• Sadly light conditions provided the ten GC32 crews with a 'low rider' day in Marseille. Photo Sander van der Borch / GC32 Racing Tour.
    Sadly light conditions provided the ten GC32 crews with a 'low rider' day in Marseille. Photo Sander van der Borch / GC32 Racing Tour.
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Conditions off the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur coast turned light for day three of Marseille One Design, providing a challenge for GC32 Racing Tour competitors and race officials alike. 

After leading a race which was cancelled yesterday and coming second in the first attempt to hold a race today, fate finally smiled on Jason Carroll’s US team on Argo. The two time Melges 32 World Champion won today’s only race, held in ‘low rider’ conditions (ie no foiling and no hull flying) with the southwesterly wind speed never exceeding 6 knots. 

“Everyone prefers the breeze so you can foil - that’s what the GC32s are all about - but this is part of the game and a race is a race,” observed Argo’s Program Manager, Chad Corning. “It was a tricky race course with a very one dimensional start line. Fortunately we got the start we needed to and that was it – rich get richer.”

 

Argo now holds a solid third place at Marseille One Design with a six point cushion over Team Tilt in fourth. But for the US team, the real fight is now with Pierre Casiraghi’s Malizia-Yacht Club de Monaco which went into this regatta leading the GC32 Racing Tour’s owner-driver championship. “It is a big deal to us,” acknowledged Corning. “Winning the overall Championship is not achievable for us this year, so the owner-driver championship is important. And it is also close for fourth overall, so if we can get both of those, we’d be very happy.” 

At the end of play today, NORAUTO powered by Groupama Team France continues to lead Marseille One Design with a consistent 2-2-2-2 scoreline. However the top of the leaderboard came within a whisker of major upset when Naofumi Kamei’s Mamma Aiuto! blitzed the first unsuccessful attempt at the day’s only race. The Japanese team, on which Australian match racer Keith Swinton is standing in for Kamei-san, was a leg ahead of the competition when disaster struck. With perhaps two minutes of sailing to go until they crossed the finish line, the 35 minute time limit for races (as agreed between all the teams) ran out and the race had to be abandoned. 

“**** happens,” admitted Swinton. “If that race hadn’t been called off we would be in first. But we are in the hunt and we learned a lot of things about our trim. We’ll go and do the same thing tomorrow.” 

As to today’s conditions, the Australian added: “It was pretty light and fairly one-sided track. There was a big emphasis on the start. In that race we got a great start and it was relatively easy from there. It was about avoiding the holes and keeping it moving. It was good to go for a sail in the lighter winds. We hadn’t done any gennaker tacks or, in fact, any light weather sailing at all…”

NORAUTO skipper Franck Cammas was equally relieved that that race had been cancelled as they had been struggling at the back of the fleet. “It is tricky in these conditions and we are not happy with our speed upwind in the very light conditions, so we have to work on that.” 

Nonetheless the former Volvo Ocean Race and Route du Rhum winner is content with their consistent run of second placed finishes that gives them a lead of five points over Mamma Aiuto! going into the final day of racing at Marseille One Design. The French team is also 12 points ahead of Team Tilt, which is the only team able to threaten their top spot in the overall 2016 GC32 Racing Tour championship.

Tomorrow is the final day of competition at Marseille One Design and on the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour and the forecast is showing 9-11 knots of breeze – more than enough to get the nimble one design catamarans fully flying. However as Argo’s Chad Corning warns of the conditions: “I don’t think we are going to know until we get out of bed tomorrow.”

Follow the live blog from the racing tomorrow at www.gc32racingtour.com

GC32 Racing Tour at Marseille One Design - results after four races:

Pos

Team

R1

R2

R3

R4

Tot

1

NORAUTO

2

2

2

2

8

2

Mamma Aiuto!

6

1

3

3

13

3

Argo

5

4

4

1

14

4

Team Tilt

1

5

5

9

20

5

Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco

3

7

6

6

22

6

ARMIN STROM Sailing Team

4

6

7

5

22

7

Team ENGIE

8

9

1

7

25

8

Gunvor Sailing

7

3

9

10

29

9

Orange Racing

10

8

10

4

32

10

Realteam

9

10

8

8

35

- GC32 Media 

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