Team NORAUTO have secured their third victory this season on the GC32 Racing Tour, winning the GC32 Villasimius Cup today and maintaining their lead on the overall general ranking. The French team, skippered by Volvo Ocean Race/Route du Rhum winner Franck Cammas and backed by Europe’s leading car maintenance company, overcame tough competition on the waters off southeastern Sardinia, winning this crucial penultimate event of the 2018 circuit by just one point.
With an impressive backdrop of the Sardinian mountains, a dramatic opening day in Villasimius saw stormy winds of 25+ knots cause a GC32 to capsize and racing to be abandoned after just two races, being deemed too unsafe for the flying catamarans. Throughout the competition, Franck Cammas, Olivier Herlédant, Arnaud Jarlegan, Matthieu Vandame and Devan Le Bihan battled against the standout performances from Swiss Realteam, Erik Maris’ Zoulou and Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team, INEOS TEAM UK. Realteam benefitted from the invaluable experience of Arnaud Psarofaghis from Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team, who was standing in for Realteam skipper/helm Jérôme Clerc. Going in to the last day with an overall lead of just 4 points ahead of Realteam, NORAUTO gave it their all and managed to hold on to their lead with two solid 2nd place finishes, finishing the regatta just one point ahead of the Swiss, while INEOS TEAM UK completed the podium.
As skipper Franck Cammas commented after receiving their 1st place prize: “We were expecting a tough fight out here in Villasimius, especially with Arnaud here with Realteam, and Ben with INEOS TEAM UK, but this time INEOS was less consistent than the others. We did well coming back from behind in some races, in fact twice we came back from behind to win. Otherwise, the shifty winds made everything harder, and there were many changes to the rankings. It was hard to be in the right spot on the course and make the right decisions, especially at the bottom gate. It meant we had to constantly think about the risk, the opponent, where they are on the race course and anticipate their actions. We had to observe carefully what happened in the previous leg and apply that here.”
Speaking of his talented crew who have sailed together since the the first event on the circuit in Lake Garda, Franck commented: “It’s always good to sail with the same crew all the time. It’s the crew we decided on at the beginning of the season and we’re continuing like that until the end.”
NORAUTO will be back in Toulon, France from 10-14 October for the GC32 TPM Med Cup, the final stage of the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour where the season championship title is at stake.
Overall Results of the GC32 Villasimius Cup in Sardinia, Italy
1. NORAUTO (FRA) – 39 points
2. Realteam (SUI) – 40 points
3. INEOS TEAM UK (UK) – 47 points
4. Zoulou (FRA) – 48 points
5. Frank Racing (NZL) – 65 points
6. Argo (USA) – 72 points
7. Código Rojo Racing (ARG) – 83 points
GC32 Racing Tour 2018 schedule
GC32 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 23rd – 27th May, Riva del Garda, Lake Garda, Italy
GC32 LAGOS CUP 27th June – 1st July, Lagos, Portugal
37th COPA DEL REY MAPFRE 31st July – 4th August, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
GC32 VILLASIMIUS CUP 12th – 16th September, Villasimius, Italy
GC32 TPM MED CUP 10th – 14th October, Toulon, France