
With ZouLou claiming the final race, a second was enough for ARMIN STROM Sailing Team to win the GC32 GC32 #GC32 ’s inaugural prize at Quantum Key West Race Week.
While the GC32 can easily handle 20 knot winds, Friday’s short sharp chop meant crews had to throttle back.
Marazzi explained: “The problem was that if you went too fast on the downwind, you jumped out of the waves and that was a risk. Since we just had to finish the race, it was a balance between holding back and going fast enough to win the regatta.”
Flavio Marazzi is also President of the GC32 Class Association and says that he hopes GC32 racing in Florida will become a regular feature over future northern hemisphere winters.
In the meantime the GC32s are gearing up for the start of the Europe circuit, the GC32 Racing Tour, kicking off with the GC32 Austria Cup, to be held on Lake Traunsee, Austria over 27th-31st May. The participation of more teams will be announced over the next few weeks.
View online : Info presse www.gc32racing.com
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