Foiling Extreme Sailing Series in trouble

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by CT 249, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 1,694
    Likes: 78, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 467
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    Interesting to see thast "the difficult decision has been made that it is no longer financially viable for OC Sport to run the Series." Sad to see the only successful "stadium racing" series may finally have died, although there are plans for a management buy-out. It shows once again how far reality has fallen below the hype when it comes to foiling (not that the boats are anything but fantastic).

    Earlier, there were plans for "several" series for GC32 foilers. In fact, it was said that the existence of a circuit was vital in the sales success of the boat, and that the dream was of local fleets and 30 or so meeting of them in championships.

    Now the GC32 has been involved in two major pro circuits, the WMRT and the ESS, and both of them are facing major issues. There were 13 boats at the 2018 worlds - not bad, but almost certainly not enough to keep the circuit going since it was going to be funded by boat sales and venue fees. Boat sales have been modest and the ESS experience seems to indicate the paucity of venues who are interested in paying for sailing - places like Garda, where the worlds were held, are highly unlikely to do so.

    Hopefully in the future we will see greater recognition of the fact that hyped stadium-sailing circuits, using craft that are sailed by only a tiny minority of sailors, will not succeed. We may then go back to having successful series based on boats that are more accessible.
     
  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,478
    Likes: 287, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Melbourne, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  3. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,478
    Likes: 287, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Melbourne, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    From Euro Sail News:
    Oman Air and Zoulou to compete on enlarged 2019 GC32 Racing Tour
    One of the oldest and most successful Extreme Sailing Series teams is set to be among the ten boats jockeying to win the GC32 Racing Tours’ 2019 season.

    Team Oman Air supported by EFG Private Bank Monaco will compete on the five event GC32 Racing Tour with two new crewmen. Returning are the team’s British project manager, mainsail trimmer and tactician Peter Greenhalgh, together with Kiwi headsail trimmer Stewart Dodson and long standing crewman Nasser Al Mashari, in charge of board control. They are joined by Adam Piggott from the UK, who is foil trimmer having previously sailed on a variety of GC32 teams, including Pierre Casiraghi’s Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco and Red Bull Sailing Team in 2017.

    Recruited as helmsman is New Zealander Adam Minoprio. In 2000 Minoprio became the youngest ever Match Racing World Champion and he has since sailed two Volvo Ocean Races and been part of the Luna Rossa and Groupama Team France America’s Cup challenges.

    But Minoprio is also one of the most experienced and successful GC32 helmsmen. He was steering when SAP Exteme Sailing Team won the Extreme Sailing Series in 2017 and finished third last year. The season before he had claimed several events on the GC32 Racing Tour standing in for Franck Cammas on NORAUTO, after a winter when the French America’s Cup team was training daily on GC32s. In fact Minoprio won the very first GC32 event back in May 2013.

    Having come second in the GC32 Racing Tour’s owner-driver championship in 2018 and finish third on the overall podium, France’s Erik Maris returns with his Zoulou team. He has retained the same crew, once again led by America’s Cup veteran Thierry Fouchier and including several who were part of Franck Cammas’ last French challenge for the America’s Cup - Thomas le Breton, Bruno Mourniac from the French Youth AC crew and bowman and GC32 veteran, Nicolas Heintz.

    2019 GC32 Racing Tour schedule
    22.-26 May: GC32 Villasimius Cup / Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
    26-30 June: GC32 World Championship / Lagos, Portugal
    31 July-4 August: 38 Copa del Rey MAPFRE / Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    11-15 September: GC32 Riva Cup / Riva del Garda, Italy
    6-10 Nov: TBA

    www.gc32racingtour.com
     
  4. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 1,694
    Likes: 78, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 467
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    Ten boats and five events, when they were hoping for 30+ boats at just one of several circuits.

    The tail really is wagging the dog in sailing publicity these days. When the sport was strong and growing, ten 32 footers racing five times a year would have been nothing, news-wise. The excitement would have been about classes that had many fleets of cheap ODs or racer/cruisers - boats that many typical people could afford, and then race on a typical weekend at a typical club.

    The fact that such an event as small in numbers and as far removed from the normal sailor the GC32 circuit is seen as newsworthy is a symbol of why the sport is shrinking. When the attention is on inaccessible equipment, the sport is in trouble and digging deeper. Luckily the typical sailor is largely ignoring the hype.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  5. mrmac
    Joined: Dec 2011
    Posts: 18
    Likes: 2, Points: 3, Legacy Rep: 33
    Location: Australia

    mrmac Junior Member


    I think you are confusing the M32 business plan here. They claimed that there would be hundreds go M32's sailing in circuits all over the world.

    The GC32 was always aimed at high end teams, as such the number of boats would be limited.
     

  6. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 1,694
    Likes: 78, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 467
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    There may have been some differing opinions or attitudes, because several articles about the GC32 referred to "several" circuits.

    For example, the article here ( Great Cup and GC32 cat foiler | The Daily Sail http://www.thedailysail.com/inshore/13/64187/1/great-cup-and-gc32-cat-foiler ) referred clearly to "local fleets developing in Europe, the US and Australasia and getting them all to meet up annually at World Championships." It also referred to the class circuit following " the more classic model of having local fleets, the cream of which come together occasionally for major events such as World Championships."

    In another article =Andy Tourell, Event Director of the Extreme Sailing Series, was quoted as saying “The mid-term plan is to organise several GC32 continental circuits for professional teams and private owners, who could later access the Extreme Sailing Series global circuit. It is a very exciting time for both the Extreme Sailing Series and the GC32 class. We have always looked for ways to innovate in our sport and, once again, we are breaking new ground for sailing – both through the development of such a global sporting pyramid, and by fleet racing these foiling boats on our stadium courses – which has never been done before."

    Laurent Lenne himself was also quoted as having said “Together we aim to develop the GC32 as a global and accessible class for both professional teams of all levels and private owners wanting to experience high speed big boat foiling and racing, and we will use the powerful marketing platform of the Extreme Sailing Series to achieve our objectives." The class president referred to a wish for "many more boats".

    It was also said that " OC Sport and The Great Cup are planning to develop a pyramid structure, with the mid-term introduction of a series of feeder events providing a clear path to the Extreme Sailing Series, which will remain at the top. Both partners are also working on launching an annual GC32 World Cup, accessible by all existing boats."

    Another site stated "Flavio Marazzi, skipper of Armin Strom Sailing Team.......anticipates that local fleets of GC32s will grow around the world and foresees circuits developing in Europe, the USA and, over the northern hemisphere winter, in Australia. Laurent Lenne agrees: “Continental racing is something we want – it is very good for owners, because they don’t want to go to Asia if they don’t live there- it is too far away and takes too much time.

    “Right now Europe is set up for next year and our idea is to have a circuit going in the USA, maybe by the end of 2015. After that I think it would be good to have a circuit in Australia/Asia because we are getting more and more requests from there.”


    Terms such as "sporting pyramid", "several GC32 continental circuits", circuits in Europe, the USA and Australia, "local fleets...around the world" and references to "teams of all levels" and "pyramid structure" make it appear that there were clear claims that there were going to be several circuits.

    Now that the sad death of the ESS has been confirmed, perhaps there will be more of a move away from an excessive emphasis on high-speed pro classes and a return to the promotion of accessible, participant-based sailing which could grow the sport in a way that we have not seen in years. The vision has been tried since 1978's PYRA and never really survived whether it's been in skiffs, boards, multis or monos. It doesn't work, and the sport has not been doing well since people started promoting such sailing as "the future of the sport".

     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.