|An 8-knot north-westerly breeze looked promising but kept pulsing across the race course with small gusts and then long lulls that were easy to fall into for the foiling GC32s. Staying in the breeze as long as possible was the key to success, and in the practice race the front three broke away from the pack, with Alinghi leading Red Bull Sailing Team across the finish followed by Black Star Sailing Team. Team Rockwool Racing was best of the rest, followed by Zoulou and Swiss Foiling Academy.
Lagos is known to be a right-hand race track, so much so that on one of the practice starts the whole fleet ignored the right-hand bias in the line, all six starting on port tack in the frantic sprint to be first into the right-hand corner of the first upwind leg. However, if the forecast comes in as expected for the next four days of competition, Childerley could bring in the reaching start option which will force the teams to alter their tactics accordingly.
So, who will win this week? Favourite is certainly Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team, winner of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour, the Swiss former America’s Cup champions also having secured the World Championship title on these waters. But will Red Bull Sailing Team, headed up by Austrian double Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, be able to turn the tables on the Swiss this season?