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Flying High At The Lagos Cup

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  • Flying High At The Lagos Cup




    While Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi Red Bull Racing team has topped GC32 competition for many years, they are now focused on 37th America’s Cup training and so are fielding two teams on the GC32 Racing Tour: SUI 8, which emphatically won last month on Riva del Garda and their development team SUI 15. For the GC32 Lagos Cup their skippers - Arnaud Psarofaghis and Maxime Bachelin - have swapped boats, begging the question: “Does a helmsman or the crew make the most difference on a GC32? Today Psarofaghis left no doubt to this, leading the young crew on SUI 15 to victory in three out of five races.

    “We did some really good stuff with the tactics and boat handling,” explained Psarofaghis. “We were on the same page on board. We made two mistakes - one during the second race when we didn’t control enough the yellow boat (SUI 8) and in the last race when we should have pushed more to stay ahead of Team Tilt. But we made some great comebacks and the guys did a good job.”









    In race two it was the turn of Psarofaghis’ regular SUI 8 crew, including Nicolas Charbonnier and Yves Detrey to get the upper hand, winning the race in an Alinghi Red Bull Racing 1-2. However it was SUI 15 that ended the day leading by 3 points.

    Looking most likely to upset the Swiss party are the determined-looking Danes on board Team Rockwool Racing whose consistent 2-4-2-2-2 has left them second overall. “I am happy,” said skipper Nicolai Sehested. “It was probably the lightest day here which we were nervous about because we are not a ‘light wind team’. We just needed to survive the day but we did that pretty well…It was about managing the risk around the course – when to push and when to stay conservative. Downwind we were not superfast today and we were struggling to get up in the foils in the light stuff.”













    In race two it was the turn of Psarofaghis’ regular SUI 8 crew, including Nicolas Charbonnier and Yves Detrey to get the upper hand, winning the race in an Alinghi Red Bull Racing 1-2. However it was SUI 15 that ended the day leading by 3 points.

    Looking most likely to upset the Swiss party are the determined-looking Danes on board Team Rockwool Racing whose consistent 2-4-2-2-2 has left them second overall. “I am happy,” said skipper Nicolai Sehested. “It was probably the lightest day here which we were nervous about because we are not a ‘light wind team’. We just needed to survive the day but we did that pretty well…It was about managing the risk around the course – when to push and when to stay conservative. Downwind we were not superfast today and we were struggling to get up in the foils in the light stuff.”








    The light marginal foiling conditions to start with also showed up the huge variation in skill across the fleet from immaculate Alinghi who seem able to foil downwind in the slightest zephyr to the new teams struggling to fly a hull, let alone pop up onto their foils. But as Nicolai Sehested advised: “They have to take time to get used to the boats. We were the same last year when we were new. By the end of this event they’ll be competing and putting in good results. And at the Worlds you will see them doing better.”
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