|Two-time Olympic gold medallists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher have set their sights on winning the GC32 Racing Tour after joining it for the first time in 2019.
Hagara will act as skipper and Steinacher as helmsman and tactician as they take on some of the world’s best teams, including America’s Cup outfits Ineos Team UK and NORAUTO.
Here is all you need to know:
– The five-round season begins in Sardinia from 22 May with Hagara and Steinacher, gold medallists on the water in Sydney and Athens, using all their experience in a bid to become first-time winners.
– The pair will be joined on board by Australian duo Rhys Mara and Mark Spearman as well as Swedish bowman Julius Hallström.
– Hagara said: “It will be an interesting season this year. We have two circuits combined now, the Extreme Sailing Series and the GC32 Race Tour, so we will have really strong teams from both. There will be more boats on the start line in the first event. Alinghi, the winner of last year’s Extreme Sailing Series, will be competing, the French America’s Cup team NORAUTO will be in the line-up, plus Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team Ineos is coming.”
– In all, there will be 10 teams or more at every stop on the calendar with events also scheduled in Lagos, Mallorca and Riva del Garda in Italy, with the location for the season finale yet to be announced.
– To date, the team has had one training camp at their base in Villasimius where they were tested by strong rain and winds, but managed to successfully fine-tune the cutting-edge craft. Before the season starts, they will be visited by two-time America’s Cup winner Jimmy Spithill, who is also based in Italy as a member of the Luna Rossa team.
– Hagara added: “Hans-Peter and I sailed the last two Extreme Sailing Series events in 2018 and were quite successful, including second place at the season finale in Mexico. We will try to continue that momentum this year, and together with our crew, who already know the boat, I think we can really perform well from the first events.”
GC32 Racing Tour Dates
22-26 May: Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
26-30 June: Lagos, Portugal (World Championship)
31 July-3 August: Palma de Mallorca, Spain
11-15 September: Riva del Garda, Italy
6-10 November: TBA