The fleet readies for Puerto Calero GP42 Global Cup

With less than one week to go, anticipation and excitement levels are running high for next week's 2009 GP42 Global Cup, held over 13-17 October in Puerto Calero. Eight teams from five countries are entered to date, with possibly two more to join in the action next week. Among the teams are numerous veterans of past America's Cups, Olympic Games, Volvo Ocean Races and World Championships of all types who will bring an extremely high level of sailing talent to this resort destination on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
“We had a tremendous event here last year with this class, but are really happy to have attracted new and broader interest among a wider variety of teams,” said Daniel Calero, principal host and organiser of the event. Calero is also owner of one of the nine competing entries, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, his Botin & Carkeek-designed GP42 which has just come from Cartagena, Spain where he won the overall GP42 Series with just one point to spare in this year’s Audi MedCup Circuit. “While they may not be on new boats, some of these teams are brand-new to the class, so we’re happy they’re showing strong interest to want to come and play.”

Other teams entered to date include Calero’s runner-up rival in the MedCup, Filippo Faruffini’s Farr-designed Roma 2 (ITA), along with four other alumnists from the MedCup GP42 Series: Javier Goizueta’s B&C-designed Caser-Endesa (ESP), Jose Maria van der Ploeg’s B&C-designed Turismo Madrid (ESP), Roberto Monti’s Felci-designed Airis (ITA), and Goncalo Esteves’ B&C-designed Quebramar-Xacobeo 2010 (POR), sailed in the MedCup as Iberdrola. Airis was last year’s winner here at the Trofeo Puerto Calero, and Quebramar-Xacobeo 2010, sailed as Desafio, was the overall season champion in 2008. These MedCup teams would have to be regarded as among the favorites for this year’s Global Cup, having competed not only in the 39-race GP42 Series, but for some the 4-day GP42 Owner-Driver Championship in August in Cascais as well.

But the competitiveness of the class, the hospitality of Puerto Calero and the ideal sailing conditions here has also attracted two confirmed new teams to GP42 racing at this year’s Global Cup. John Bassadone is leading a Gibralter-based team on his Farr-designed Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), ex-Roma 1. This is a first-generation GP42 design, but still has plenty of potential. And the first-ever team from Scandinavia will be making a GP42 class debut: Team Nordic (SWE) will be competing on the Cognit-designed ex-Totalboats with a crew led by Magnus Olsson and the Ericsson team who trained for months here in Puerto Calero while getting ready for last year’s start of the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race.

Two more new teams are scrambling to try to also make the entry list, with their status to be confirmed in a few days’ time.

The format for the event will be practice racing to be held on Tuesday, 13 October, followed by windward/leeward course racing to start on Wednesday, 14 October and resume daily through Saturday, 17 October. The race management team will be led by America’s Cup PRO Peter “Luigi” Reggio, whose team will be challenged in their course-setting duties by the deep water off the island, but experienced from prior years of experience with other high-calibre events held here in Puerto Calero.