It is not often that German Olympic sailors are given opportunities for advancement in the international professional business. There are two reasons for this: On the one hand, there has been a lack of Olympic successes in the past few decades. On the other hand, the best German Olympic sailors often lacked the international networks from which successful sailors in countries such as France, Great Britain, Australia or New Zealand automatically benefit.
On the move as fast as an arrow: Flavio Marazzi's team Amin Strom with helmsman Erik Heil
49er helmsman Erik Heil, who won bronze in the 49er with Thomas Plößel in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, has now found a way. The Swiss Olympic sailor Flavio Marazzi gave Heil and other strong 49er aces from different countries with his GC32 team Armin Strom the chance to prove themselves on the professional stage. With the first regatta on the GC32 Racing Tour, the young team had their first joint test on the program after a total of just under 14 days of training: the GC32 RivCup was the weekend for eleven teams. The Swiss team Armin Strom put itself in an excellent position in a total of eleven races, even won one race and immediately sailed to third place on the podium. Teams, some of which have been involved in the tour events for a long time, were left behind. Among them was the Maliziv from the Yacht Club de Monaco with Boris Herrmann, who had to be satisfied with ninth place.
With this trailer and impressive impressions, the tour advertises its spectacular sport
You can see speed: beautiful study by the Armin Strom team in action
For Flavio Marazzi, team principal and GC32 class president at the same time, the first official regatta of his ambitious Olympic team was a complete success. Marazzi himself had contributed to this in a way that served the team by handing over the helm to Erik Heil and serving the team as the most experienced all-rounder on board, although according to Heil he is a very strong helmsman himself. "I think Flavio steers even better, but at the same time has the best plan for these boats and their settings. He sacrificed himself for the team." For Heil, however, the steering was as intensive as it was instructive: "It's exciting, interesting, but also involves trips to hell. Everything runs so incredibly quickly." The Swiss won a speed challenge with good luck at the wheel and just over 31 knots. In training they had already reached 41.6 knots.
Erik Heil used his opening chance very well and wants to develop further. "Our team coach Frithjof Kleen put it in a nutshell: From the Rio podium in the 49er, I'm the only one who doesn't sail in the America's Cup." Heil would like to change this situation in the medium term. The beginning is done. The season opener of the GC32 Racing Tour secured victory on Lake Garda with the experienced Swiss real team ahead of Team Tilt and Armin Strom. The second regatt of the season starts on June 28th off Sardinia. Until then, Heil will again focus on the 49er, because the second Olympic campaign has started.
"A bit blatant in the neck": Erik Heil steers for Armin Strom at the limit in the Speed Challenge