Team Tilt Takes the Top Spot in GC32 World Championship
Team Tilt Takes the Top Spot in GC32 World Championship, While SAP Extreme Sailing Team Rules the Rankings in the Extreme Sailing Series
It was Swiss success in the first official GC32 World Championship as Sébastien Schneiter’s Team Tilt took the top spot in Riva del Garda, Italy.
Four days of foiling action on the flat waters of Lake Garda saw 13 GC32 speed machines shoot around the racecourse, all determined to make history as best in class.
Of the regatta’s 16 races, only three saw Team Tilt tumble outside the top four, demonstrating the consistent sailing so necessary to win against a fleet of elite level sailors.
“It’s a really special feeling, especially as it’s our first World Championship title as a team,” said an elated Schneiter. “It’s pretty cool to share this with all of my mates – it’s a really special moment.”
It’s tough at the top, though. Schneiter and his men were given a run for their money throughout the event by Danish rivals and Extreme Sailing Series™ champions, SAP Extreme Sailing Team. Having excelled on the water on day three – winning three of the five races – the Danes closed the gap on the Swiss, heading into the final day separated only by two points.
A further win straight off the mark on day four stood the Danes in good stead to top the podium. Neck and neck with the Swiss moving into the final races, the pressure mounted. With the wind dwindling, SAP Extreme Sailing Team fell off the pace, finishing the final day of the Championship in a disappointing second place.
“We were equal to Tilt going out into the final races and we just didn’t sail that well. Things didn’t go our way,” explained SAP Extreme Sailing Team helm, Adam Minoprio. “They [Team Tilt] continued to sail exceptionally and they finished a long way ahead of us. So congratulations to them, they sailed extremely well and were consistent throughout the whole regatta.”
Despite their defeat in the World Championship, the Danes still have cause for celebration. They now rule the rankings in the Extreme Sailing Series – the regatta in Riva del Garda having been a point scoring event for the seven-stop global circuit that the team regularly competes in.
Their team’s skipper, Rasmus Køstner was pleased with the news that they’d taken the lead.
“It’s been a great week of sailing here in Riva del Garda, and it’s nice to finish it off by topping the Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard. It’s quite close though, so there’s still a long way to go.”
Finishing just behind SAP Extreme Sailing Team was Oman Air, skippered by Kiwi sailor Phil Robertson. Having won the unofficial World Championship last year in Oman, their third place finish was bittersweet.
“We’re kind of happy,” said the ever optimistic Robertson. “We know we made a lot of mistakes. On two days we left a lot of points on the table, which we need to eliminate going forward. We’re working hard on that and have had some pretty frank conversations about it, but it’s good. We’re improving, that’s the main thing.”
Oman Air’s points collated in the Riva event keep them in a comfortable third place in the Extreme Sailing Series, tied for points with Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi – three-time Extreme Sailing Series champions and winners of the 2018 GC32 World Championship Owner Driver competition.
As the fleet leaves the stunning backdrop of northern Italy behind, they look forward to their next Extreme Sailing Series event in Barcelona.
“We’re pumped for Barcelona,” Robertson enthused. “We won there last year and it was the first event we won together as a team. We have great memories there and we’ll try and replicate them, for sure.”
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2018 GC32 World Championships after 16 races
Position / Team / Skipper / Points
1st Team Tilt (SUI) 60 points
2nd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 68 points
3rd Oman Air (OMA) 79 points
4th Alinghi (SUI) 88 points
5th INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 88 points
6th NORAUTO (FRA) 94 points
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 111 points
8th Realteam (SUI) 129 points
9th Argo (USA) 129 points
10th Frank Racing (NZL) 135 points
11th Zoulou (FRA) 135 points
12th Team México (MEX) 172 points
13th .film Racing (AUS) 179 points
2018 Extreme Sailing Series Overall Standings
Position / Team / Skipper / Points
1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 23 points
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 21 points
3rd Oman Air (OMA) 21 points
4th INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 19 points
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 16 points
6th Team México (MEX) 13 points