Led by Austrian sailing legends Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, Red Bull Sailing capped off a remarkable debut season in the GC32 Racing Tour with third place in the race and on the overall podium at the finale in Muscat, Oman. The result was one of the biggest achievements for Hagara and Steinacher since they won back-to-back Olympic Gold Medals in 2000 and 2004, as well as the best overall ranking for Red Bull Sailing since they began racing their GC32, the next generation of foiling technology, in 2016. Switzerland’s Alinghi clinched the 2019 championship, edging out their fierce rival and home favorite, Oman Air.
– The fifth and final act of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour in Muscat was a heart-stopper. Not only was it the first GC32 Racing Tour finale ever held outside Europe, but after an intense season, four teams were still slugging it out for positions on the championship podium. Alinghi (SUI) and Oman Air (OMA) were locked in a virtual tie for first, while Zoulou (FRA) was on the hunt to make up the four slim points that separated them from the third place position held by Red Bull Sailing (AUT). After three days of racing, the entire podium would be decided on the final day.
– Hagara and Steinacher were familiar with the conditions in Muscat, haven taken Red Bull Sailing to podium positions at Oman’s capital in the Extreme Sailing Series. The Austrian team, which also includes Julius Hallström (SWE), Mark Spaermann (AUS) and Rhys Mara (AUS), had made rapid progress in their first season on the GC32 Racing Tour, and training in close collaboration with two-time America’s Cup winners Alinghi in Muscat only added to their confidence. But challenging conditions foreshadowed a difficult conclusion for all the teams.
– The shocks started as soon as the final day got underway, as Oman Air crashed into Zoulou with force in the opening race, missing a race and incurring a penalty while Zoulou retired. Hagara and Steinacher made the most of the opportunity, leading Red Bull Sailing to podiums in all three of the day’s races. Oman Air’s desperate fight for a comeback included a win of the final race before conditions halted the action, but Alinghi captured the crown.
– GC32 Racing Tour 2019 Championship Podium: 1. Alinghi (SUI), 2. Oman Air (OMA), 3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT). Final race results for the GC32 Oman Cup: 1. Alinghi (SUI), 2. Zoulou (FRA), 3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT).
– QUOTE ROMAN HAGARA: “This has been a sensational season, and I am super proud of our team. Despite the pressure of going head-to-head with some of the best teams in the world in challenging conditions, our crew was in great form and we delivered our best teamwork all season. Hans Peter and I have really enjoyed sailing with the young guns on our boat. I think they have learned a lot, and sometimes they have pushed us to our own limits as well. I’m already looking forward to taking it to the next level in 2020.”
– The Red Bull Sailing Team will spread their wings in the GC32 Racing Tour again in 2020. Calendar to be announced soon, with racing across several continents and the first act at a location in the Euro-Arabic region. To stay up to date with Red Bull Sailing all year long, follow #redbullsailingteam
Top five, GC32 Racing Tour 2019 Act 5, Muscat, Oman: 1. Alinghi (SUI) 37 points, 2. Zoulou (FRA) 46.1 pts, 3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 54 pts, 4. Oman Air (OMA) 60 pts, 5. Black Star Sailing Team (SUI) 68 pts
Final standings GC32 Racing Tour 2019: 1. Alinghi (SUI) 45 points, 2. Oman Air (OMA) 45 pts, 3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 58 pts, 4. Zoulou (FRA) 68 pts, 5. Argo (USA) 82 pts, 6. Black Star Sailing Team (SUI) 107 pts, 7. Códogo Rojo Racing (ARG) 127 pts
Follow Red Bull Sailing: #redbullsailingteam
Images for editorial use only. Credit: Sailing Energy/GC32 Racing Tour and Lloyd Images for Red Bull Content Pool
Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher are Austria’s most successful summer sport athletes, having won two Olympic gold medals (Sydney, Athens) and numerous world championships. They are the only Austrians to have competed on the America’s Cup World Series. Determined to see sailing progress to the next level, they groom the next generation of sailors by leading the Red Bull Sailing Team in the GC32 Racing Tour and by serving as sports directors for Red Bull Foiling Generation.
About the GC32 Racing Tour
The GC32 class sets sail into 2019 with a circuit that’s stronger than ever, thanks to its teams consolidating in the GC32 Racing Tour. Course configurations are similar to those used in the America’s Cup, and venues are chosen with the aim of providing the best chance of optimum conditions to get the catamarans flying on their foils. The 2019 tour visited venues across southern Europe and concluded with a fifth race that outside Europe.