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The tussle for the final place on the podium was eventually decided on the final race of the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup. With NORAUTO and Team Tilt secure in the first two positions, ARMIN STROM Sailing Team headed into the last day of competition vying with Team ENGIE, Realteam and Malizia for third position.

With just four points separating the four teams, the battle for third place was likely to be fierce. In the end Team ENGIE from France did enough to hold onto third while Swiss team ARMIN STROM overtook their compatriots Realteam on countback to finish fourth, only three points behind the French team. Monegasque crew Malizia slipped to sixth.

The result from La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup, the penultimate event on the 2016 tour, leaves ARMIN STROM still in third place in the overall tour standings, seven points behind Team Tilt in second and eight points ahead of Malizia in fourth. It will take a catastrophe on the part of Team Tilt or ARMIN STROM for these positions to change following the final event, the Marseille One Design from 13 – 16 October.

Overall, the team were pleased with the result in Sotogrande, especially given a less-than-perfect start which saw them succumb to a series of problems on the first day of racing. A problem with the rudders was compounded by a winch malfunction and then an issue with the mast, which forced them to retire from two out of the five races.

“It was disappointing to not complete those races, especially given the exceptional sailing conditions on day one. There was some incredible racing with 15-20 knots of wind combined with flat water, making for exciting racing with top speeds of 35 knots,” explains skipper Flavio Marazzi.

ARMIN STROM’s second day score of 3,3,4,3 was only beaten by runaway event winners NORAUTO, and put the team back in contention for a podium finish.

A challenging third day in marginal foiling conditions saw a mixed bag of results for the team who knew they had to give it everything on the final day.

“All the teams were pushing hard, which also made our comeback harder. But our team never gave up, despite the hurdles throughout the event. We were able to fight back to fourth place which retains our overall position,” Marazzi added with some pride.

The beautiful venue on the Spanish Andalusian Coast served up a variety of conditions across four days of racing. The first day’s gusting winds prompted the use of reefed sails, while much lighter conditions on the second day led to a postponement ashore.

Team manager and coach for this event Sharon Ferris-Choat says having a positive mindset was definitely critical to the teams’ ability to climb back up the scoreboard, along with focusing on team communication.
“When mistakes happen it’s important to let them go and move on quickly. Although there are things to discuss so you keep ascending the learning curve, you cannot dwell on problems. The focus has to be on the next race, and a continual drive to iron out errors and to improve,” she explains.

Having proved its ability to fight back against adversity, ARMIN STROM Sailing Team heads into the final event on the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour in Marseille with the confidence that they can do what it takes to secure the season’s objective of a podium place.

ARMIN STROM Sailing Team thanks their sponsors ARMIN STROM, Marinepool, Forward Sailing, ProTect Tapes and Kaenon for their support.

Results from La Reserva de Sotogrande:
2 Team Tilt
3 Team ENGIE
4 ARMIN STROM Sailing Team
5 Realteam
6 Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco
7 Mamma Aiuto!

Overall Tour standings:
2 Team Tilt
3 ARMIN STROM Sailing Team
4 Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco
5 Gunvor Sailing
6 Team ENGIE
7 Argo
8 Mamma Aiuto!
9 Realteam
10 Spindrift Racing
11 Orange Racing