Christophe Launay Photography / www.sealaunay.com

GC32s to join the Extreme Sailing Series

The new Martin Fischer-designed double S-foil cats to compete in Nice this week

Monday September 30th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

The new GC32 one-design catamarans will be joining the billing at the penultimate round of the Extreme Sailing Series to be held in Nice, presented by Land Rover. Alongside the windsurfers of the NeilPryde Racing Series and the pioneering monohull, SpeedDream, the two GC32 catamarans match racing will add to the high performance racing spectacle of the Extreme 40s.

The smaller GC32 catamarans are designed for inshore and coastal racing and represent an interesting new development in the multihull world. The Extreme Sailing Series continues to seek the inclusion of other sailing classes in to the stadium concept that OC Sport has developed, as Executive Chairman Mark Turner explains: “The ethos of the Series has always been to deliver a top professional sporting competition this is also a great entertainment package. We are always looking to other classes to be part of that package, whether that is through one off demonstrations or with a view to hosting a separate competition within our stadium. Visually exciting classes such as the GC32 and the NeilPryde RS:One are a good fit for that – they get the benefit of using an already established platform and we get a wider package of activity for the event. The GC32 is a complimentary class of boat which is also a great stepping stone into the Extreme Sailing Series.”

Two GC32s will match race on the Baie des Anges  each morning as the prelude to the Extreme 40 racing and in open water each afternoon. Representing the host nation, the French-flagged SPAX Solution will be led by French businessman Laurent Lenne, creator of the GC32 catamaran. Speaking of the partnership, Lenne commented: “We are delighted to be sailing with the Extreme Sailing Series. The Series has been a successful class for many years and while we are targeting a different space, we are both promoting catamaran racing to the public. I believe that we can reach together more people. This is a pure win-win.” Dutch sailors Olivier Witteveen and Bastiaan Tentij, an experienced F18 sailor and member of the Hydros C Class Team, will join Lenne. Kiwi James Williamson, more used to sailing alongside ChinaSpirit skipper Phil Robertson as part of the Waka Racing match racing team, will be the fourth crew member.

Former Swiss Olympic Star Sailor Flavio Marazzi will head up the Swiss boat Marwin Sailing Team. Argentinian Matias Bühler, who finished third at the Nacra 17 worlds earlier this year is also aboard with Frenchman Nicolas Heintz and Diego Stefani from Uruguay.

The Extreme 40 grid is full, with 8 boats racing on the world famous Promenade des Anglais from the 3-6 October for the penultimate Act of the year, before the fleet head west to South America and a new venue of Florianópolis for the final 2013 showdown.

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