M32 racing resumes in Europe this month with new opportunities for aspiring teams to get involved.
Throughout the 2019 M32 European Series, the M32’s manufacturer Aston Harald will be making two circuit boats available. The first of these will be lent to a ‘development team’, following in the tradition of the M32 Academy. This might be a youth team or a women’s team or a local team with the right credentials looking to step-up and gain experience on a professional racing circuit alongside fully professional and owner-driver teams.
M32 Class Manager and Principal Race Officer Mattias Dahlström explains:
“We’re speaking to several youth teams about this opportunity for them to knock on the door of professional sailing. Owner-drivers and pro teams often need crew as well, so this is a chance for individual sailors new to the M32 to show their skill as well.”
The second will be a test boat. Aboard this, for example, teams coming from monohull classes, who wish to experience high adrenaline racing for the first time on an ultra-fast but simple two sail catamaran, in a professionally managed, World Sailing-recognised circuit, can pitch up and compete against the M32 European Series’ mix of pro and owner-driver teams. This they can do on a fully race-prepared M32. The organisers can set up potential owners and teams with M32 crew, as required.
As Ian Williams, skipper of 2018 M32 European Series winner GAC Pindar, and Vice President of the M32 Class Association, puts it:
“It provides the opportunity for people to come and try it out. They don’t have to rig or de-rig it. They can just fly in, fly out and have a good time in between.”
Warm-up racing for the M32s will take place in Sanremo, Italy over 21-24 March, two months out from the start of the M32 European Series proper. In 2019 this will comprise five scoring events across Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Pisa is not just famous for its leaning tower, it is also home to Andrea Lacorte’s Vitamina Veloce team and it will be here that the 2019 M32 European Series formally gets underway over 24-26th May. The M32s then head north to the Netherlands where the venue has now been confirmed as that heart of Dutch Olympic sailing, Medemblik. This is situated on the Ijsselmeer, the inland sea which should provide flat water conditions ideal for ultra-high speed multihull racing.
The Series then continues with two events in the M32’s native Sweden, the first mid-July, and now confirmed as being off the tourist hotspot and sailing mecca of Marstrand island; the second mid-August, further north in Stenungsund where there will be two days of racing before the Tjörn Runt. Organised by the Stenungsunds Segelsällskap, this is a 27 mile lap of the island of Tjörn, the record for which is held by an M32 with a time of 2:05:24. Regularly attracting more than 250 boats, it is the largest coastal race on the west coast of Sweden.
The M32s then return promptly to Italy and Riva del Garda for the final event of the 2019 M32 European Series, which doubles as the Pre-Worlds. This then runs straight into the M32 World Championship at the end of August. For these events the M32 European fleet will be joined by several other M32s being shipped across from the USA to compete in the class’ premier event.
2019 M32 European Series schedule
- San Remo, Italy - 22-24 March (non-scoring warm-up event)
- Marina di Pisa, Italy - 24-26 May
- Medemblick, Holland - 21-23 June
- Marstrand, Sweden - 19-21 July
- Stenungsund, Sweden - 15-17 August (two days inshore racing followed by the Tjörn Runt)
- Pre-Worlds, Riva del Garda, Italy - 24-25 August
(M32 World Championship, Riva del Garda, Italy - 26-30 August)