One of the most successful sailing teams of all time, Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi is best known for successfully challenging and defending the America’s Cup. Personally Bertarelli has been campaigning multihulls, mostly on his native Lake Geneva since the early 1990s during which time he has won Switzerland’s leading regatta, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud no less than six times. Alinghi won the Extreme Sailing Series in 2008 and 2014 and then again following the change to the GC32 in 2016. The Swiss team has also competed on the GC32 Racing Tour, finishing second overall, just one point off the lead in 2015.
Bertarelli will be helming Alinghi at the GC32 Championship and will be a strong contender both for overall honours and the owner-driver trophy.
More at www.alinghi.com
Skipper: Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI)
Crew: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA), Nils Frei (SUI), Yves Detrey (SUI), Tim Lapauw (FRA). Spare:
Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
Team Argo is led by American Jason Carroll and began competing in 2007 in the Melges 32 class. Since then the team has won Melges 32 World Championship twice, as well as key championships in other classes. Team Argo acquired its GC32 in October 2014 and joined the GC32 Racing Tour at the Cowes Cup the follow year.
In 2016 ARGO competed in four of the five GC32 Racing Tour regatta culminated in her finishing second at Marseille One Design, coming fourth overall for the season and winning the year’s owner-driver trophy.
Find out the latest from Argo here
Skipper: Jason Carroll (USA)
Crew: Anthony Kotoun (USA), Alister Richardson (GBR), Mike Kuschner (USA), Chuck Norris (USA)
Land Rover BAR Academy returns to the GC32 in the build up to this summer’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. This week seven crew will be rotating in attempt to give them the broadest training across the boat, the process overseen by former Tornado Olympic and Extreme Sailing Series sailor Andrew Walsh.
Like last year, the British boat is unusually being skippered by its bowman, this week by former shorthanded offshore sailor, Rob Bunce, taking over from Neil Hunter, who has graduated up to the Land Rover BAR America’s Cup sailing team.
On the helm this week is Olympic 49er sailor Chris Taylor and among the crew rotating is his 49er crew Sam Batten.
Skipper: Rob Bunce
Crew: Chris Taylor (helm), Elliot Hanson, Sam Batten, Adam Kay, Oli Greber, Will Alloway (All GBR)
Oman Air returns to the race course in 2017 with a new skipper in the form of Match Racing World Champion Phil Robertson. Robertson has previous experience of both the Extreme Sailing Series and GC32 Racing Tour respective having last year skippered Gazprom Team Russia in St Petersburg and subsequently helming Flavio Marazzi’s ARMIN STROM Sailing Team to second place at Copa del Rey MAPFRE in Palma. However Robertson’s most notable achievement in 2016 was claiming the US$ 1 million first prize for winning the World Match Racing Championship title last summer.
Oman Air comes with one of the most successful GC32 crews. Pete Greenhalgh, Nasser Al Mashari and Ed Smyth all sailed on Sultanate of Oman, which won the GC32 Racing Tour in 2015.
Skipper: Phil Robertson (NZL)
Crew: Peter Greenhalgh (GBR), Nasser Al Mashari (OMA), Ed Smyth (NZL) and James Wierzbowski (AUS)
Embarking this year on its seventh season, Red Bull Sailing Team is one of the longest-serving on the Extreme Sailing Series. It is also one of the more successful, having scored podium finishes in the last three seasons.
This year the Austrian team returns, once again led by double Tornado catamaran Olympic gold medallists and catamaran veterans, Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher. Kiwi Stewart Dodson and British catamaran specialist Adam Piggott will continue with the crew from last season’s line-up. They are joined on main sheet by New Zealand Will Tiller, a successful match racing helmsman in his own right and who also skippered the GAC Pindar Extreme 40 during 2013.
Skipper/helm: Roman Hagara (AUT)
Crew: Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT), Stewart Dodson (NZL), Adam Piggott (GBR), Will Tiller (NZL)
Former match racing and America’s Cup sailors, Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner, the Danish co-skippers of SAP Extreme Sailing Team are into their seven consecutive season of catamaran racing this year and their second on foils. Having concluded the Extreme Sailing Series in fourth place in 2016, the team this year is bringing on a heavy gun in the form of former Match Racing World Champion and round the world Adam Minoprio, who won the first ever GC32 regatta back in 2014 and was instrumental in NORAUTO’s run-away GC32 Racing Tour victory last year. Minoprio will be sharing duties with Gram-Hansen this season and if the Kiwi skipper can work his magic the team will be contender both at the GC32 Championship and on the Extreme Sailing Series. Another new recruit this season is young Brit Richard Mason who competed on board Malizia-Yacht Club de Monaco last year on the GC32 Racing Tour.
Find out more about the team at http://sapextremesailing.com/
Skippers: Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN) and Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
Crew: Adam Minoprio (NZL), Richard Mason (GBR), Pierluigi de Felice (ITA)
The German team heading for this summer’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup unusually has three brothers sailing board – skipper Paul Kohlhoff, with siblings Johann trimming headsail and Max on bow, who was part of the German Youth AC team in 2012.
SVB Team Germany, all members of the Kiel Yacht Club, competed in the Extreme Sailing Series Hamburg Act in 2015 and the three brothers have sailed together a lot in the past. Paul is the ‘catamaran expert’ having represented Germany at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 and the crew generally has experience in Olympic classes. Brother Max is a Finn sailor as is crewman Philipp Kasuske.
The team got selected for the Red Bull Youth AC on the basis of their experience racing Extreme 40s, so they admit they are on a steep but vital learning curve on the foiling GC32.
Skipper: Paul Kohlhoff
Crew: Moritz Burmester, Johann Kohlhoff, Philipp Kasuske, Max Kohlhoff (All GER)
New Zealand has signed up for the GC32 Championship and the first Act of the Extreme Sailing Series in the form of Tawera Racing. This campaign aims to provide New Zealand’s elite youth sailors with a launch pad into the cutting-edge world of foiling multihull racing.
Co-skipper and helm Chris Steele comes with valuable experience having competed in last year’s Extreme Sailing Series on board CHINA One and was skipper and helm of Act 8 wildcard team RNZYS Performance Programme on Sydney Harbour. The young Kiwi is gaining a reputation as one of the most talented match racers of his generation.
Co-skipper and mainsail trimmer is twice international Youth Match Racing champion, Graeme Sutherland, who is usually tactician on board Steele’s match racing team, 36 Below Racing.
Joining them are a mix of crew with previous GC32 experience and up and coming youth sailors, including several from the famous Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Performance Programme.
Co-skippers: Chris Steele and Graeme Sutherland (both NZL)
Crew: Shane Diviney (IRL), Leonard Takahashi (NZL/JPN), Josh Salthouse (NZL)/George Anyon (NZL)
After a promising conclusion to 2016, Sébastien Rogues and Team ENGIE return this year for their third full season in the GC32, having first acquired their boat in late 2014. However this will be his first time racing in Oman.
Rogues, who is best known in France for dominating the Class40 shorthanded offshore monohull class, is back on the race course this season to consolidate his position with the same crew with whom he finished 2016. This includes several of France’s most talented up and coming multihull sailors such as Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot who have posted top results in both the F18 catamaran adn the GC32’s little brother, the Flying Phantom.
For Rogues his target this season is to finish on the podium of the GC32 Racing Tour.
More info at www.sebastienrogues.com
Skipper: Sébastien Rogues (FRA)
Crew: Gurvan Bontemps, Jean Baptiste Gellée, Antoine Joubert, Benjamin Amiot (all FRA)
Led by Sébastien Schneiter, Team Tilt is gearing up to represent Switzerland in this summer’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in Bermuda and so aside from a strong desire to win the GC32 Championship will be rotating through a squad of under 24-year-olds, making the Swiss crew the youngest competing at the GC32 Championship.
However they are not to be underestimated. For most of 2016, Team Tilt was being coached by Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby, a seven time World Champion in A-Class catamarans. The team was the only one to prise a regatta win off NORAUTO last season on the GC32 Racing Tour, to end the year in second overall.
If foiling cat racing is a young man’s game, then Schneiter and his crew are the poster boys for it.
More info at http://teamtiltsailing.ch/en/
Skipper: Sébastien Schneiter
Crew: Jérémy Bachelin, Arthur Cevey, Guillaume Rigot, Nils Theuninck, Florian Trüb (four of these five). All SUI
As with the other Red Bull Youth AC teams, the Youth Vikings are all under 24…with the exception of their coach/skipper/helm – highly experienced Olympic and America’s Cup campaigner Michael Hestbæk, who has been coaching SAP Extreme Sailing Team for the last two seasons.
Aside from Hestbæk, the young Danish crew comprises a mix of Olympic dinghy and keel boat sailors. They will also be treating the GC32 Championship as a great learning experience before they head to Bermuda this summer. While green, they are not novices on the GC32: They got accepted to represent Denmark in the Red Bull Youth AC on the basis of the hours they were able to spend sailing on the SAP Extreme Sailing Team GC32 in Madeira and Lisbon last year.
Skipper: Michael Hestbek
Crew: Daniel Bjoernholt, Stig Steinfurth, Christopher Falholt, Anders Kjaer (All DEN)