The battleground for the first official event of the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour season was Traunsee lake, in the heart of the Austrian Alps. The theatrical setting attracted some of the best international multihull sailors for 17 races between May 27th and May 31st. The races took place in changing wind conditions caused by the formidable terrain. It was a successful first event on the circuit for Yann Guichard and the Spindrift racing team, which won two of the four days and secured three race wins and twelve race podiums. The Spindrift GC32 crew finished second in the Austria Cup, behind Sultanate of Oman.
With so little wind, the skippers were not really able to demonstrate the full potential of their hydrofoil catamarans or perform high-flying tacks. Even still, it soon became clear that these Olympic champions, America's Cup experts and international regatta sailors are of the highest calibre, and that these foiling monohull boats are highly technical. "On the water, the conditions were difficult, with changing wind speeds and directions," explained Yann. "You could have a good start but it didn't mean you'd win the race. Anything could happen before you reached the finish line. It was a good mental exercise as you had to push all the way, so congratulations to the winners Sultanate of Oman for being so consistent."
The black and gold team used the first day to find their pace, then they improved race by race and day by day, moving their way to the front of the field. "I'm delighted with this second place in the Austria Cup," Yann continued. "The first day was tough because we hadn't trained much, but we've made a lot of progress and performed well over the past two days. Often you lose most ground during the transitions, but we were able to adapt and react well."
Yann Guichard, Christophe Espagnon, Jacques Guichard, Thomas Le Breton and Matthieu Vandame enjoyed the regattas so much and were so satisfied with their work that they were all smiles when they returned to the docks. "I'm proud of my team, both at sea and ashore. I'd like to thank and congratulate the shore crew for their outstanding work. A fortnight ago, we received our new boat to be assembled, which required lots of configuration before we could set sail. The team worked tirelessly to ensure we'd be ready for Traunsee," concluded the skipper.
Dona Bertarelli said that the second-place finish bodes well for the rest of the season: "The races were tight from start to finish. The result in the first event is very satisfying for the team and our partners, after just six days' training on Spindrift, our GC32. The whole team is now preparing for the Cowes event, which will be very different, with rough seas and probably strong winds. It will be a great sporting contest!"
Spindrift racing's sailors are back in action this week in Brittany, where they will sail the maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2 as part of the team's preparations for the Jules Verne Trophy around-the-world sailing record attempt this winter. They will then return to Lake Geneva for the Open de Versoix 2, including the famous Geneva-Rolle-Geneva distance race aboard the D35 Ladycat (June 5th-7th).
Ranking Autria Cup 2015 (after 17 races):
1.Sultante of Oman – 38 points
2. Spindrift racing – 46 points
3. Alinghi – 49 points
4. Team Engie – 53 points
5. Armin Strom Sailing Team – 69 points
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
Mainsail: 60 m²
Jib: 23.50 m²
Gennaker: 90 m²
Foils in wind speeds of just 8 knots
Spindrift racing schedule: click here