Gmunden, Lake Traunsee (Austria) – June 1st: team Luna Rossa wins the GC32 Austria Cup, the first event of the GC32 European Tour and dedicates its victory to Valentin Mankin, one of the greatest representatives of the international sailing.
Very light and shifty winds characterized the GC32 Austria Cup; despite the weather, the teams flew on the water with only 8 knots of wind thanks to the latest changes made to the Class that introduced the L-foil in place of the previous daggerboards.
The eight competing teams alternated onboard of the four GC32 boats provided by the organizers of the event. Team Luna Rossa won the qualifying races of the first four days, after which the crews were divided into Gold and Silver fleets and the score was reset. Luna Rossa won the three races of the Gold fleet, thus winning the first event of the GC32 European Tour.
Luna Rossa finished in first place 10 of the 13 races sailed, beating, among the others, its direct opponent: AEZ Sailing Team with the Australian Tom Slingsby, strategist of Oracle Team USA during the 34th America’s Cup.
Chris Draper, helmsman of Luna Rossa, commented: “We are very happy with the result, the average speed at which we sailed and the boat handling. The GC32s are very challenging full foiling catamarans, especially from a physical point of view. The speed is remarkable: with only 10 knots of breeze, we exceeded 30 knots of speed. This event was a great workout in view of the 35th America’s Cup; we have measure ourselves against competitive teams on short race courses, on catamarans that are similar, in some respects, to the America’s Cup Class boats. This victory is a confirmation of the good work that the team is doing in Cagliari.”
Francesco Bruni, tactician on Luna Rossa, added: “We want to dedicate this victory to Valentin Mankin, who in recent years has fought bravely against his desease. Valentin was one of the greatest representatives that the sport of sailing has ever known: three golds and one silver medal at the Olympics in different classes, as well as coach of the Italian Sailing Federation since 1991. A keen sailor and an exceptional man who was my coach for several years, from whom I learned a lot. An eternal embrace to a great man to whom I owe so much.”
In Austria team Luna Rossa consisted of: Chris Draper (helmsman), Francesco Bruni (tactician/mainsail trimmer), Adam Minoprio (tailer), Emanuele Marino (bowman) and Pietro Sibello (coach).
Luna Rossa will be back racing from June 5th to June 9th in Langenargen, Germany, for the Match Race Germany, the first stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour 2014.
Photo credit: Sander van der Borch/The Great Cup