Double Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher have announced that the 2020 GC32 Racing Tour campaign for Red Bull Sailing will be their last in competition. Here is all you need to know:
– Austria’s most successful summer sport athletes have decided to step down from competitive sailing after winning numerous Olympic, World and European titles.
– Hagara and Steinacher, who are the only Austrians to have competed in the America’s Cub World Series, will inspire the next generation by leading the Red Bull Sailing Team in the GC32 Racing Tour and by serving as sports directors for Red Bull Foiling Generation.
– Hagara, 53, revealed: “We will definitely stick to sailing because it’s the sport we love but, for now, we’ve got a championship to fight for and we’re all in.”
– Steinacher, 51, added: “We have some super projects in mind and our plan is to continue sailing the GC32 all over the world. We intend to take it to amazing spots.”
– After taking third place on the championship podium in their debut 2019 campaign, the team from Austria is back with a seasoned crew and a determination to try and overcome the reigning champions Alinghi of Switzerland as well as 2019 runners-up Team Oman.
– Hagara (skipper, helm) and Steinacher (tactician) will be joined again by Australians Rhys Mara (trimmer) and Mark Spaermann (board trimmer) plus Swede Julius Hallström (bowman).
– Steinacher explained: “We are at a point where everyone knows what the others are doing and that instinctive understanding is the big advantage.”
– Hagara declared: “These GC32s are already a big challenge to sail and, when the wind is right, we are reaching speeds of up to 70 or 80 kilometers per hour. On water, that’s an insanely high speed. When you have teams of this level all sailing together at that velocity, it’s super exciting, and the crowds get an eyeful.”
– The 2020 GC32 Racing Tour season will hold regattas in five breathtaking locations known for conditions that allow the boats to get up on their foils and fly.
2020 GC32 Racing Tour calendar
March 25-29: Muscat, Oman
May 27-31: Riva del Garda, Italy
June 24-28: Lagos, Portugal
September 16-20: Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy (World Championship)
October 21-25: New venue (TBA)