Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour opener in Austria: Spindrift racing is ready for take-off!
  • GC32
May 26, 2015

Foil sailing is attracting sailors from around the world, who are now competing in three dimensions on foiling multihulls like the GC32s. From May 27th to May 31st, five professional teams will race these catamaran hydrofoils on Lake Traunsee in the Austria Cup, the first grand prix in the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour 2015. Ever since the pre-event took place in Marseille a month ago, Spindrift racing has adopted the new boat as its own, painting her in the team’s livery. At the helm, Yann Guichard is clocking up the flying hours, and has put together a crew consisting of Olympic sailors, with a skill set that combines both precise manoeuvring with physical power. Yann has put together a crew that will go from strength to strength on this new European circuit, but the team face tough competition, so the key is to invest as much effort as possible in the first events.

“We sailed the new boat a few days ago near our base at La Trinité-sur-Mer in France,” explained the skipper.
“We used the time to work on our manoeuvres and setup. The crew felt good. They’re working as a unit and are incredibly motivated. We have the necessary skills, and we have the power too. We’re all delighted to be sailing this boat and we’re determined to improve. Our first competition will take place in Austria, where we will face teams who are more experienced than us on GC32 boats and on multihull hydrofoils in general. I’m thrilled to be competing on this circuit. We’re so enthusiastic about these boats and the entire Spindrift racing team can’t wait for the competition to begin.”

A whole new world
The history books show that sailors first discovered the continents, then sought to travel faster and faster over water. Faster speeds were often achieved by increasing the number of hulls. Today, Archimedes’ principle has become the focus of boat designers. T-rudders and L-foils have been added to the alphabet of sailing and are opening up new avenues. Yann Guichard is fascinated and excited by this aerial form of sailing. The team he co-founded with Dona Bertarelli in 2011 competes in various in-shore multihull circuits and is preparing an around-the-world record attempt this winter on board Spindrift 2, the largest racing trimaran ever built (40 m).

“As a child, I wanted to sail, but I never even dreamed that one day I would fly,” explained Yann. “I’m looking at the younger generation, who have a wealth of possibilities ahead of them. It’s a fantastic development that requires you to learn a new way of sailing. To foil and remain stable, you have to keep the boat as horizontal as possible, which changes the way you allow the boat to heel and the way you twist the sails. It also means that you have to adjust the appendices in the water like an aeroplane pilot does with the plane wings. You have to keep your body as still as possible, moving your hand only a few centimetres, otherwise you can lose control! It’s so sensitive, yet incredibly effective, providing a few exhilarating moments of flight.”

At the heart of the Alps
Lying in the Salzburg region, at the heart of the Alps, the 12km long Traunsee is the second largest lake in Upper Austria. The Austria Cup crews will gather in Gmunden, a resort on the north bank of the lake. Because of the surrounding landscape, the Austrian lake has variable, technical winds, just like Lake Geneva, which Spindrift racing know well thanks to the D35 circuit. The first race will take place at 11am CET on Wednesday May 27th, after the skippers’ briefing at 9.45am CET.

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Austria Cup 2015 start list:
Alinghi – Ernesto Bertarelli
Armin Strom Sailing Team – Flavio Marazzi – Chris Draper
ENGIE (formerly GDF Suez) – Sébastien Rogues
Spindrift racing – Yann Guichard
Sultanate of Oman - Leigh McMillan

Spindrift GC32 crew for the Austria Cup:
Yann Guichard, skipper-helmsman
Christophe Espagnon, mainsail
Jacques Guichard, headsail trimmer
Thomas Le Breton, trimmer
Matthieu Vandamme, bowman

Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour 2015 schedule:
May 27th-31st: Austria Cup – Traunsee lake, Austria
June 24th-27th: Cowes Cup - Cowes, UK
July 30th-August 2nd: GC32 Sailing Cup Kiel - Germany
August 27th-30th: Trofeo di Roma - Rome Fiumicino, Italy
September 30th-October 3rd: Marseille One Design - Marseille, France
More information: www.gc32racing.com

GC32 Spindrift specifications:
Designed by Martin Fischer based on an idea by Laurent Lenne
Length: 12 metres with the jib boom
Beam: 6 metres
Weight: 750 kg
Draught: 2.10 metres
Appendices: L-foils and T-rudders
Mast: 16.50 metres
Flexible sails
Mainsail: 60 m²
Jib: 23.50 m²
Gennaker: 90 m²
Foils in wind speeds of just 8 knots

Spindrift racing schedule: click here