The Quebramar GP42 Cup goes to Saint-Tropez next week
[Source: Quebramar GP42 Cup] After an eventful start in Santa Margherita, Italy, the GP42 fleet will now move to Saint-Tropez, France for the second event of the Quebramar GP42 Cup, the Giraglia Rolex Cup, held from June 8th to 10th.
Eight boats, representing eight top-level teams lead by some of the world’s best sailors will be competing off the coast of the famous French port city of Saint Tropez, the first time ever the GP42 class holds a regatta in France. Despite the absence of a French team, many boats will not be racing in uncharted territory, given the presence of many America’s Cup and Olympic French sailors.
Will the bay of Saint-Tropez and its tricky breeze reshuffle the cards in the Quebramar GP42 Cup and upset the leaderboard hierarchy? Despite being just the second year of the up-and-coming GP42 class, the arrival of top-notch sailors significantly increased the already high level and raised the bar even further.
Dozens of America’s Cups, world championships and Olympic medals will be getting onboard the 8 GP42 boats every day. Paolo Ciàn, José Maria Van der Ploeg, Cameron Appleton, Bertrand Pacé, Sébastien Col, Laureano Wizner, Gabriele Bruni, Santi López-Vázquez, José Maria Ponce, Tanguy Cariou, Paolo Montefusco or Tom Schnackenberg are just some of the names that helm, call tactics or trim mainsails in the GP42 fleet. One thing is for sure; Desafío will now face even stronger opposition.
The Spanish all America’s Cup crew of Desafío dominated the opening event of the Quebramar GP42 Cup with 3 bullets and a 3rd place, obtaining a handsome 12-point margin from second placed. Still, Desafío’s crew had to work and think harder than last year in order to cross the finish line ahead of the fleet.
The score table gets much tighter and exciting, since a mere 3 points separate second placed Canarias Puerto Calero from 6th Roma GP42.2, and every single race will be as important as ever. Canarias Puerto Calero, the boat from the Atlantic island of Lanzarote, helmed by Spanish match-racing champion José Maria Ponce, didn’t win any race but clearly showed that consistency paid.
One point behind them is AIRIS and Near Miss, two newcomers to the GP42 class. The former, an Italian entry, was helmed by the famous kiwi sailor Cameron Appleton while the latter, representing the Société Nautique de Genève, was helmed by Bertrand Pacé and its crew was an America’s Cup who is who of French sailors.
Another newcomer, MADRID, is one point down the table. Helmed by Olympic gold medallist José Maria Van der Ploeg, the Spanish boat had an excellent start but was unfortunately unable to keep up. Another point further down is Roma GP42.2 that had a difficult first event on their brand new yacht. Everything is open and we could well be for some surprises in Saint-Tropez.
The Giraglia Rolex Cup is organized by the Yacht Club Italiano (YCI) in collaboration with the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the co-organizer for the 7th consecutive year. It is run under the supervision of the Federazione Italiana Vela, the Fédération Française de Voile, and with the collaboration of the City of Saint-Tropez and the Yacht Club de France. Racing will take place right inside the Saint-Tropez bay, a couple of miles from the city’s Vieux Port and unlike the rest of classes taking part in the event, the GP42 fleet will only sail windward/leeward races.
The remaining four events of the Quebramar GP42 Cup 2008 are the Rolex Trofeo de la Reina in Valencia (July 10th to 13th); the Copa del Rey AUDI MAPFRE in Palma (July 26th to August 2nd); the Trofeu Quebramar-Chrysler in Cascais (August 28th to 30th); and the grand finale, the Trofeo César Manrique in Puerto Calero (October 16th to 18th).