Report GC32 Lagos 2023

GC32 Racing Tour 2023 - GC32 Lagos Cup

GC32 Lagos Cup, 22 – 25 June 2023, Lagos, Portugal

We travelled to the Algarve in Portugal this year with a good feeling. After all, we had won the World Championship at this very place last year. At the same time, the excitement of the upcoming races outweighed the frustration of the fact that the GC32 Lagos Cup is the only event on the GC32 Racing Tour 2023.

A lot has happened since we travelled to Lagos about a year ago. After several teams withdrew from the GC32 Racing Tour for various reasons and important dates remained open for too long, there were also departures in the Black Star GC32 team. But with Franck Cammas at the helm, one of the best French sailors could be won. And in the floater position, Guy Endean helped us out at the only GC32 regatta this season – Guy is also part of the Black Star RC44 team as a grinder.

After a successful training event in May, it was announced that there would only be this one regatta this season, which would also not be rated as a world championship. However, this had no effect on the motivation of the remaining four regatta teams. On the contrary, everyone was already enthusiastically preparing on site. Only a glance at the weather forecasts dampened the anticipation somewhat, because the models displayed could not have been more different. The conditions changed every day: While sunny weather with plenty of wind was forecast at the beginning of the week, everything changed in the course of the regatta week: during the practice race it rained with only light wind.

Racing days

After rather sluggish pratice races, we started the first day of competition with a bang in a lot of wind. Based on their performance in recent years, the Danish team was considered the favourite in these conditions. The boys are now sailing for the third season in an unchanged constellation and were very fast last year in strong winds. Nevertheless, we hoped that we would be able to take a point or two from them in these conditions thanks to our experience, or at least not let the gap get too big. Of course, the other teams also had their ambitions and there was a hard but fair fight. We finished the first day in third place and more points behind than we would have liked.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to sail on the second day due to a lack of wind.

The remaining days of the regatta were not particularly windy either due to another change in the weather situation. Actually our conditions. But of course, in the meantime, the other teams had also worked on their light wind qualities, so that there were many close manoeuvres, exciting duels and repeatedly changing leading positions in the last two days. Team Rockwool deservedly won the GC32 Lagos Cup after skilfully exploiting their strong wind strength on the first day to take a clear lead. Once again it became clear that you have to be a perfectly coordinated team, especially on a GC32 catamaran, to sail to the top. In this respect, we are satisfied with the result and our performance – especially because we were able to win some races in spite of the new line-up in the Black Star GC32 Team.

2023 – what next?

Unfortunately, the GC32 Lagos Cup was the only GC32 Racing Tour event in 2023. Regrettably, various professional teams seem unable to commit to dates and regattas, which makes planning almost impossible. The Black Star Sailing Team will bring the GC32 container back to Switzerland at the end of August and set up the catamaran in Brunnen at the beginning of September. Our plan is to train with young Swiss sailors on the Lake of Uri in order to find potential new blood for our RC44 yacht as well.

After being distanced by a well-rehearsed Team Rockwool in strong winds, the Black Star Sailing Team ...
After being distanced by a well-rehearsed Team Rockwool in strong winds, the Black Star Sailing Team …
... began a race to catch up, in the course of which ...
… began a race to catch up, in the course of which …
... there were repeated fierce duels and close manoeuvres.
… there were repeated fierce duels and close manoeuvres.

Visit our GC32 gallery for many more photos from this fast-paced regatta.