INEOS TEAM UK have arrived in France for the final event of the GC32 Racing Tour 2018, the GC32 TPM Med Cup.
Racing takes place 10th – 14th October on familiar waters for many of the British team as Toulon hosted the French leg of the 2015/16 America’s Cup World Series in September 2016. The team have experienced extreme conditions on the race course so far with a big breeze and gusts of 20+ kts, resulting the cancellation of practice racing on Tuesday and Wednesday. During their only training session on Monday the team pushed hard but pushed the limits harder, capsizing their GC32.
The GC32 circuit offers competitive foiling racing and the team have utilised the tour as an opportunity to rotate the sailing squad. Eight sailors have raced as part of the INEOS TEAM UK GC32 crew including previous GC32 Racing Tour Champion, Leigh McMillan, two times America’s Cup Winner, Joey Newton and Luke Parkinson.
Ben Ainslie again heads up the crew as Helmsman & skipper in Toulon with Iain Jensen (AUS) maintaining his role as Mainsail Trimmer. Fresh from his Olympic training camp in Japan, Giles Scott (GBR) resumes as tactician while 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Champion. Neil Hunter (GBR) remains on bow. The only planned rotation for the final event is Nick Hutton (GBR) who replaces Joey Newton (AUS) as jib trimmer.
Sailing Team Manager, Jono Macbeth on the circuit “The GC32 Racing Tour has been really valuable to our sailing programme this year. There’s a lot of team work involved on these boats and it’s given us a real opportunity to test our crew within a high speed, air-borne sailing fleet.”
The team have achieved consecutive podium finishes at all three events they’ve competed, including an event win, and will be looking to again push performance levels hard in France. But, it won’t be easy, as they face highly experienced GC32 teams including home team NORAUTO, skippered by Franck Cammas, 2016 GC32 Racing Tour winner.
Team Principal and Skipper, Ben Ainslie on the final event, “The circuit has given us the ideal environment to stay current and race against a competitive fleet. Expectations are obviously high for us but we are rightly focused primarily on the Americas Cup. The podium is within our reach and that is the target for this event.”
Ben Ainslie, Helm
Iain Jensen, Mainsail
Giles Scott, Tactician and Float
Nick Hutton, Jib Trim
Neil Hunter, Bow
Jono Macbeth, Sailing Team Manager
Rob Wilson, Coach
Matty Adams, Senior Shore Support
Aston Campion, Shore Support
Ben Williams, Head of Human Performance
Harry KH, Performance Drone
1 NORAUTO (FRA), 5
2 Realteam (SUI), 13
3 Zoulou (FRA), 15
4 INEOS TEAM UK (GBR), 16
5 Argo (USA), 18
6 Frank Racing (NZL), 21
7 Código Rojo Racing (ARG), 32
2018 GC32 Racing Tour:
- GC32 World Championships 23-27 May - Lake Garda, Italy (INEOS TEAM UK DID NOT COMPETE)
- GC32 Lagos Cup, 27 June – 1 July - Lagos, Portugal
- GC32 37th Copa Del Rey MAPFRE, 31 July – 4 August - Palma de Mallorca, Spain
- GC32 Villasimius Cup, 12 – 16 September - Villasímius, Sardinia, Italy
- GC32 TPM Med Cup, 10 –14 October - Toulon, France