GC32, Red Bull Sailing Team wins in Villasimius

The third GC32 World Championship, held in Villasimius, Sardinia, saw the Red Bull Sailing Team as the overall winner, after an extremely close final race against Swiss team Alinghi.

Located in the south of Sardinia, the Marina of Villasimius has hosted the third edition of the GC32 World Championship. On the last day of race the Sardinian resort town, fortunately, saw good weather conditions, with flat water, a cloudless sky and a warm wind gusting into the high teens.

The race

Despite starting the day with a 6-point lead, Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher on Red Bull Sailing Team had to keep at bay the defending World Champions, Swiss two time America’s Cup winners Alinghi.

In fact, the title holders immediately showed their muscles, narrowing the gap to just three points, posting a 1-1-2-1 scoreline. As Alinghi led away, history seemed to have been written. Up until the unimaginable happened. Alinghi went into the leeward gate for the final time, suffering a breakage, dropping her down the fleet. Ultimately Red Bull Sailing Team finished fourth as Alinghi limped home in seventh. This left her tied on points with the Austrian team, who were crowned the 2021 GC32 World Championship by virtue of their place in the final race.

As Hans-Peter Steinacher summarised: “It was close. The Alinghi guys had a really good day. We tried everything and in the end we were really lucky, but this is a technical sport, it is part of the game and things like this happen. But we are very happy. Especially in these big boat series, a World Championship title is something really good. And racing these guys…Alinghi has been so strong in these last years. But yesterday I think we had our best day in the last 15 years…”

The Austrian duo is not only double Olympic Champions, but they also won two World Championships in the Tornado catamaran, their last in Vallensbæk, Denmark in 1999.

Astern there was a Swiss fight for the final step of the podium between Christian Zuerrer’s Black Star Sailing Team and Sébastien Schneiter’s Team Tilt, which won the first GC32 World Championship in Riva del Garda in 2018. A series of mid-fleet finishes on the last day saw Zuerrer’s team knocked off the podium by a point.

Christian Scherrer, GC32 Racing Tour Manager summed up: “I would like to thank our partners, the Sardinia Region and the authorities from Villasimius, the local sponsors, and especially the Marina di Villasimius and Lega Navale Italiana Sezione di Villasimius and all the helpers and volunteers who have contributed to making this event possible.”

(GC32, Red Bull Sailing Team wins in Villasimius – Barchemagazine.com – September 2021)